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Best espresso in OC?

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Where are the very best espresso drinks in Orange County?

I've been working in Manhattan (all de live-long day...) and I have absolutely fallen in love with Zibetto, on 6/56... bare-bones, little-decor, no seats, one skinny Italian guy behind a bar who makes the absolute best espresso in a very caffeinated city and has an abbreviated menu (espresso, cappuccino, caffe con latte, hot chocolate, Italian sodas, croissants and biscotti) at very reasonable prices by Fourbucks standards.

I'm craving it here.

So please, please tell me, who makes the best espresso in OC? I'm interested really only in espresso and the simple espresso drinks (macchiato, con panna, cappuccino, caffe con latte, etc.), not double short half-caf almond sugar-free vanilla non-fat mocha chinos or whatever.

Thank you!!

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  1. I have yet to have a better than at Kean Coffee in Costa Mesa on 17th Street. They roast the beans on site. I also love the coffee at A Market next door to A Restaurant on PCH in Newport Beach. They serve Lamill Coffee.

    1. I agree with the Kean Coffee rec...it's not a chain, which is nice for OC. But for a place that has more locations (depending on where you are during the day), I think that Peet's Coffee is wonderful!

      1. Kean is my favorite, followed very closely by Kaffa!, which is in Orange on Main, just north of the 22 in a little strip mall.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mikester

          I 4th the Kean coffee rec. Just discovered it recently. Although I've had more of the latte style drinks, everything is roasted on site and the coffee is nice and robust.

        2. Try Cafe Crema on Main Street in old town Seal Beach. They use Illy (which is like Starbucks in Europe, but better), and pull good drinks. Also good for breakfast/brunch. Nice little bakery items, too.

          1. Kean...for sure! (It's owned by Martin Dietrich, the founder and now ex-owner of Dietrich's Coffee). He knows his coffee!

            1. I went to Kean (sorry, Kéan) today en route to the UCI farmers' market, though it was, um, well out of the way. It was excellent coffee -- now if it weren't so durn far!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                What do you think of the UCI farmers' market. Haven't been for a while, but it has always been pretty good...is it still?

                1. re: josephnl

                  Yes. It's kind of at its least good right now, because the citrus hasn't quite come in yet, nor the new February crop of strawberries, but there are still 30-40 booths selling food and another dozen selling crafts.

                  I go weekly, because it's by far the best farmers' market in OC.