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“Shakespearian coffee, perhaps?” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Portola Coffee Lab

Portola Coffee Lab
3313 Hyland Avenue Suite B2, Costa Mesa, CA
+1 949-284-0596
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Ranked #45 of 417 restaurants in Costa Mesa
Price range: $5 - $15
Cuisines: Coffee Shop
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Restaurant details
Good for: Outdoor seating
Description: The Portola Coffee Lab is a coffee experience unlike anything else in Southern California. Our goal is to roast and prepare coffee in a way that lets the coffee speak for itself. So that you can taste all of the nuances that our carefully sourced coffee beans have to offer. We never dark roast anything, but rather roast coffee to (in our opinions) its best flavor potential. And we give you a chance to experience these flavors in ways that cannot be found anywhere else.
Vail, Arizona
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
77 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
158 helpful votes 158 helpful votes
“Shakespearian coffee, perhaps?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Can't decide if this place is "Much Ado About Nothing". Well, it was better than that.

Maybe it is more "As You Like It." It was an adequate cup of coffee. The baristas spend a lot of time and drama on the production and the results don't measure up to that investment of time and effort.

However, it was not such an exceptional cup of coffee that it would qualify to be "A Midsummer Night's Dream".

Too much show and drama .. just give me a lethal cup of coffee and I'll be happy!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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21 reviews from our community

71% Recommend
    14
    1
    4
    2
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Orange, California
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Defining coffee culture in Orange County”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Portola Coffee Lab is a must see for fans of coffee (and their sister tea bar Seventh for tea lovers). Jeff and Christa Duggan, and their fabulous team, create a unique and interesting experience. I've been buying roasted beans from Jeff since he was roasting them in Irvine, and he has carried over his passion into this great experience.

You can experience a rotating selection of hand-selected beans from around the world, several different types of brewed coffee, interesting and different methods for hot or iced coffees (try the Kyoto iced coffee - an amazing find). Stop by to admire their gorgeous Slayer espresso machine. If you are really, really into the coffee culture, make a reservation at Theorem. Truman will make sure you have a fantastic experience and learn something at the same time.

Jeff also roasts their coffee at the "open air" roaster with a seating bar around it - a nice touch to feel connected to the coffee you experience at the bar.

Word just came this week that Portola is going to open their second location in Old Towne Orange, at the Provisions (along with a shop by the folks from Haven Gastropub). Really excited to see how they move forward and invent the next wave of coffee and tea culture!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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3088bbb
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Excursion for travelers if you enjoy coffee!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

Portola Coffee Lab is a must see for travelers, locals and coffee lovers!
Be sure to take the time to sit and enjoy your Craft Coffee experience.
Between viewing a huge roaster and tasting a true quality coffee Portola Coffee Lab will create a memorable experience.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Irvine, California
1 review
“World Class”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

I generally prefer my coffee stronger than most places brew it. But I'm not a fan of Starbucks over-roasted coffees. I crave complexity, fruitiness, chocolateyness [sp?], and some nuttiness/roasty flavors. So my ideal cup would have the full spectrum of flavors and exhibit good acidity while still pleasing my roasty flavor cravings. It's a tough act to pull off. After sampling many roasters' coffees (but principally Verve, Deep Cello, Velton's, and of course, Portola's), I have to say Portola Coffee Lab has produced the ones that I crave the most. Their Brazil microlot was the best coffee I tried all last year. Just today I sampled their Amundsen blend and it is in the same league. Jeff Dugan knows how to roast coffee, and his results are world class.

Now, because I'm so particular about how I want my coffee brewed, I almost never order coffee out, prefering to take the whole beans home and brew it myself. But I have had their espresso and mochas and thought the results were delightfully complex and full-bodied. Never had any complaints about the service and the atmosphere is perfect for hanging out and enjoying the ambience!

  • Visited January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Huntington Beach, California
Top Contributor
157 reviews 157 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Strong, not for the weak or non-committed java lovers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Thanks to my Yelp friends, for loving this place so much I bookmarked it and went to check it out for myself one weekend last Summer.

I love LOVE this coffee venue. Fresh and unique in decor, I love the openness and high ceilings. The whole "laboratory" idea is a win with me. I couldn't decide between the espresso and Kyoto iced coffee, so I had one of each on my first visit. Also had a Gruyère and thyme croissant, which was the best croissant experience of my life. I can't wait to come back for lunch. So many hipsters here, I did think I was in LA for a minute.

Nice location, I enjoyed browsing the stores and adjacent outdoor area at OC Mix Mart. I quickly became a regular.

Fantastic Find! I keep coming back to try new things. Went yesterday and had a lovely Ethiopian blend done with the V-60 pour over brew style. Black, and wonderful.

Visited June 2012
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