Dutch vs. Black Rock


Sam Mircetic

A rivalry you probably never knew existed. Only a short distance apart, the two trending coffee bars draw separate crowds. Both Dutch Bros Coffee and Black Rock Coffee Bar are located just minutes from Mountain Vista, with remarkably similar menus and a majority of their customers caffeine hungry teens on their too-short lunch breaks. An inside look from an Black Rock ex employee gives insight into each coffee bar to help you decide what to opt for next time you crave a coffee or energy drink. 

“I really loved the Mai Tai fuel,” Kalyn Klee, 11, said. “It was passion fruit, lime and strawberry with a splash of orange juice and Organic Fuel.”

Black Rock’s signature energy drink, Fuel, attracts crowds of teenagers from nearby schools.

“We would have a lot of regulars, especially from the school,” Klee said. “A lot of people started noticing the place, so people started to come in a lot, especially throughout the summer.”

Similarly, Dutch Bros offers a Rebel energy drink, along with a multitude of coffee and tea options. With similar menu items, a big difference between the two places is the atmosphere.

“[Black Rock] is an inside coffee shop, like you can sit down so it has that kind of atmosphere,” Klee said. “Dutch Bros is just a drive through, so those are two huge [differences].”

Both hot spots in the summer, Black Rock and Dutch Bros are also popular places of work among teenagers.

“They’re always hiring teens more towards the busy summers,” Klee said. “This job really made me realize the importance of how to stay on top of things and how to talk to different people.”

So whether it be for work or for refreshments or both, Dutch Bros and Black Rock take Highlands Ranch by storm. They have different atmospheric conditions and only slightly different drinks, with a large fraction of their customers caffeine hungry teens.

“There’s a lot of people, it’s a pretty popular place,” Klee said. “Making just like a bunch of drinks actually did become really fun. It was fun making all of the summer drinks and building those relationships.”