Whether you need a java jolt or you’re just looking to relax with a few slow sips of espresso, there’s no denying that the rich dark brew is the only thing you need to forget about whatever’s stressing you or wearing you thin. And no matter where you are or what you’re in the mood in — a break from a day of power shopping? A quiet escape? — there’s something in this top 5 places to sip espresso that’ll have you relaxed and ready for more.
1 Kéan Coffee
OC's own hometown coffee hero, Martin Diedrich, opened Kean Coffee to get away from the corporate scene; and he's gained a loyal following of coffee fans in the process. With on-site roasting, some of the most innovative drinks you'll find and an easy, relaxed vibe, a quick stop into Kean just about always turns into a long relaxed sessions with a brew in hand.
2 Alta Coffee Shop
On the peninsula, there's no shortage of charming stops, but for a great shot of espresso, follow your nose (and ears -- the place is always bustling) to Alta. The scene leans hip, but the food and the espresso make the lack of parking and abundance of artful facial hair and tattoos worth it.
3 Antonello Espresso
For a jolt to keep you going while you're shopping up a storm at South Coast, centrally-located Antonello is an easy place to grab and go. But for prime people watching, the only place you'll find a better parade of fashion is on a runway. So sit back and enjoy the fashion -- the stores will still be there when you're done.
4 Jabberwocky Java
Known for their huge trees and the tranquil koi pond, Jabberwocky Java's worth the trek up north. If you want to get away from it all -- literally, you'll be kissing the LA-OC border -- pull up a chair on their patio and enjoy the view. The coffee's strong and the escape is definitely something that goes great with a slow sip.
5 The Coffee Grinder
For coffee devotees, the Coffee Grinder is definitely on the top of the list when it comes to finding a strong, dark brew. With a friendly staff that doesn't mind if you pull open your MacBook and stay a spell and great espresso that's both smoky and sweet, you can consider this your new office away from the office.