Starbucks vs Dutch Bros: A Holiday Hoedown

Lucy Lyons, Victoria Gillard, Karys Gates, Staff Writer

The holidays are just around the corner, which is code for the release of this season’s Starbucks and Dutch Bros winter menu items. For a long time now, our generation has battled an ongoing controversy regarding which is better: Starbucks or Dutch Bros. Will this year’s holiday drinks settle the debate? 



1. Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte: 8/10

This new vegan holiday drink is the epitome of guilty pleasure… minus the guilt. This drink is beautifully crafted with festive red and green sprinkles that pleasantly surprise you with every sip. Although this drink has an intense coffee flavor, the sugar cookie essence does a splendid job of balancing it out, giving the perfect ratio of coffee to sugar cookie flavor. 

2. Chestnut Praline Latte: 7/10

The Chestnut Praline Latte has a great flavor combo. However, the coffee’s richness is a titch too overpowering and the chestnut flavor only comes through in the aftertaste. This drink is garnished with specially spiced praline crumbs, which adds a delightful, crunchy texture. 

3. Toasted White Mocha: 5/10

The toasted white mocha is the perfect drink for anyone with an extreme sweet tooth. It comes with holiday theme sprinkles on top of Starbuck’s famous swirl of whip cream. These additions, however, put the sweetness levels through the roof, completely masking any trace of coffee flavor it had to begin with. Although this drink may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s the ideal option for people who aren’t big coffee drinkers. 


Dutch Bros:

1. Glacier Peak Rebel: 5/10 

Curiosity consumed us after discovering this oddly named drink has no refreshing holiday flavor whatsoever. This drink is not very festive, giving the basic blue raspberry flavor that Dutch is famous for. There’s a slight hint of vanilla, adding something original to the intense sweetness of the classic Rebel flavor. The soft top and sprinkled sugar additions surprisingly add a unique element to the drink, though, making it distinguishable from a regular Rebel.

2. Peppermint Bliss Cold Brew: 7/10 

Dutch Bros’ Peppermint Bliss Cold Brew has the perfect sweetness with a refreshing aftertaste that cools your tongue with every sip. When ordering this drink, you may be expecting a candy-cane, peppermint flavor. However, the mint used in this cold brew is giving very much toothpaste-mint in the best way possible. 

3. Hazelnut Truffle Mocha: 6/10 

The Hazelnut Truffle Mocha has slight traces of a nutty Nutella essence, but has a noticeable tree bark aftertaste that distracts from the overall flavor of the drink. The soft top adds a sweet but pleasant surprise, and the caramel drizzle enhances the hazelnut flavor.


Overall, both locations offer delectable holiday items. If you prefer your regular drink order with a special festive twist, Dutch Bros has some great options for you. However, if you are in the mood for a unique holiday drink or a treat to satisfy your sweet tooth, Starbucks may be the place for you.