Tag Archives: road trip coffee

Dutch Bros. Coffee, Grants Pass

Ever since we first started dating, way back in the 20th century, August has always been all about the big road trip to Christine’s hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon. And, just like in my hometown, we have a little checklist of places we make sure to eat and drink at the minute we hit town.

Abby’s Legendary Pizza and Millie’s Sandwich Shop are always on that list, but Dutch Bros. Coffee is the place I visit almost every day (sometimes twice a day!) when we’re in town. I know I’ve written a lot about bad coffee these days, but let me tell ya, amigos, there is nothing remotely bad about Dutch Bros. Coffee.

In fact, I would even go so far as to say that Dutch Bros. is probably my favorite coffee joint anywhere, and, considering the fact that they are mostly tiny drive-thru locations — except for the badass mothership cafe downtown — that is really saying something!

Dutch Bros. doesn’t just have crazy-friendly baristas and great, fresh-roasted beans, but they also have some of the best coffee drinks this side of Seattle. Seriously, once you’ve had a Dutch Bros. Kahlua Kicker on a hot summer day, you’ll never look at a plain-old Iced Mocha the same way again.

Founded in March of 1992 by brothers and former dairy farmers, Travis and Dane Boersma, Dutch Bros. began life as a modest coffee shack in downtown GP and today has 154 locally-owned and operated locations in seven states, including a few newer outlets in Northern and Central California.

I’ve been watching their website to see where the Bros. are migrating next, and, so far, they haven’t ventured south of Fresno, so, until the do, here’s to another coffee-tastic Southern Oregon summer!

Oh yeah, I should also mention that there is a very cool Dutch Wear boutique connected to the mothership downtown. Christine and I already have a closet full of Dutch Bros. merchandise, but something tells me we might be coming home with something a little smaller this year. Hmmm…a cute little Dutch Bros. onesie in a size 18-24 months, perhaps?

Hot and cold perfection in a cup…long live Dutch Bros. Coffee!

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The results are in…Via rocks!

Contrary to popular belief it did not take me twenty days to decide what I thought of Starbucks new Via Instant Coffee — I knew what I thought the second I tasted it! — but it did take me that long to find time to blog again with the wee one taking up almost all of my waking hours, so, many apologies. The truth is, I’ve missed you guys, probably a whole lot more than you missed me (ha!) but, in any case, it’s very good to be back.

And now, at long last I can tell you that the new Via Ready Brew is absolutely fantastic. I was so shocked at how good it was that I literally failed my taste test.

Starbucks Via Taste Test Challenge #1

Starbucks Via Taste Test Challenge #2

Starbucks Via Taste Test Challenge #3

Seriously. I made such a face when I found out I’d guessed wrong that the barista actually laughed out loud. It was hilarious and I must say, completely surprising. Who would think instant coffee could taste exactly like brewed? Amazing.

I can’t vouch for the Colombian, but the Italian I had was so good that I actually bought a three pack to take home. And next time we go anywhere, you can bet your ass that a couple dozen of those cute little packages will be stashed somewhere in our Vue! Add some hot water at a gas station, stir, and I can drive all night, baby! Que viva la Via!

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Starbucks Doubleshot Coffee + Energy

OK, I have had some seriously bad coffee on road trips over the years, but never in my life as a coffee drinker have I had anything as strangely disgusting as the latest Starbucks canned coffee beverage…the Doubleshot Energy + Coffee. Yikes!

It was late Wednesday night, the day before Thanksgiving and after crawling up Highway 5 from Los Angeles, we stopped for gas as we always do at our favorite truck stop/gas station in Gustine. Knowing that we might hit more horrendous traffic over Hecker Pass and beyond on our last leg to Santa Cruz, I decided I’d better caffeine it up a bit.

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy + Coffee #1

So, rather than get some of the truck stop’s notoriously awful hot coffee, I opted for a Starbucks canned coffee instead. Normally I would get the Starbucks Doubleshot, which is very small and very expensive — I’ve seen it for as much as $3.99 in some places! — but totally worth the price, because aside from giving you just the right jolt, that shit is pretty tasty.

However, this time I saw something new in that refrigerated section…shiny, gigantic cans of something called Starbucks Doubleshot Energy + Coffee. It even came in three flavors: Mocha, Coffee, and Vanilla. Cool! Twice the size of the traditional Doubleshot and fifty cents cheaper with Guarana, Ginseng and B Vitamins to boot, how could I not try this thing? So, I grabbed myself a Coffee flavored can of Energy + Coffee goodness and headed to the register. And that, amigos, was my first deadly mistake…

This drink was bad. Really, really bad. I’m not a fan of energy drinks in general and this crap tasted like the worst energy drink you ever had combined with the worst day-old coffee you ever had and a buttload of sugar. Seriously, I gagged on my first sip…it was hideous.

Of course, having already slapped down my cold hard cash, I drank the whole thing. Yes, I am that cheap, and after almost eight hours on the road, I needed a pick-me up regardless of the taste. So, what are you gonna do?

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy + Coffee #2

In hindsight, what I should have done was stopped drinking immediately. By my third sip I had the rumblings of some serious coffee stomach, and by the time we reached Gilroy a half hour or so later, I felt like my heart was gonna explode. It didn’t help that Christine kept laughing at me for cheaping out and going large instead of sticking to a drink I knew and trusted. Urgh…what a disaster.

So, I guess the moral of the story is to stick with what you know on road trips, and for the love of God, stear clear of this toxic Starbucks concoction! Yuck…

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