A legacy to inspire: Behind Amy’s Blend


Each year, a very special coffee appears on the shelves of your local Caribou Coffee coffeehouse. It’s called Amy’s Blend, a light and dark roast coffee inspired by the legacy of our original roastmaster, Amy Erickson. We donate a percentage of Amy’s Blend sales to a charitable cause to honor Amy’s legacy. This year, Caribou Coffee is proud to partner with the International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA), supporting our shared commitment to encourage, recognize and uplift women in coffee. Ten percent of Amy’s Blend proceeds will be donated to the IWCA.*

About Amy Erickson

Smiling women wearing a jean jacket with "Take Ownership" label in corner of photo
Our core values represent a common set of behaviors that help define our company culture. Amy Erickson’s attention to quality is Taking Ownership.

Amy’s trailblazing work at Caribou Coffee set the standards for quality — standards we still rely on today. 

The word “roastmaster” basically means you’re a coffee expert, which Amy definitely was. “It embodied what Amy was all about: delivering the best quality coffee to our customers,” Brian Aliffi, Head of Coffee Operations, shared. “She guided the company toward using cupping for finding the best coffee, and she was passionate about connecting where coffee is grown to the cup.”

Coffee wasn’t just a job for Amy — it was her driving force. “She was so passionate and dedicated to Caribou and felt she was really making a difference,” shared her sister Lisa. “She was instrumental in developing the cupping lab. When she would talk about the process, she was so animated and passionate discussing how it was so important to have that consistent quality in every bag and cup of coffee.” According to Lisa, Amy loved developing relationships with others who shared her passion for great coffee.

“I heard about Amy Erickson before I was even an employee, during my job interviews,” says Mike Speer, Director of Warehouse Operations. “I did not just hear about the Amy’s Blend promotion and donations… I heard about Amy, the first roastmaster, the kind person, the adventurous spirit, her commitment to quality, the loss and her legacy.”

Over two decades since Amy’s passing, her legacy continues through Amy’s Blend and our continued commitment to donate a percentage of sales to a charitable cause to honor Amy’s legacy.

About the International Women’s Coffee Alliance

This year, we are proud to partner with the IWCA, supporting our shared commitment to women in coffee. The IWCA is a global network to empower women in coffee and work to alleviate challenges of the industry, including climate change. The organization provides training on sustainability, cupping, financial literacy and more, equipping women with the skills they need to thrive in the world of coffee.

“We’re thrilled to join forces with Caribou Coffee and help connect, support and empower women in coffee,” says Blanca Castro, IWCA’s Executive Director. “With Caribou Coffee’s help, we can continue to uplift women making an impact in the industry.”

As we begin this new chapter working with IWCA, we’re so excited about the positive changes we can make, including empowering women and supporting sustainable livelihoods across our coffee-sourcing regions.

An IWCA chapter in Colombia at a coffee cupping session.

More about Amy’s Blend

After Amy lost her battle with breast cancer in 1995, we launched Amy’s Blend in her honor and have continued our commitment to the charitable initiative, donating proceeds of Amy’s Blend sales to non-profit organizations that reflect her legacy.

A portion of the proceeds from Amy’s Blend in 2024 will be donated to IWCA, with intentional contributions made to IWCA chapters in the countries where Amy’s Blend is sourced from: Guatemala, Costa Rica, Kenya and Ethiopia.* Stock up on a bag or two (or three!) and enjoy the complex flavors while helping us build a stronger, more compassionate coffee community. Amy’s Blend Light Roast features notes of melon and citrus, while Amy’s Blend Dark Roast is a smoky, sweet blend of dark chocolate and burgundy tones.

Every time you brew Amy’s Blend, you’re helping us celebrate her legacy and the profound impact she had at Caribou Coffee. “Amy’s spirit lives on at Caribou in our commitment to quality and connection and commitment to our coffee origin regions,” says Mike. “Those stories remind us that we are all writing the next chapter of the Caribou story every time we greet a customer, roast coffee beans, stack a pallet, make a latte, pay an invoice or perform any other function. The things we do and how we do them have effects that can last longer than our time here. What stories might they tell about us twenty-five or more years from now? Amy showed us what is possible; now it’s up to us to create our own legacies.”

*Caribou Coffee will donate 10% of all proceeds of Amy’s Blend sold from March 7, 2024, to June 5, 2024, to the International Women’s Coffee Alliance. Total donation amount during this promotional period shall not exceed $50,000.