Tag Archives: Starbucks

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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FREE COFFEE ALERT: Starbucks Via Taste Test Challenge starts today!

Just when you thought Starbucks had done it all, the mad scientists from Seattle have outdone themselves yet again. Starting today Starbucks will be selling their very own line of instant coffee — you know, the stuff your Grandparents drink — in the form of the beautifully-packaged Starbucks Via.

Available in two flavors, a mellow Colombian Roast and a more bold, dark roast Italian, the coffee comes in little packets that look to me like those fancy sugar containers at hotels and such. And though the mere mention of instant coffee brings me back to the bad old days of my Maxwell House-filled youth, I have to admit, I have been dying to try Via since I first heard about it. So, hooray!

Starbucks Via Instant Coffee #1

Starbucks Via Instant Coffee #2

Even more exciting than the launch of this new coffee product is the fact that Starbucks will be giving it away all weekend long as part of their Via Taste Test Challenge. All you have to do is show up at your local Starbucks, ask to take the taste test and you’ll be given a cup of Starbucks’ traditionally-brewed coffee and a cup of the new Via Instant Coffee. That’s right, two free cups of coffee all weekend long. Awesome, huh? I mean, hell, even if it sucks, it’s still free, right?

I might not be able to take the test myself till Saturday, but in the meantime, am dying to hear what the rest of you think of the latest and greatest from Starbucks. So, by all means, comment away…

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Free Pastry Day at Starbucks

If I haven’t found time to head over to McDonald’s to take advantage of their sweet-ass freebies this past couple of Mondays, then you know I ain’t gonna get up early to get me a free pastry at Starbucks either.

Free Pastry Day @ Starbucks!

But, just in case some of you early birds are up and about in time maƱana, you should know that the beleaguered brewers from Seattle are offering up a free pastry to anyone who orders a drink (including, I think, brewed coffee) between the time that they open in the morning and 10:30AM. Not bad, huh?

I mean, hey, if you’re going to Starbucks anyway, why not partake in a little recession-friendly freebie? So, though Greta and I will probably just be rolling outta bed (and crib/co-sleeper) when this deal expires, here’s hoping some of you get your free scone on big time!

Oh yeah, and I think you might need a coupon, so, make sure and download one here before you head out in the morning. Enjoy!

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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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A night for the record books…

Holy crap, what a freaking night! Not only did we elect our first African-American President ever, but we did it with record numbers! I mean, shit, last I heard, L.A. County had an 83% voter turnout this year. Amazing!

Barack Obama on election night #1

And even cooler than the turnout and the positively epic results was the totally electric vibe in the air last night. Seriously, everywhere Christine, Ryan, Laura and I went in our pursuit of election night freebies — and as you can see from the pics of Tiny O, we made the rounds! — the winds of change were in the air, baby.

People were excited, happy, smiling, it was like everyone in the country got out there and voted for change and then went out there and scored some free food to celebrate. And what a celebration it was!

We were actually mid-way through our happy hour priced meal at the Daily Grill in Burbank when the news came over the airwaves. Our man had won…and even the McCain-Palin-loving chatterboxes at the next table could not dampen the spirits in that joint.

I swear to God, tiny bar food hamburgers never tasted so sweet as they did at that moment…wow. And though we were stuffed to the gills by the time the bill came, we still had enough room to swing by Krispy Kreme on the way home — we hit Ben & Jerry’s before we ate — to score some free donuts.

Barack Obama on election night #2

Barack Obama on election night #3

Barack Obama on election night #4

And as we ate our piping-hot donuts and listened to Obama’s kick-ass speech on the radio on the drive home, we knew that no matter how bad our heartburn was in the morning, we were gonna wake up smiling…

Rock on, President-Elect Obama, rock on!

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Free food on election day!

I’m sure all of you are gonna be out there voting today, but just in case any of you need a little nudge towards the old ballot box…I have two words for you, and they aren’t “Hope” or “Change” or even “Sarah Palin”. The keywords for today are: free food! Or, as I like to call it…one vote, one donut.

I’m sure there are gonna be tons of local free food events on this historic election day, but the main one’s I’m concerned with are those being offered by Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and Ben & Jerry’s.

Krispy Kreme free election day donut promo!

Let’s start with Starbucks. They will offer a free tall coffee today to anyone who flashes their “I Voted” sticker. And, because this is apparently illegal in California — due to some archaic voting law — the coffee fiends from Seattle have opened up free coffee day to everyone. So, you actually don’t even have to vote to get free stuff…cool! But you should still totally vote!

And for those of you looking for something sweet to go with your free coffee, Krispy Kreme is offering the super cool donut pictured above and Ben & Jerry’s is offering a free scoop to anyone who votes. Not bad!

So, please, please vote today…I don’t even care if you vote for freaking Nader — well, actually, I kinda do — but this is a once in a lifetime election, amigos, do you really wanna be the one to tell your grandkids you skipped voting because you didn’t wanna wait in line? Hell to the no!

So, get out there and vote your asses off…and, as always…go, Obama! Oh yeah, and for the love of God, please, please remember to vote “No on 8”. Future generations will applaud you…seriously.

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