Spending much of our time in Orange County, our team is always looking for the best places to grab a cup of coffee. So we decided to find out where to get the best coffee and share it with you. Our somewhat unscientific methodology included researching with local publications, aggregating all the findings, and using them to create our own ranking system.
We hope you are in a picture-taking mood, because these places serve up some seriously Instagram-worthy coffee and treats. Here you will find the Top 5 Coffee Shops in Orange County.
Starting from the top:
1. PORTOLA COFFEE LAB
Locations: Costa Mesa, Tustin, Santa Ana, Old Towne Orange, Huntington Beach, and Mission Viejo.
Named 2015 Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine, Portola is a favorite among locals and coffee enthusiasts. To many, the name exudes quality... and delicious coffee. Not your average coffee shop, Portola treats coffee making as both a science and an art. They source their beans from all around the world, and their team visits each bean farm at least once a year to make sure that their high standards are being met. They take pride in ensuring every step of the process is meticulously cared for and done right. What does this mean for coffee drinkers? Delicious coffee, every time.
2. KEAN COFFEE
Locations: Newport Beach and Tustin
Kean coffee comes with several accolades including: "Best Coffeehouse" by OC Parenting Magazine 2010-2016, "Best of OC" by OC Weekly 2007-2016, "Best Coffeehouse" by OC Register 2009-2016, Voted Reader's Choice by LA Times 2011, 2012, and 2015. Specializing in "fine organic and fair trade specialty coffees from around the globe roasted fresh daily."
Kean Coffee was founded by coffee veterans Martin and Karen Diedrich, and was named for their only son, Kean. Martin is a world-renowned coffee expert and master roaster. As a family-owned and operated coffee shop, who sources and roasts their own beans, Kean has a unique feel to it, and really brings Martin's vision of the community coffeehouse to the next level.
3. HIDDEN HOUSE COFFEE ROASTERS
Locations: San Juan Capistrano, Lake Forest, and Costa Mesa
Roasting their own beans in house, as most top-tier coffee shops, Hidden House strives every day to meeting their simple vision: "hospitality and an ongoing pursuit of quality." In any of their 3 locations, on a daily basis, you can find the Hidden House family pulling espresso shots or roasting beans in small batches, making sure to pay the attention required to bring you the perfect cup of coffee and bring quality taste to the masses.
Hidden House says, "It's an appreciation and a respect for the bean that makes your next cup of coffee at Hidden House the best you have ever tasted."
4. ALTA COFFEE
Locations: Newport Beach
Alta Coffee has an interesting story that has brought it to becoming a favorite of Cannery Village locals. As the story goes, in 1985 an old bookstore shut down and was converted to a wholesale coffee warehouse. People in the area caught wind of something new that was "brewing." Shortly after, fresh hot coffee was available for locals and served out the side door. Not long thereafter, people who gathered to get their fresh hot coffee from this new place in town got hungry. Alta soon became known as a great local spot for "great freshly brewed coffee, good eats, and good times."
Alta's organic certified coffee beans are small-batch roasted every morning. Their coffee is smooth, flavorful, and full-bodied. They are also big supporters of sustainable land-use and buy organic coffees on the fair trade market as much as possible.
5. MILK AND HONEY
Locations: Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach
This small, nature-inspired coffee shop, located in The Camp in Costa Mesa serves up delicious coffee and small, fresh dishes with central themes of fruit and yogurt. They recently expanded by opening a Huntington Beach location where they share their passion for coffee and freshness with even more people.
As you can see, there is no shortage of great coffee in Orange County, and it's usually organic and fair trade. From the way all of these coffee shops talk about coffee--as a fine art--you are sure to be served up a delicious cup every time. So next time you're in the mood for some coffee, venture out from your usual go-to spot and try one of these amazing local places that are widely considered the top 5 coffee shops in Orange County.
OC Weekly, Locale, CBS Local, OC Register, Quora, Haute Living, Orange Coast Magazine, and The Cultureur.