Mythbusting the Dutch Bros. Coffee Conspiracy


The straw system is simple. Pink represents pretty, green means you’re unsightly, orange signifies you’re strange, yellow symbolizes average and blue indicates rudeness according to the “The Veronica James Show” and many lovers of the popular coffee stand, Dutch Brothers.

This “straw code” was mysteriously developed with a floating controversy among customers on whether it exists or not. According to various websites, one being “The Veronica Show,” customers say that they have witnessed the “straw code” in action on some of their visits, while it wasn’t apparent on others.

Catherine Rubino, a junior at Granite Bay High School who frequents Dutch Brothers on a nearly daily basis, doesn’t believe in the “straw code”.

“I don’t think (it exists) because I go all the time and they normally give me the same color every time,” Rubino said.

With the constant hustle and bustle that the Dutch Brothers employees have to keep up with, it seems irrational that they would spare seconds on something like picking a certain colored straw.

MORE: See Dutch Bros. Coffee official site

“I think it’s a myth because I don’t see why the workers would truly care about the straw color (that they give),” Rubino said.

Like Rubino, GBHS sophomore Sammy Giblin goes to Dutch Bros often and has also heard about the supposed “straw codes.”

In contrast to Rubino’s beliefs, Giblin thinks that the “straw code” does exist.

Although she knows that the straws represent different characteristics, hers were different than the ones posted on “The Veronica Show.” Allegedly, both blue and orange happen to represent mysterious.

“I believe the straw code exists,” Gimblin said. “But (I think) it depends on the workers and the location.” Gimblin has talked to workers who say that they only assign the colored straws via the “straw system” occasionally.

“They said they don’t partake in it when it’s packed but if there’s only a few cars they will,” Gimblin said. According to Gimblin, some locations do it more frequently than others.

“The Citrus Heights location has said they do it regularly, but I haven’t seen it at the Granite Bay location,” Gimblin said.

Although she can’t be positively sure whether the straw code truly exists, she is all for the idea of it.

“I love it. It’s my absolute favorite,” Gimblin said. Trinity Burley, a GBHS junior and frequent Dutch Brothers customer, doesn’t think the secret straw system is real.

“I do not believe in it. It exists because girls want to think people give them pink straws because they think that they are cute,” Burley said.

To Burley, the system appears unrealistic and it stems from a sense of narcissism that customers want to appear a certain way based on the color straw that they receive.

“I think it’s dumb,” Burley said. “I just want coral straws because they’re my favorite color and I don’t care what that means.”

Former GBHS student Rian Lombardo, like Gimblin, believes in Dutch Brothers’ straw color system.

“I actually didn’t know about it until like a month or two ago,” Lombardo said when asked if she was aware of the secret code.

Now that she is aware of it, she believes it exists in certain situations.

“I think it really depends,” Lombardo said. “Sometimes I think they’re just in a hurry and trying to get you in and out of line, but sometimes yes (workers use the straw system).”

The reason that Lombardo believes in the “straw code” is that she has claimed to experience it firsthand.

“Once a guy was flirting with me and he gave me a pink straw and winked at me and said, ‘Wow you look amazing,’” Lombardo said.

MORE: Comedic take on straw selection

GBHS senior and Dutch Brothers employee Taylor Annis confirmed that it is true: straws are assigned to customers by the straw system.

But, there’s a catch.

“We don’t ever really use it.” Annis said. “The only time we really use it is if we get the customer at a time where we can engage with them and talk, not when we’re in a rush with a large line.”
Now that the straw code has been exposed as real, the next time you go to Dutch Brothers for a drink, hope for a pink straw.