Monday, February 18, 2013

Theorem: An Experiment in Coffee Tasting by Portola Coffee Lab

Theorem is a unique experience in craft coffee devised by Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa. Once an hour in the late afternoons, the small room with a counter seating only six people opens up for a set menu of one of a kind coffee drinks. You can call or go on their website for reservation.

They want you to focus on the experience so no camera or phone is allowed during the tasting. I only managed to take a photo of the menu before they told me to put my camera away! Though they did let me take quick photos of the setup in between mine and the next tasting.

The menu lists four items and you can order any three for $20.
I started with an Italiano served with candied lemon. This was a play on how Italianos used to be served. Back in the day tap water tasted very mineral-y, so people tend to use lemon rind to get rid of that taste and the oil.

Next is an amazing cappuccino made using milk with 6% butterfat. This milk has a texture like no milk I've had before and it makes for an incredible cappuccino.

The Coffee Sour is an incredible non-alcoholic coffee cocktail made with a cold brew, lemon, orange flower water, orgeat, and honey. When I tasted it I couldn't even tell there was coffee in it, just a balanced, complex mocktail.

The "Enhanced Espresso" must be ordered for the whole table (for $20). Lucky for me someone there was generous enough to order it. The enhanced espresso is coffee infused with various herbs and fruits using a vac-pot (reminiscent of the Rooibos cocktail I had at The Aviary in Chicago).
This one was an extraction of cloves, cinnamon, dried cherries, almond, mint, etc.

A peek into the back room held promise for future tastings. A barrel for aging ... alcoholic coffee cocktails, perhaps?

3313 Hyland Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 284-0596
Theorem on Urbanspoon


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