If you informally poll your friends, you’d probably have a harder time finding one that doesn’t drink coffee than one that does. Still, a lot of coffee fans probably don’t know just how short the shelf life of coffee is once it’s been roasted. That’s why local roasting is important: to assure that you’re getting the freshest coffee available. Here is a list of five places in our fair county that know the importance of local roasting.
13681 Newport Ave. #14
Tustin, CA 92780
When you ask people about a place to enjoy a cup of really good coffee, Kean is a name that comes up frequently. Kean certainly expends a lot of effort to make its coffee as fresh as possible by roasting only when necessary right in the store. And you’ll notice that freshness when you sip your coffee. Another thing you’ll notice is that not everyone there is hunched over a laptop, but rather is engaged in conversation due to the lack of wi-fi in the shop.
Related: Best Craft Beers In OC
Laguna Coffee Company
1050 S. Pacific Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA
With all the giant chain coffee stores across the country, it’s easy to forget about that neighborhood coffee shop vibe. This is the very definition of an intimate coffee shop. This place gets busy and stays busy, so seating is at a premium. However, the charm is irresistible. In addition to roasting the beans in the store, Laguna also has live jazz on Saturday mornings to make an already charming place even more so.
3313 Hyland Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
At Portola Coffee Lab, the beans are roasted in the store, but the staff here does so much more to make sure you get the freshest and best cup of coffee possible. Your first visit to the store might be a little intimidating because when you look at the menu boards, you see not only varieties of coffee, but methods of brewing. Don’t worry. The baristas know that this is not something you have to consider at every coffee shop and will work with you to see what you normally want from your cup of coffee. If you want a coffee experience unlike any you’ve had before, visit the Portola Coffee Lab.
22972 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Javatinis specializes in roasting small batches of coffee when necessary in its two-pound roasters. This place pays close attention to the roast of the coffee, tailoring your favorite roast to your favorite beans. You can order pounds of coffee roasted just the way you like, and your beans will be roasted within 24 hours of your order. While you’re there, try the house specialty: a double-shot of espresso with half and half and vanilla syrup served chilled in a martini glass.
506 31st St.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
The coffee at Alta isn’t roasted in the store, although it certainly doesn’t have far to travel from Costa Mesa to Newport Beach. And you’ll taste the freshness whether you’re getting a regular coffee or something sweet and creamy like a Highland Cream. No matter what you drink, nothing goes better with good coffee than good food in a good setting. It’s hard to find a better setting than this cozy coffee shop so close to the ocean.
Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.