Dutch Bros vs. Starbucks

Graphic by Casey Rubio | Mercury Staff

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Cheaper, faster and tastier, Dutch Bros has become my new go-to coffee spot near campus.

Dutch Bros is a drive-thru coffee chain that has a practically endless number of flavor syrups and drink combinations. It is a cornerstone of my college experience thus far because of the phenomenal customer service and customizability of the drinks. The coffee shop is a must-visit with multiple locations throughout the DFW area. Although Starbucks might be more popular in name, Dutch Bros takes the cake in almost every other way.

The true appeal of Dutch Bros comes from their plethora of drinks that are entirely adjustable in terms of sweetness. There are so many options, whether it is a lemonade, tea or coffee. Although they have pre-set options for customers to choose from, you are free to make whatever adjustments you want. Since there is no secret menu, you can combine anything that suits your liking. The pre-set options are available on the app, where you can also earn five points for every dollar spent. Since their brand is built on amazing customer service, you will never get judged for adding flavors or customizations. In other words, I can order my medium marmalade lemonade, half-sweet, cut with green tea, with light ice without any judgmental glares. The baristas, called “broistas,” will make sure that your ordering experience is smooth and that you receive exactly what you have ordered. At Starbucks, on the other hand, I am forced to order on the app or cower as I simply ask the barista for an alternate milk.

Originally, my venture to Dutch Bros was the result of an extremely long line at the Starbucks on campus. Though the Starbucks is within walking distance, the amount of people results in long wait times. Often, I can drive to Dutch Bros and get my drink long before I would have received my coffee on campus. Additionally, the drive-thru option for Dutch Bros makes it easy and efficient to get in and out of the shop between classes. Grabbing your car or tagging along with a friend to take a break from studying for a treat from Dutch Bros is a definite must during busy school weeks.

My personal favorite drinks at Dutch Bros are their lemonades. They are comparable to Starbucks refresher lemonades in the sense that they are sweet and fruity alternative to coffee. Though the drinks are similar, their price difference is astounding. A medium lemonade of any flavor at Dutch Bros is only $3.73 with tax, whereas a venti strawberry acai lemonade at Starbucks is $6.12. At almost double the price and half the quality, there is a clear winner when it comes to refreshing drinks and it is Dutch Bros. Considering both drinks are around 24 fluid ounces, the difference is really just in the price. I am one for a good deal, which is why I originally started going to Dutch Bros. If I am going to have a sugary drink addiction, I might as well do it on a budget. As a result, the $3 difference was all that was needed to convince me and my fellow broke college kids to make the switch from boring old Starbucks to the new, less expensive Dutch Bros.

When I am in the mood for a coffee drink, I usually go for a mocha for a chocolatey, satisfying energy boost. At Dutch Bros, you can get your mocha in a multitude of ways. My favorite is a white chocolate mocha with raspberry, but the German chocolate mocha with hints of coconut and caramel is also delicious. The best part is that the sweetness level is adjustable. At Starbucks, you can ask for half sweet, but the baristas often get confused; however, at Dutch Bros they have specific pre-set buttons for different sweetness levels ranging from 25% to 100%. If I am paying for a drink, I want it to be exactly how I like it which is a need that cannot be fully met at Starbucks, even with the customizability of the app. Furthermore, part of the reason many people go out to get coffee is for the convivence and to be able to try new things. With the limited flavor combinations at Starbucks, there is only so much that can be switched around. Eventually, the same old drinks get boring, and I feel the urge to try something new. At Dutch Bros, I feel like I have found the drinks that I like the most, however, I still feel like there is room to experiment and try new options through their seasonal drinks and my personal imagination. Either way, because of the many options to switch around the drink, I will always be able to create and order something that is exactly aligned to my taste.

Overall, Dutch Bros is the definite champion in the battle of the coffee shops. As a previous Starbucks stan, the quality and vibe of Dutch Bros has fully won me over. Whether I am waiting in the line to order or sitting in a class, I am always thinking about my next Dutch Bros treat.


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  • Dutch brothers is unsanitary with people who don’t care about cleanliness . I thought it’s unsanitary to handle a ladle and put it back inside the ice bin .

  • I think that they are friendly at Dutch Bros and they combination of drink choices is superb. I can’t wait to try the white chocolate with rasberry. I am a major fan of the rebels

  • You will enjoy a nice change and know that you are not funding a 20hr.a week Starbucks employees **free. -“Arizona state university “free college tuition*” so essentially at Starbucks you are paying for a part timers full college tuition!

    That is why Starbucks is higher as well as their business model is quite pricey!

    Pick and choose!

    Commander. Dr. Bob. Matthews
    Semper Fidelis

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