Portola Coffee Roasters: Where Art and Science Meet

portal's coffee bar

portal’s coffee bar

Portola Coffee Roasters, in Costa Mesa CA, is heaven for coffee geeks! It is exactly where the art of baristas, and the science of coffee meet, making it a wonderful blend of coffee shop décor, and laboratory. Did the baristas wear lab coats? No, (although that would be cool), but what they have is a profound knowledge of coffee, and how to brew it.


Portola Coffee Roasters has several shops in the Costa Mesa area of California, and we were lucky enough to have found the original shop. Set in a large repurposed retail space, where smaller stores share the same door but have separate stalls, and shops set up inside, giving you that marketplace feel that I experienced in England, a long time ago.


Portola prides itself on knowing everything about coffee; where it came from, when it was harvested, and by whom, as well as how it was stored, and sourced. This is possible through the owners’ commitment to find the best quality coffee out there. That commitment has involved some hard trips to parts of the globe that no tourist would normally go. The end result of course, is that fine cup of coffee you have in your hands.

portola's fine coffee

portola’s fine coffee

The science part of Portola is the Theorem. Portola asks the question: “is coffee a beverage, or an ingredient?” This allows for the diversity of coffee, be it in a cocktail, cold brew, coffee sangria, and of course espresso done in various ways. All of this is done by the baristas who have a thirst, and passion for their art. So much so, that you will see on the menu an option called “trust”. This is where you, the customer, tell the barista what you are looking for in an ideal coffee drink, and they do the rest. It was a blast to do! I personally love the adventure of letting a barista set up your drink, and hence, creating the “art” of Portola.


Bottom line here, if you are a coffee geek, coinsurer, and coffee adventurer, Portola is your shop.

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portola lobby

portola’s lobby in costa mesa




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