On the Line: Martin Diedrich of Kéan Coffee, Part Two

Photo by William Vo
Chill til the next episode

Named best coffee in our Best Of 2015 roundup, Kéan Coffee has established themselves as a brand that knows to treat its clientele as well as its product. I continue my discussion with founder Martin Diedrich, as we delve into his childhood, the story behind Diedrich Coffee and what it means to be a master roaster.

You can start here, or you can read our initial conversation from Monday. Either way, you've got a lot to cover. Maybe order a hot beverage first?

Favorite childhood memory.
Among my uncountable favorite childhood memories were the equally countless experiences I had in the wilderness and the great outdoors. Wherever we lived when I grew up, we were always somewhere very close to nature and water. My brothers and I all spent a lot of time in the wilderness, either together or by ourselves. I treasure the comfort I find there, and my natural ability to be in the wilderness. I still love doing solo wilderness treks to get off the grid and reconnect with what's real in the world and have my spirit renewed. My Dad always told us, "If you are ever confounded with big questions or troubles in life, don't go to a man-made edifice, go to the mountains or forests or oceans and you will find what you need." I have found that to be true often enough.

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On the Line: Martin Diedrich of Kéan Coffee, Part One

Photo by William Vo
Coffee talk

I met Martin a couple of years ago, while moderating a Yelp discussion at his Tustin coffeehouse. Fast forward to The Ecology Center this past September, where we caught up at Green Feast. Diedrich's knowledge and experience means he is rarely at a loss for words.

Describe your first experience with coffee.
My first experience with coffee was working on the coffee farm. I think that was the only interaction I had with coffee for a long time before I ever started drinking it. I do remember that as a teenager, my Mom would always ask me at breakfast if I wanted a cup of coffee. In those teen years it was my way of rebelling against my parents and what they were all about. When I always replied to her offer, "I don't drink coffee.", my Mom played along and asked me every morning again to bug me back. It was my Mom who, while I was in college, sent me my first coffee maker: an Italian stove top Bialetti coffee maker with a hot top to heat it on.

I grew up in one of the world's greatest coffee growing regions, with some of the very finest coffees. I only discovered much later on that it was almost all downhill, quality-wise from what I was accustomed to.

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Hidden House Coffee Roasters to Open Gastropub, Second Cafe in Santa Ana

Photo by Ben Briggs
Just a little house on Santa Ana Blvd..

Hidden House Coffee Roasters, one of Orange County's notable micro roasters out of San Juan Capistrano, is finally getting a bit more elbow room with two new developments in Santa Ana. Hidden House will gain a second coffeehouse and open a small restaurant a few doors down when they open the locations a few blocks Northeast of Santa Ana's East End. Owner Ben Briggs, 27, looks to the Santa Ana spot as a means of spreading the good word of Hidden House throughout Orange County.

"Santa Ana is the hub of Orange County," says Briggs. "It's the center of everything and I feel like especially with the building that we've found, it's just going to be able to heighten everything we've done."

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FREE Dunkin' Donuts And Krispy Kreme Coffee TOMORROW!

Coffee + Donuts = Life

Tuesday is National Coffee Day, so we hunted down a couple of freebies for your caffeinated enjoyment. We've yet to meet a deal we didn't like. And those big chains have deep enough pockets to make waiting in line worth your while. You ready?

Go get your Dunkin' on in Laguna Hills all day long with a no-cost, medium sized cuppa joe. Or, if you're like us, get it iced for the same price. Hourly raffles will also be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for who-knows-what. To join in on the action, input your email on the iPad in their store (located at 25242 McIntyre St) to qualify.

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Contra Coffee and Tea Starts Hot Drinks Service TODAY

It's been a long almost five months since we first discovered Contra Coffee and Tea and their wonderful nitrogenated drinks at the Orange County Night Market, and I'm happy to finally have some new news. My favorite new business of 2015 will begin hot tea and coffee service TODAY at Scoops at the Roost in Santa Ana. If you're driving by in the morning, get your coffee there. If you need a pick me up, it's only a few blocks from downtown proper.

Now as for their cold nitro drinks we all love so much..

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Contra Coffee and Tea Might Make the Best Thai Tea (and Vietnamese Coffee) in Orange County

Photo by Charles Lam
Currently only available by booth :(

So, my friends and I were trolling last weekend's Orange County Night Market on Saturday evening, looking for things to consume, when a girl in a fancy t-shirt walked up to us and handed us a tiny piece of paper with a coffee and tea menu on it. Being that both I and one of my friends basically run on caffeine, we sauntered over to the Contra Coffee and Tea booth and took a look, and man was that a great idea.

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Finding the Perfect Bean at Hidden House Coffee

Hidden House mid cupping
Photo by Ryan Beitler

By Ryan Beitler

Five men surround the lone table inside Hidden House Coffee, a small yellow building blanketed by trees and bustle that sits across the train tracks in San Juan Capistrano's Los Rios District. Here amongst the distant noises of passing travelers, street performers, and the cackle of hand roasted coffee, the men are discussing their next business deal.

They are preparing for a coffee sampling process known as a "cupping," which is a standardized way to taste coffee. For a cupping, they grind the beans, pour hot water over them in thick glass cups, and wait four minutes. When the timer goes off, the group "breaks the crust" that gathers at the top of the liquid before ritualistically sniffing and tasting the coffees with cupping spoons. When the crust is broken, the enhanced aroma of the coffees punctures the air. They go around the table first to sniff each of the nine coffees, and then to taste them.

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Portola Coffee Lab in Tustin Opening THIS WEEKEND

Coffee til we drop

Before the Orange and Santa Ana spots make their official debut, the crew at Portola Coffee Lab are about ready to roll in Union Market at The District at Tustin Legacy (whew!). Which is great, since the other foodservice outlets aren't.

In fact, the Micro Roaster of 2015 is having a job fair that goes on through today over at 4th Street Market in Downtown Santa Ana [Note:They also want you to apply online]. New hires are currently practicing pour-overs at Theorem when closed. The walk up coffee bar has adjusted hours in the meantime: 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Santa Ana's Fourth Street Market To Open Feb. 16, Preview at Savor Santa Ana Feb. 12

Anne Watson Photography
Fourth Street Market opens Feb. 16.

[Updated 2/3/2015 with the correct pricing for Savor Santa Ana tastes: $2. Still cheap.]

It's been a long time coming, but downtown Santa Ana's food hall is finally ready to throw open its doors to the public. The paper is down, the signs are up, and the tenants are buying their start-up ingredients. Fourth Street Market (4SM) is located at 201 E. 4th St., adjacent to Style World and across from the East End Marketplace. Monday, February 16, 2015 is opening day, though there will be a public preview during the Savor Santa Ana event on Thursday, February 12 from 5-8 p.m. where the vendors will sell small tastes for $1 $2 each.

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On the Line: Jeff Clinard Of Bear Coast Coffee, Part Two

Photo by LP Hastings
Who, me?

Comedy is a recurring theme in Jeff's life. Whether as a career choice or in his day-to-day experiences, it is those laughable moments that define who he is: a person who can not only laugh at himself, but can make others laugh. Stir in some solid work ethic, and Bear Coast has what it takes to succeed.

Have you checked out the first part of our interview with Jeff? Catch up by clicking here.
Then when you're ready for more, keep reading below.

Do you have any skills that are not food-related?
I have a laundry list of boring skills! Including, but not limited to fixing my mother-in-law's iPhone that breaks weekly, Photoshop and I am very good at presentations/PowerPoint. But my interesting skills include stunt driving, triathlons and stand up comedy.

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