What’s so special about Dutch Bros coffee?

Dutch Bros drive through coffee shop in Richardson, Texas
A Dutch Bros drive thru coffee shop in Richardson, Texas

QUESTION: What’s so special about Dutch Bros. coffee shops? I saw a bunch of them when I was in Colorado but didn’t get a chance to try one out. Is it a national chain or what? – Eric R

CLEARLY COFFEE REPLIES: I had never tried Dutch Bros. before and wasn’t aware of the company until your email question came through. I did a search to see if they were in the Dallas area where I live, and indeed there are several. I jumped in the car with my wife on a recent Saturday morning and drove the 20 minutes to a location closest to me to answer your question.

One thing that’s special about Dutch Bros. coffee is that it is a drive through only coffee chain. There’s no indoor cafe. I did not know this until I got there, and at first I thought maybe it was only that specific location, but I looked it up and they’re ALL drive thru.

I still got out of my car and ordered at the window, because they do have a couple of outdoor tables under a covered area if you want to drink your coffee there, or if you walk up or don’t have a car.

A second thing that’s special about Dutch Bros is that they don’t serve drip coffee at all. Only espresso drinks. If you want a drip coffee, you have to order an Americano instead. An Americano, if you are not familiar, is a shot of espresso, and then the rest of the cup is filled with hot water. It’s functionally almost the same as a drip coffee, except that it typically has crema on top and is often a little smoother and less bitter than a plain drip coffee.

A third thing that’s special about Dutch Bros is that they call their baristas “broistas” which is pretty funny to me. Bro, can I get a latte?

Dutch Bros has some other weird and interesting drinks that you don’t find at your typical Starbucks. For example, the Dutch Bros Rebel Energy Drink, which is an iced drink that comes in a bunch of different flavors. The one pictured on the menu was green, which probably provides more energy than other colors. (Ha ha.)

There are lots of iced coffee drinks and lots of sugary coffee drinks at Dutch Bros, if you’re into those. I saw one drink on the menu on the side of the building that was listed at 700 calories. There are also glorified coffee milkshakes, like the Picture Perfect Caramel and Chocolate Drizzle Dutch Freeze. A large is 970 calories according to their site.

So if you’re into delicious coffee dessert type drinks, they’ve got a lot of options to choose from.

They also do iced tea, iced lemonade, iced chai, their own Dutch soda, hot cocoa, and a bunch of kids hot chocolate type drinks that come at a lower temperature so the kiddies don’t burn themselves chugging or spilling.

While my wife and I enjoyed the latte and Americano that we ordered, we saw a steady stream of drive through traffic the entire time we sat at the outdoor table, as well as a slower but steady stream of foot traffic to the window. So clearly this location at least has a lot of Dutch Bros fans.

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