Monthly Archives: January 2013

Portola Coffee Lab

If only high school chemistry included labs like brewing coffee, who knows how many more students might major in Chemistry? Me, perhaps! At places like Portola Coffee Lab in Costa Mesa, CA, it could transform any lay latte drinker into an inquisitive coffee consumer. This place is fun, vivacious, and delicious!



Taste: 8

This mocha was, as my brother proclaimed, ‘bitter but not devoid of sweetness’. I love tasting equal parts dark cocoa, strong espresso, and steamed milk – Portola does just this! It was smooth and just delicious. The only thing is that I would have liked this mocha to be hotter in temperature. Maybe next time I need to ask for it extra hot.

Appearance: 7

How pretty is this? I like the abstract heart design in the steamed milk. I also LOVE the cup and saucer – they are designed by Offero ( I want some of these cups and saucers and glasses for myself!It all just looks delicious and contemporary, just my style!



Ambiance: 9

GOOD MORNING! Holy cow this place is bright. Lime green tiles, mustached baristas, and a halogen heated siphon bar; this place is truly like no other. This is the one and only store, it’s not a chain, and you can tell how good this place is by the consistently steady flow of customers. It’s just so cool here, I would love to come here and study if I lived in California. Between the Michael Jackson music playing in the background, watching the employees roast coffee beans on the premises, and the variety of seating options, Portola will be the mocha place to beat in 2013! When in Orange County, you have to try this place.






Posted by on January 27, 2013 in California



On a recent trip to Boston to visit some lovely friends, we stopped by Cafeteria on Newbury St. for a (boozy) brunch. I have walked by this place dozens of times but never stopped inside – maybe I was just deterred by the name? But after spending some time dining here, I left feeling both confused yet refreshed – confused because this place in NO way resembles a cafeteria, refreshed from great conversation and a mocha that WOKE me up!

Taste: 5

This little mocha tasted like a latte at first. It was not served with a spoon so I grabbed one from a nearby table, mixed it up, and voila! A mocha. It got super chocolatey, but in a good way. Would have liked it to be a bit warmer in temperature though.

Appearance: 2

This does look tempting, yes, but this is nothing super special. I do like the size of this mocha – just perfect! And obviously, a point for the cup AND saucer. So those are the only two points I can allot to this little mocha. Some designs in the foam would have been nice to see, and perhaps serving this with a small spoon would have been helpful. I love the foamed milk at the top and find it more appropriate to use a spoon to get the last bit of foam. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if maybe I’d like a mocha cappuccino over a mocha latte – more foamed milk! I’ll give it a try some time…



Ambiance: 6

I really liked this place! I was so surprised, actually, to see how big Cafeteria is inside. It was way too cold to sit outside, even though there is an outdoor patio during warmer months. The downstairs and upstairs seem to have totally different vibes – the downstairs was so busy, but the upstairs was much more modern, quieter, and had great service. There was a big mix of people – some college students out to brunch, some guys watching football, and some older folks reading the newspaper. I personally would not come here again to grab a mocha and study, but it is a great place to socialize over great drinks (bloody mary!) and food (grilled cheese). I recommend visiting Cafeteria during the warmer months so you can sit outside, people watch, and have a drink after a long day of shopping and sightseeing.




1 Comment

Posted by on January 21, 2013 in Massachusetts