Fall Drink Falls Flat

Dutch Bros’ new seasonal drinks leave something to be desired


Jay Skidmore, Opinions Editor

As a lifelong lover of caffeine, the westside Dutch Bros has always been my favorite lunchtime destination. And I’m far from alone in this opinion, any Summit student knows that Dutch Bros is the favorite caffeine destination of the school. Now that fall is getting started, Dutch Bros is pushing their new fall drinks, each one being a slightly tweaked version of a pumpkin spice latte. I decided to try their Caramel Pumpkin Brûlée Cold Brew as a gauge for their fall specials. Though the Dutch Bros closest to Summit was closed down, I made the trek across town to the next closest Dutch. After a long drive and a panicked trip to the gas station (I almost ran out of gas), I finally had my coffee. 

Their website brags about it being “anything but basic”, and describes the drink as cold brew coffee paired with pumpkin, salted caramel, and cream, topped with soft top, pumpkin drizzle and bits of raw sugar. It sounded delicious, and the first sip was. The soft top mixed with pumpkin, coffee, and raw sugar was incredible, but the soft top quickly ran out, leaving just the coffee itself. On its own the coffee wasn’t really sweet, except for the occasional bit of raw sugar that sank to the bottom. It was pleasantly creamy, but the pumpkin and caramel flavors were barely noticeable, it mostly just tasted like cheap coffee. All the added toppings and flavors couldn’t really cover up what the drink was, cheap, mid tier coffee with cream and one pump each of pumpkin and caramel syrup. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t worth the $5.40 I paid for it. 

I can’t speak to the rest of the menu, but at least for this item, a regular pumpkin spice latte from any old coffee shop would probably be as good or better. But I’m not telling anyone not to buy it. Dutch Bros’ appeal has never been about its high quality coffee, we go there for its convenience, quick caffeine, and for unique drinks you can’t get at another major coffee shop. So if the Caramel Pumpkin Brûlée Cold Brew sounds good to you, go for it. But know what you’re getting.