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Don’t spend $500 at Dutch Bros. this semester

Addiction to caffeine, mesmerizing charm creates perfect storm

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Don’t spend $500 at Dutch Bros. this semester

Broista Kassi Hoots serves a drink to a customer Tuesday night at Dutch Bros.

Broista Kassi Hoots serves a drink to a customer Tuesday night at Dutch Bros.

JENIN REYES | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Broista Kassi Hoots serves a drink to a customer Tuesday night at Dutch Bros.

JENIN REYES | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

JENIN REYES | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Broista Kassi Hoots serves a drink to a customer Tuesday night at Dutch Bros.

MILA WIDMAYER, Evergreen columnist

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Two weeks ago, I awoke to the sound of my phone buzzing like a swarm of angry wasps — my mother.

I looked through all the notifications, and, to my dismay, I’d received a text that read, “Do u know that you have spent in the past 6 months in Dutch brothers $350 and Starbucks $140. That would be enough to buy a laptop, to feed a family of 3 in Pullman for a month or to go to Hawaii…”

With a sigh, I trudged to the refrigerator to get my leftover large iced white chocolate mocha — with blackberry — from the side door. “Mothers,” I muttered to myself as my roommate walked by.

“We honestly hear very often that people come to see us, not only for the coffee, but to specifically come see us as baristas because they love talking to us” said Jennielyn Bermudez, a Dutch Bros employee and third-year psychology major at WSU.

The caffeine and cheery smiles really got me. When the text from my mom hit me, it felt like a tsunami of freshly-brewed dark roast slapped me in the face. While I still give my mother access to my banking information for those last minute, “Can you transfer me money for food?” texts, I don’t enjoy bi-yearly chastising sessions.

But this time, I felt irresponsible, to say the least. I knew I went to Dutch Bros for that weekly pick-me-up, but it never clicked that I may have been spending a bit more than I originally thought. At least I’m not the only one.

Having worked there for the past year, it’s no surprise Bermudez enjoys her place of employment.

“I went twice a day from freshman year to halfway through sophomore year before I got hired,” Bermudez said. “I still go almost every day because I love seeing my coworkers just as much as I loved seeing them as my baristas.”

I don’t know if it’s the comfort and familiarity, the ease of access or the sheer dopamine rush one gets from ordering caffeine at frequent intervals, but Dutch broistas know what they’re doing. They sure know how to make that sweet, sweet bean juice.

“The company wants consistency, so every barista has to pass a 100 question test,” Bermudez said. “We also have to take a menu quiz to ensure we know the prices to all our drinks by heart, not just the coffee recipes.”

After rereading the heartwarming texts from my accountant — excuse me, mother — I wanted to be sure she wasn’t just exaggerating for dramatic effect.

I downloaded my debit card history, did the math and found every line with POS Withdrawal Dutch Bros. branded into the spreadsheet like cows before slaughter.

Calculator in hand, I added up my misgivings and reached a grand total of $339.80. I can’t say for sure, but I thought I heard the faintest “idiot” blowing in the wind.

“If I had to estimate how much I spent on Dutch over the span of freshman year, it’d probably be over two grand,” Bermudez said. “Thankfully, my parents don’t check my bank account.”

Moral of the story: buy a coffee maker.

About the Writer
MILA WIDMAYER, Evergreen columnist

Mila Widmayer is a junior digital technology and culture major from Seattle, WA.

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