If you are unfamiliar with Dutch Brothers, it has quickly become a coffee icon across the West Coast. With its unique drinks like the Birthday Cake Latte and the Ba-nay-nay Latte, it was an overnight sensation and has become a household name, typically referred to as "Dutch Bros." But, if you've been to any coffee place, you know that ordering something as simple as a vanilla latte can set you back at least 200 calories. According to the Dutch Bros Coffee Menu, a 12 oz french vanilla bean latte contains 240 calories, 7 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs, 30 grams of sugar and 9 grams of protein. So, you're looking at a 200+ calorie addition to your breakfast. And that's assuming you order a small drink.  In the 20 oz drink, there are over 300 calories, none of which are actually nutritious. And if you're anything like me, there is no way you'd pick a coffee sugar-bomb over a slice of cake. I got some juicy details from Dion Deguzman, who's not only a dutch bros employee but, also a health nut, on his tips to make your favorite drink waist-line friendly. 

Consider your Milk Options

Dutch Bros has a variety of milks available. To make your drink healthier, try out one of the non-dairy ones. The Dutch Bros Coffee Menu has options like coconut, soy and almond milk along with dairy ones as well. My personal favorite is the almond milk, I think the nutty taste is a nice addition to the coffee and is an excellent alternative to dairy milk. If you are looking at sugars in specific, "the half and half has less sugar than our almond milk, coconut milk, and soy milk. Which is surprising because literally, everyone orders the milk alternatives thinking it will have less sugar." Dion continues, "the half and half has about .5 grams of sugar per half an ounce, while the other milks [dairy-free milk alternatives] have around .7 grams of sugar per half an ounce." He added that if he were just looking at lowering the drink calories, he would choose a milk substitute but, if he was looking at sugar consumption, he would pick the half and half. 

The Flavoring in your drink has more calories than you think.

Dutch Bros boasts about every flavor you can think of. From Banana to Pomegranate to Almond, the possibilities are endless. The Dutch Bros Coffee Menu on their official site has hundreds of unique coffee creations utilizing all of their syrups. But, just because its banana flavored, doesn't make it healthy like the real thing. In a 12 oz vanilla latte at dutch bros, "there is one scoop of vanilla syrup (10 grams) in a regular vanilla latte. The vanilla syrup also has double the sugar per serving, so instead of a typical 10 grams of sugar in the flavoring, there is 20 grams," Dion confides. "If you're looking at ordering your drink with sugar-free syrups, yes the sugar count is zero but, the calorie count stays the same. Also, in the sugar-free drinks we use double the flavoring, so you're ultimately getting double the calories." Depending on what spectrum of health you're on, you have some options to consider here. Is low calorie what you're searching for or low sugar? Dairy Free maybe? Your go-to order depends on your needs.

What About the Rebels, Teas or Smoothies?

What makes Dutch Bros unique from other coffee shops is their drink, The Rebel. In case you're unfamiliar with a Rebel, a Rebel is a red bull mixed with a flavor. When ordering a Rebel, really all you can do is cut the sugar. Dion's rebel order is a sugar-free rebel straight out of the can, and he chooses to omit syrup flavors entirely. Even a sugar-free rebel alone still isn't great for you, so be cautious and wary of that when you're drinking it. 

Dutch Bros not only has their infamous Rebels and quirky coffee creations but, also tea and smoothies. According to Dion, "the tea at Dutch Bros is straight up iced tea sweetened with honey." Making tea a healthy alternative if you aren't in the mood for coffee. The smoothies are a different story though. Every state except Arizona blends vanilla ice cream into their smoothies. Dion admits that "Dutch Bros is aware that some people struggle with lactose and wanted to try something new, that those people could also enjoy. They chose Arizona as the testing state and so far the response has been insanely well received. Also, not only is it dairy-free but, the smoothie mix itself is super natural." If you live in Arizona and are craving a natural smoothie, check out Dutch Bros Green Apple smoothie or even the Wildberry one. 

What the heck should I order then?

I know, I know, this is ALOT of information to take in. While, it is totally okay to enjoy the occasional regular mocha or latte, if you are being cautious, consider switching up your order. It really depends on your angle of healthy, if you want low calorie and healthy in regards to nutrients, opt for a milk alternative and regular syrups because although the sugars in the syrups aren't necessarily healthy, the sugar frees are worse. This is because too much artificial sugar and sugar alcohols aren't good for you. You could also omit flavoring entirely and chose raw cane sugar. But, if you are watching sugar and mainly concerned for sugar and calories, pick the half and half and go for the sugar-free syrups. Dion's personal favorite is, "if I want something healthy and low calories and I need caffeine like ASAP, I would go for an iced americano, half and half, and raw sugar. Or an Almond Milk latte, which has little to no sugar." The Dutch Bros Coffee Menu does an excellent job of providing a variety of different drinks and catering to every dietary need. Explore your options!

The Verdict

Don't be deterred away from Dutch Bros or any coffee establishments for that matter, in fear you'll ruin your diet. Simply, pick your milk and flavoring carefully depending on what your dietary concern is and sip away. Looking at the Dutch Bros Coffee Menu on their official site, they list the calories in each drink (with regular syrups and dairy milk) so that you can get an idea of what you're drinking. Personally, I'd just swap my milk for almond milk and pick sugar-free syrups instead of the regular available, but it's ultimately up to you. 

Or if you're really feeling yourself, go all out and order a Large Carmelizer Freeze. 

Oh and take your fur-baby with you next time you go because even they can get their dutch fix.