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Forget Starbucks — many Mormons are treating themselves with 'dirty sodas'

Residents of Utah are familiar with a very unique drive-thru option when it comes to feeding the caffeine fix that so many Americans require to navigate their busy days.

Instead of getting a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks or a golden eagle breve at Dutch Bros., observant members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints line up for what they call “dirty sodas” at places like Swig or Sodalicious, where you can order a "Dirty Dr. Pepper" or a “Big Al” — Diet Coke, coconut and fresh lime.

It’s a trend that has grown throughout the West, as a recent New York Times feature highlights, due to the strict Mormon edicts forbidding the consumption of hot, caffeinated beverages — i.e. coffee and tea.

Now, you can find these in the Valley as well, especially in heavily LDS parts of town like Mesa and Gilbert.

Christy Spackman is an assistant professor in ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society, and she holds a doctorate in food studies from New York University. She also grew up in an LDS community in Logan, Utah, and frequently writes about Mormon cuisine. 

The Show got a hold of her recently to talk about this trend — and exactly where the ban on coffee and tea comes from to begin with.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.