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

Portola Coffee Lab
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 out who earned the title of Best Coffee last year. 

Now, the mad scientists behind the brand are taking things to the next level. In late August, husband-and-wife team Jeff and Christa Duggan will open Theorem by Portola Coffee Lab, a six-seat bar that will focus on "barista-driven craft coffee."

Need a quick cup of joe to jump-start your day? Don't come here. This reservation-only corner, nestled adjacent to Portola's anchor location at the OC Mart Mix, is created for true coffee entusiasts, those who wish for a deeper understanding of the nuances of Portola's coffee and techniques. Think beautifully-presented coffee flights--not cardboard cup holders.   
A few of Theorem's offerings include: 

Barrel-Aged Kyoto Old Fashioned 
Portola begins with its signature cold-brewed iced coffee and brews it with fermented Kintimani coffee from Bali. The slow-brewed iced coffee is slowed down even more as it is barrel aged in oak for six months. When served as an Old Fashioned, Baristas add a touch of muscavado simple syrup, house-made coffee bitters, and serve it all over ice with an orange peel garnish.  

Liquid-Nitrogen Affogato
Portola takes an untraditional approach to the traditional Italian Affogato, which is espresso poured over ice cream. Having made a name for itself by preparing every drink to order, ice cream will be following suit. Each order of ice cream will be prepared custom, in sight of the guest, with organic Strauss Family Creamery heavy cream and perfectly-calibrated grouping of ingredients with an ice cream base from N'Ice Cream, transformed into ice cream with the assistance of liquid nitrogen. To finish creating the Affogato, a fresh extraction of espresso will be pulled from Portola's Slayer espresso machine and decanted over the custom made-to-order ice cream.

Coffee Flight
You've heard of a coffee tastings, but nothing like this. If previous tastings at Portola Coffee Lab could be considered a college-level course, these tastings would be grad school course material. The goal of the coffee flights is to educate customers through detailed comparison. Guests will have the opportunity to experience side-by-side comparisons of coffee with varying body, acidity, roast levels, processing methods, and elevation - to name a few. Coffee flights will vary daily and will be based on guest curiosity. 

Visit Portola Coffee Lab for more details. 

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Location Info

Portola Coffee Lab

3313 Hyland Ave., Costa Mesa, CA

Category: General

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Josh Dutch Schultz Gaitan
Josh Dutch Schultz Gaitan

This is so dumb, coffee should go baclwards not forwards. coffee flavored coffee, black or withi cream and sugar....not of this fancy bullshit


Portola is already so far up it's own ass, this shouldn't be surprising, but it is. It's like they paid a team of experts to figure out a way to be even more pretentious and precious.


 @Mr_X If you're going to slag on Portola, slag on them for poorly ripping off the concept from Espresso Lab Microroasters. NOT for making decent coffee.


 @Mr_X The people at Portola are anything but pretentious. Perhaps a few of the customers are but Portola and their staff certainly are not.


 @John last time I went there I tried one of the coffees, I can't remember what it was called, but it was the one where they heat a glass globe, and the water bubbles through. I remarked that it was bitter and not as good as my Chemex, the coffee guy snorted at me and made a demeaning remark about 'Well, your palate isn't refined enough' or some bullshit. I would have thrown it in his face, but I didn't want 'Assault with a bitter weapon' on my record. I've been drinking coffee and working in espresso bars before this douchebag with his fricken New Guinea Ear Disks, waxed mustache and lens-less Wayfareres was even born, and he's gonna tell me I don't know coffee? 

GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @John Yep. The Portola vibe is coffee at its most-precious, but the actual workers are incredibly kind and helpful.


 @Mr_X  @John Agree with Mr_X,  all the lab gadgetry in the store  is a gimmick to charge customers exorbitant prices for a cup of coffee. Sure they probably have better beans than your typical coffeehouse but that is about it. I highly doubt  all their Willy Wonka equipment does anything to improve the flavor of the coffee. At the prices they are charging, I hope the money goes to providing livable  wages and health insurance for the staff.

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