Jeff and Christa Duggan started Portola Coffee in a tiny alcove of Irvine's Layer Cake Bakery, roasting beans every Saturday morning, building up a loyal following and selling their coffee wherever they could. They didn't brew any of it themselves, though Layer Cake used their beans exclusively. This past spring, the Duggans opened a futuristic, lime-green-and-bamboo space at the OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa, from where they sell beans, paraphernalia and brewed coffee. The espresso is quite good, but the reason to go is to get coffee made in a Hario V60 pourover. The water is poured over the grounds, like an individual drip, and the process awakens fruity flavors most people had no idea existed in coffee. The coffee comes free of as much karmic debt as the Duggans can manage: organic beans only, fair-trade when possible, and they have a deep knowledge of the characteristics of the beans they buy. Happily, the coffee comes completely devoid of the pretense that plagues some third-wave coffee shops. You can even adulterate the coffee with sugar and dairy products if you like, though it's worth trying a couple of sips first. You'll find it hard to go back to Starbucks. $

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Location Details

3313 Hyland Ave.
Costa Mesa CA 92626
949-284-0596

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