For a jolt of energy on the go or a long afternoon with the crossword puzzle, there’s no doubt that coffee is what fuels some of the most hectic and most laid-back moments of your life. Here are the top 5 coffee shops in Orange County, where you can see the world pass by or get ready to take on your day.
1 Kean Coffee
For a story of family traditions, corporate buyouts and more, there's not a story more dramatic than that of Martin Diedrich, Orange County's resident coffee emperor. From his eponymous chain of coffee shops to his current duo of Kean Coffee shops, there's been a slew of changes, but through it all the small-batch roasts and amazing coffee hasn't changed one bit. For a great cup and a great homegrown hero, there's only one spot you need whether you're looking for simple black coffee or great coffee drinks.
2 Café Lucca
Nestled at the Orange Circle, Café Lucca's elegant wrought-iron and glass doors reveal more than just great gelato and sandwiches. The baristas behind Lucca are some of the best, swelling strong brews and great classic drinks. To top if off? Order up an affogatto and you'll get the best of what Lucca offers -- rich, deep coffee poured over Orange County's best gelato.
3 Pain du Monde
The seaside location of Pain du Monde might not be as flashy and new as their Fashion Island relocation, but they've got the same great pastries and pours. And when the shoppers are hustling and bustling, what's better than getting away from the crowds and enjoying your espresso with an ocean breeze and the slow relaxed vibe of PCH?
4 Gypsy Den
A few tattoos might make you look like you fit in at this boho spot, but they're definitely not necessary. For a great vanilla chai or a straightforward cup of coffee, the LAB's Gypsy Den location has got great patio seating if you want to forgo the couches and mismatched chairs in the dining room. When you've got a good read and some time to sit back, the Gypsy Den's left-bank attitude and no-frills approach to coffee is just what you'll want.
5 Alta Coffee Warehouse & Restaurant
Hidden on the peninsula, a neighborhood haunt that locals kept secret has blown up to a destination coffee shop that draws java junkies in from across the county. The attitude is all about great coffee, so don't expect the bells and whistles you might get at a mainstream chain. Instead, you can sit back and enjoy a book or board game and take your time to enjoy a great cup.