Coffee House Reviews

Coffee House Reviews

This article was written for the March issue of The Bolt. With AP tests, finals around the corner and Portfolios due next week, we thought you might appreciate our reviews of six local coffee houses. Want more reviews? Email [email protected] with your suggestions.


Sleep is important. However, waking life is far, far more crucial. I could give you some politically correct statement about why you should listen to your body and get eight hours of shut-eye a night or why no grade is worth your health and wellbeing.

But let me be honest with you. As a second-semester senior who has almost completed her high school tenure with some moderate successes and still (as far as I know) intact health: if you want better grades or to maintain both grades and a social life, you will need to spend more time awake as an upperclassman than you will as a freshman or sophomore.

Before you grab the taurine-laced energy drink or an instant coffee at home, I must make a case for my specific genre of caffeine consumption—the coffee house experience. Depending on where you go, the coffee house experience may include a pretentious girl with lensless glasses with a Parliament tucked behind her ear or a guy reading Lolita while wearing a cat sweater.

But don’t be too quick to write off these pseudo-hipsters. They know how to brew their coffee beans and working with people around you can be a lot less lonely than slaving in your room.

I would have never made it through my 35-hours-awake stretch of junior year in which I started and completed three essays and aced three tests without the help of my Ray Bans-adorned baristas. Here are the best places in Orange County to get wired and get work done.

(Some of these shops have multiple locations. The address listed is of the specific shop that I actually reviewed).


In the end, a cup of Nescafe instant coffee crystals mixed with lukewarm tap water will deliver as many hours of alertness as a $5 mocha from Portola. Yet the truth is that the former will not produce the same aggregate result as the coffee house experience. I geekily and proudly admit that my four-year-long coffee house experience, complete with late night chats with baristas and commiserating with my friends over our least favorite assignments over a steaming pot of joe, was an integral part of my academic and — dare I say — social experience of high school. So here is why I urge you to put down the Monster and Red Bull or stay up the extra two hours to turn that B into an A: the coffee house experience is just as much about the journey as it is about the destination, and as a result, that destination is all the more worthwhile.