Portola Coffee Lab

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2014

    The 5 Best Breakfast Beers in Orange County

    Apparently, September is National Breakfast Month, so happy National Breakfast Month, everybody! But instead of writing another list of breakfast restaurants (which you can read here), here's a list of all the best Orange County beers that would be pretty great for breakfast. Note: I'm not telling y ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2014

    Talking With OC's Woman Brewers: The Grit and the Glamour

    A one-ton pallet of grain arrives outside the Tustin Brewing Company. All 40 sacks must be carried one at a time up the long flight of stairs for storage. Any glamour associated with beer brewing quickly drowns in the sweat of the brewer's brow. The work is so grueling and so time consuming that the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 24, 2014

    Jeff Clinard, Former Portola Coffee Lab Wonk, Opens Bear Coast Coffee In San Clemente

    Anyone who went to Portola Coffee Lab after they opened their cafe in the OC Mix in Costa Mesa knows Jeff Clinard. He was as much a fixture there as Jeff and Christa Duggan, the owners; he presided over the place much of the time, and was one of the friendly, approachable faces to what was an overwh ... More >>

  • Calendar

    April 3, 2014
  • Blogs

    October 14, 2013

    The Best Drinks in Orange County

    The humble "drink" doesn't get the respect it should. Centuries ago, tea and coffee houses were the centers of philosophical and political discussion. The Age of Enlightenment conveniently corresponded to the rise coffee shops in Europe, and revolutions were planned around steaming glasses and kettl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 18, 2013

    Save The Date: Patchwork Show Edible Edition Is Coming to SOCO Collection Oct. 5-6!

    When we think Patchwork, we think arts and crafts. Lots of jewelry. Maybe a few luxe loncheras for good measure. So when they announced an edible edition, we wondered what exactly that meant. Having an editor who writes about hole-in-the-walls and supports the local food scene (ok, and his chica is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 28, 2013

    Portola Coffee Lab Announces New Bottled Iced Coffee

    Legions of Portola Coffee Lab fans will no longer need to wait in line each morning for a cold brew. They can simply open their refrigerators. OC's temple of caffeine has announced it will offer bottled iced coffee, a move that will expand the Portola empire. Co-founder/owner Jeff Duggan talks to ... More >>

  • Food

    June 27, 2013

    Portola Coffee Lab's Jeff and Christa Duggan Are the Deans of Caffeine

    With their Costa Mesa coffeeshop, plus a second location opening in Old Towne Orange, the Tustin couple are re-defining OC's coffee culture, one cup at a time

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2013

    Provisions Market Opens This Wednesday With Free Portola Coffee and Sidecar Doughnuts for Early Birds

    Old Towne Orange, the day is near! Provisions Market, a new bottle shop, tasting room and specialty-foods market from the folks behind Haven Gastropub, is set to open at 10 a.m. this Wednesday, June 5 with some awesome freebies for those who come early. Sidecar Doughnuts will be selling its handcr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2013

    First Look: Provisions Market In Old Towne Orange

    With 30 beers on tap and another 300 by the bottle, Wil Dee has his work cut out for him. Haven Gastropub's beverage director dropped in as Greg Daniels conducted our tour of the soon-to-be open Provisions Market (formerly The Bruery Provisions). We discussed their menu, changes to the space and the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 1, 2013

    Portola Coffee Lab To Open Second Location Inside Haven Gastropub's New Provisions Market

    When the news broke that the Haven Gastropub team would be reviving Bruery Provisions, Old Towne Orange's beloved bottle shop, local craft beer fans cheered. But they also wondered what would be in store. Now we know one thing: coffee. Insanely good coffee.

  • Blogs

    March 13, 2013

    Checking In To Tea Service At Seventh Tea Bar at the OC Mix

    More often than not, when we think holidays, we think FEAST. Overindulging, eyes bigger than your stomach, "Where's the Aperol?" feasting. But what if your family is a single parent (or comparable mini-family) who wants peace and quality over quantity? Our holiday alternative to the big brunch resid ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2012

    Seventh Tea Bar to Open at the OC Mart Mix Jan. 2

    Six weeks ago, we told you that the coffee nerds at Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa's OC Mart Mix were going to open a tea bar called Seventh Tea Bar. They were hoping to open this year, but it looks like the holidays are going to intervene; instead, the tea bar, adjacent to the coffee lab, will op ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2012

    Birdie Bowl & Juicery Coming to OC Mart Mix

    We cover so much action at OC Mart Mix/SoCo Collection, it should have its own category. Surfas, luxe lonchera competitions, and the upcoming Arc are just some of what we've covered-- and that's just in the last month!So imagine our (feigned) surprise when we learned about more rumblings off Hyland ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2012

    On The Line: Alfred Prasad of Tamarind of London, Part One

    Learning about a subject's interests outside of the kitchen always interests us. When Alfred Prasad isn't traversing between his Michelin-starred London flagship and his outpost in Newport, Alfred keeps active with tennis, sketching and exploring local neighborhoods with his wife. When we bring the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2012

    Portola Coffee Lab to Begin Geeking Out Over Tea

    The mad scientists--and we are required to call them mad scientists on first reference, check the AP Stylebook if you don't believe me--at Portola Coffee Lab have always had a few tins of tea sitting at the far end of the bar, near the espresso machine and on the other side of the glass from their l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2012

    Dave Reviews OC Yelp Reviews, Part 2

    Ever wonder what it's like to work in food service, retail stores, or really any customer-facing job? Just read the reviews of pretty much any business on Yelp and you'll see the heaping helping of entitled behavior you'll be subjected to on a daily basis. Of course, everyone wants perfection, but e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2012

    5 Ways To Caffeinate For Free (Or Cheap) On National Coffee Day This Saturday

    As if we needed another reason to load up on caffeine, it's National Coffee Day this Saturday. (It just happens to come the day after National Drink Beer Day--thank you, calendar gods!) A handful of chains are offering coffee freebies (and cheepies). Here's where to go to score a cup of joe.   ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2012

    Cafecito Organico Opens Tomorrow In Costa Mesa

    As reported back in May, someone wants to give Portola Coffee Lab a run for their V60 money. Saturday will find Cafecito Organico brewing within The LAB off Bristol. The caffeinated brand's Hecho a Mano (handcrafted) theme, affordability and roast profiling aim to attract coffee aficionados in the S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2012

    Theorem: Portola's Specialty Concept Bar For The Ultimate Coffee Nerd

    For a little over a year, Portola Coffee Lab has been educating, surprising and inspiring the caffeine-deficient in OC and beyond, prompting java lovers to hang up their Starbucks mugs for good. The Costa Mesa shop has surely won us over with its specialty beans and unique brewing processes--check o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2012

    Some Pig: Images From Pig Out 1.0

    Cocktails, glorious cheese, fresh coconut water and swine served 15 different ways. Or as some of us called it, Sunday at Newport Dunes. While we bounced between cocktails and pork, occasionally we remembered to take a photo. Here's a taste of what stopped us in our tracks.Dee Nguyen's Break of Dawn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2012

    No. 58, Salted Caramel Gelato at N'Ice Cream

    Most people congregate to OC Mart Mix for Portola Coffee Lab. Me? It's mostly for N'Ice Cream. This diminutive gelato counter makes one of the best flavors of ice cream ever: salted caramel. The color is of rust. You'll know it's the most popular flavor here, trumping even the Greek yogurt drizzled ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2012

    On the Line: Brian McReynolds, Amy Curran and Francisco Perez of Eat Chow, Part One

    Brian McReynolds agreed to our interview on the condition that his management team be a part of it as well. Amy is his front of the house lead, while Francisco mans the kitchen. Of course, trying to get three key people to sit still wasn't possible. We shared handwritten notes with two-thirds of Eat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2012

    Now Showing: New Menu Selections From TAPS

    Proprietor-founder Joe Manzella of TAPS Fish House & Brewery sat down for a meal as executive chef Manny Gonzalez, Tom Hope, director of culinary, and brewmaster Victor Novak took turns offering our luncheon the backstory on some seasonal specials.Chef Manny reincarnates a fashion plate of veget ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2012

    Tonight: Wafflegato, a Waffle/Gelato/Espresso Hybrid, at OC Mart Mix

    Talk about collaboration. A bunch of shops at OC Mart Mix in Costa Mesa have joined culinary forces to create a gourmet dessert called Wafflegato.  Here's the breakdown of ingredients: - Hand-crafted gelato from N'ice Cream- Dauphinoise, honey and almond from Cheese Shoppe- Show No Mercy E ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 29, 2012

    Wicked 'Wiches Sandwich Shop Opens in Santa Ana

    Wicked 'Wiches, a popular catering company that delivers gourmet sandwiches to gatherings all over OC, has gone brick and mortar, opening a retail shop in Santa Ana.  Ever since it launched in Fountain Valley in 2009, the company has assembled flavor-packed subs for the masses. All sauces and s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2012

    On the Line: Austin Lee of Itriya Cafe, Part One

    Deciding on a place to conduct an interview with a chef can be tricky. Luckily, our secret weapon is a hit, as Austin Lee circles OC Mart Mix thrice to locate Portola Coffee Lab in time to beat the Paul Mitchell students on break. With his Asian upbringing (plus Italian and Brazilian childhood influ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2012

    Introducing The Women Behind Fullerton's Green Bliss

    In Downtown Fullerton's Villa del Sol complex, a new concept is growing. Green Bliss will open its doors tomorrow, featuing locally roasted coffee from Portola Coffee Lab, organic vegetarian food, and a place where diners can sit down and read up on how they can live a healthier, greener lifestyle. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    Cheese Shop Opens Today At OC Mart Mix

    ​The OC Mart Mix is fast becoming a good, um, mix of eclectic food vendors. It already has Jeff Duggan's Portola Coffee Lab, We Olive & Wine Bar, and Savory Spice Shop, among others. Soon the meandering indoor swap meet will welcome a purveyor of ice cream called N'Ice and a raw oyster bar cal ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2012

    Late-Night Caffeine Hounds Rejoice: The Night Owl is Open Late

    Dave Lieberman​I've always wanted to run into a busy, buzzing newsroom and shriek, "STOP THE PRESSES!" The problem is that (a) I write for a food blog, hardly an incubator for urgent, breaking news, (b) 90 percent of what I write is online and shouting, "Stop the blog software!" just doesn't have ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    This Week In Food: Gustavo's New Book, Best Chocolate Chip Recipe Ever, And Portola Coffee Lab

    Portola Facebook​What with our early deadlines crunch and best stuff of 2011 lists soon to be popping up on our blogs, the Weekly is about ready to wrap up the year. But we still have three weeks of the year of the Rabbit, so here's a wrap-up of this week in food instead.

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2011

    Portola Coffee Lab Gets Into The Holiday Spirit

    Portola Coffee Lab​Not only do they brew the best coffee around, Portola Coffee Lab baristas can turn a cup of Joe into a cup of Van Gogh. How they do it: "The colors are a result of an overwhelming amount of Christmas spirit! (and food coloring)," according to the shop's Facebook page. &nbs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 2, 2011

    Ten Great OC Coffeeshops

    ​We're sometimes accused of being too North County-centric around here. We can't help it; even leaving aside the snark about Laguna Engabachada, the fact is the population's up here in the 714, and choice in restaurants tends to follow the population.Coffee, however, is a different story. There's ... More >>

  • Food

    November 17, 2011

    Portola Coffee Lab Is OC's Temple of Caffeine

    [Hole In the Wall] This Costa Mesa coffeehouse can convert anyone into the cult of coffee

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2011

    Dueling Dishes: Battle High-End Espresso

    ​Martin Diedrich. The father of the coffee revolution in Orange County, owner of the first coffee shop to make an unapologetic, small, truly Italian cappuccino, as well as the first to introduce la naranja to the idea that coffee needn't be roasted to dust in order to taste like something.Jeff Dug ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 25, 2011

    On the Line: Diane Yoon of Merely Sweets, Part One

    Photo by Kevin Lara​Our final subject for "Unofficial Ladies Month" at On the Line is classically trained pastry chef Diane Yoon. Her dessert shop, Merely Sweets, is a collaboration with a classmate and her brother. She wanted to check out Portola Coffee Lab, so we spent a lazy SoCo morning sippin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2011

    Portola Coffee Lab and TAPS Create Neo-Colonial Stout

    ​What do you get when you take one part scientific coffee brewer and another part award-winning brewmaster? Some intensely caffeinated beer, that's what! Two great minds teamed up on a limited-edition taste that will get you pretty hopped up (Insert wah-wah trombone here).The players: Portola Coff ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2011

    Restaurant Roll Call for May 2011

    John Gilhooley / OC WeeklyJeff Duggan of Portola Coffee Lab​Is it June already? Time to do our monthly restaurant roll call of who's new and who's gone. Notable openings this month include the resurrection of Disneyland's Tahitian Terrace in Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel, and Jeff Dugan ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 27, 2011

    This Week in Food: Mother-Daughter Kimchi, Chewbacca Soba, and

    Flickr user tsechuen26​So many great posts, so little time to read--so get the highlights after the jump!

  • Blogs

    May 25, 2011

    Portola Coffee Lab to Open Tomorrow

    John Gilhooley / OC Weekly​We interviewed Jeff Duggan, the mad scientist of third-wave coffee, almost a year ago (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). We found him crammed into an alcove of Layer Cake Bakery, roasting coffee to order, designing his dream coffee shop at the SoCo collection (you know, Saturd ... More >>