Drink at the best coffee shops in Orange County, CA.

Los Angeles and San Diego are two of the best coffee cities in the United States. So it makes sense that the coastal county connecting them also has some impressive java spots. If you’re looking to taste the finest roasts, espresso drinks, and cold brew in Orange County, here are five coffee shops worth checking out.

The Aussie Bean

Three years ago, The Aussie Bean was a humble coffee cart serving cups of joe in Chapman Univeristy’s Atallah Piazza. Today, it is a bustling cafe in the heart of historic Old Towne Orange. The Aussie Bean’s popularity has not compromised the quality of its product or service. Customers wax poetic about the Orange County coffee shop’s superior roasts, elegant latte art, and friendly baristas. This exemplary taste of Australia’s celebrated coffee culture is a 10-minute drive from AMLI Uptown Orange.

AoSA Coffee

When environmental steward AoSA set up shop in Huntington Harbour Mall, the center had no recycling program. Thanks to AoSA’s efforts, the mall now has a comprehensive recycling program and some of Orange County’s best coffee. AoSA prides itself on its first-rate selection of beans, sourced from sustainable coffee producers and roasted using energy-efficient processes. AoSA uses only organic, compostable, and recyclable alternatives to disposable, single-use products whenever they are available. One of the first Orange County coffee vendors to use and sell Stumptown espresso beans, AoSA is admired for its consistently high-caliber, rotating coffee and tea selection. Regulars also rave about AoSA’s acai bowls, served with fresh fruit and organic granola.

Hidden House Coffee

This Orange County coffee purveyor now has three locations to its name. Each offers high-quality coffee in a unique, welcoming, and impeccably-designed atmosphere. But the San Juan Capistrano cafe is the original and most awe-inspiring of Hidden House’s locations. It’s the primary reason Hidden House is one of Southern California’s most talked-about and highly rated coffee shops. It’s also the location you need to visit in order to fully appreciate the coffee shop’s apt name. Without Google Maps, Hidden House San Juan Capistrano is actually hard to find. The location’s charming, converted bungalow, situated on a street lined other with historic homes, is only subtly marked. Hidden House’s furnishings and decor jibe perfectly with the bungalow’s interior details and exterior design, forging a uniform vintage feel. Don your latest consignment store finds, read a well-worn classic while you caffeinate, and you’ll also blend in perfectly.

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Kéan Coffee

Twelve years have passed since Martin Dietrich opened this Orange County coffee paradise’s flagship location in Newport Beach. Impressively, Kéan Coffee is still blazing along a trajectory of virtually untrammeled growth. And, at least from today’s vantage point, its future appears sunny as well. Kéan tops more Orange County coffee rankings than any other coffee shop.

Kéan Coffee uses high-caliber beans and equipment. But an unwavering commitment to innovation is at least as responsible for Kéan’s league-of-its-own status. If there’s an oracle of Orange County coffee, it’s Kéan’s ingenious owner.

Portola Coffee Lab

This micro chain claims to be “driven by the pursuit of perfection.” Judging by reviews, many Portola patrons would say the Orange County coffee shop has already achieved its aim. Portola’s well-trained baristas know how to prepare just about any coffee drink known to man. Dressed in white lab coats, they use high-quality Fair Trade beans and state-of-the-art equipment to present clients with their attempt at perfection. Portola’s Orange and Santa Ana locations are both within 10 minutes’ drive of AMLI Uptown Orange. The Orange County coffee chain also has locations in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Tustin.

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About Jason Ernst


Jason received degrees in International Studies, Economics, and German Literature from the University of Arizona in 2011, and has worked as a freelance writer ever since. His research and writing interests include interior decoration and design, home entertainment, history, art, architecture, and travel. He is currently a regular contributor to the AMLI Residential lifestyle blog. Circle Jason on Google+