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Nov 24, 2011 12:25 AM

Dripp Coffee Trickling In Chino Hills

The Mrs. and I were at the Chino Hills farmers market freezing our rear ends off after acquiring a supply of baklava, almond rocca like candy, Anjou pears, Asian pears and persimmons last night so we decided to swing by the new coffee shop, Dripp.

The place is brand new and has an under utilized but still enthusiastic staff. The ambience has a decent vibe with music playing (don't ask me the genre, I suppose some kind of innocuous sounding trendy stuff that appeals to "20-30 somethings", but which sounds like elevator music to me [i.e. I tune it out], a wall full of colorful antique looking coffee mills, a high ceiling and exposed ductwork. Not a very large footprint, so I imagine it can get quite "close" inside, and there is a small area upstairs, over the service counter and coffee bar. Tables and chairs on the sidewalk outside, if you want to freeze you rear end off there (no heaters) and watch the cars in the parking lot.

The Mrs. had a hot cocoa and I had a mocha coffee. Maybe the two of us are just too old and curmudgeonly, or have lost our palettes, or are just so crude in our level of beverage sophistication, but we were not impressed with our drinks. The hot cocoa did not taste very chocolaty (and maybe real hot cocoa is not supposed to be like a chocolate bar), nor sweet, at all. I remarked that was probably because it was not loaded with sugar and may have used some high end cocoa, which is probably lost on the two of us.

My coffee was very mild and when I sniffed it I could not detect any apparent aroma. It was lavishly decorated on top with two tones of foam, what looked like ribbons of chocolate syrup and chopped chocolate bits, but extremely subtle in taste and aroma. Too subtle for my personal taste. Neither beverage we thought was sufficiently hot, they were barely tepid to us, which defeated much of the point of our getting the beverages last night.

Dripp also offers baked goods and ice cream, we tried a plain chocolate chip cookie and a "peanut brittle" like cookie. Both were way too soft for us and the peanut brittle cookie did not taste like peanut brittle, it was more like chocolate chip cookie dough with bits of peanut like candy chips in it. (They would have been better of had they offered a real peanut butter cookie.) My standard metric for evaluating chocolate chip cookies is how any given example compares to a Pepperidge Farm Sausalito, and the smallish, soft disc from behind the counter at Dripp were far, far below this standard.

Management is apparently trying to deliver a product that is a few steps above the average chain coffee shop but not at an ultra coffee connoisseur price point. One of their sources for the beans is Intelligentia and they are employing some kind of high end Japanese brewing system. But for my $4.75 I can get a cup of HOT coffee, that is twice as voluminous, and which tastes great me to me at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

I do wish Dripp well, and I am happy to see an independent artisan coffee purveyor trying to make a foothold in our neck of the woods.

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  1. Nice to see the hinterlands getting to serve as the center of the future Dripp empire... ;-D> CH place link for Dripp added to the database.

    13855 City Center Dr, Chino Hills, CA 91709

    1. I went last week and I have a bit of the same sediments. Overpriced luke warm coffee. Would rather make Illy coffee at home. The concept and store is very nice though. I talked to the owner and he said the ice cream sandwiches are made to order and are supposedly getting Dr. Bob's ice cream. That alone might be worth going. Will check back about the ice cream sandwiches. Coffee, I am a bit hesitant at $5 a cup.

      2 Replies
      1. re: A5 KOBE

        If it's Dr. Bob's it might be good, but I'd bring my own cookies to make the sandwich, Dripp's silver dollar sized soft cookies would not serve an ice cream sandwich very well.

        1. re: ChinoWayne

          Ice cream was excellent. We had almost every flavor they had available - chocolate, peanut butter, vanilla, nutella and mint chip. The favorites of the group were chocolate and peanut butter. The chocolate tasted like a very rich dark chocolate influenced brownie. My 6 year old nephew who ordered the chocolate moved to his own table to finish the ice cream after a few of us had a taste. The peanut butter tasted just like peanut butter without the saccharine sweetness you find in a lot of ice cream. There were peanut butter cups and some toffee like pieces. $2.75 a scoop.

      2. Thanks for the tip, good to know. I still think the best coffee in the area is Coffee Klatch in San Dimas.

        Coffee Klatch
        806 W Arrow Hwy, San Dimas, CA 91773

        2 Replies
        1. re: Robert Thornton

          I adore Klatch... but when we are in the area, we are located in Diamond Bar so Dripp is much closer... That being said, we went yesterday and overall came back with a very positive impression. Since I tend to drink coffee as a way to wind down in the afternoon and at night, I am much more of a fan of lighter roasts that thankfully are becoming so much more popular today. I am a huge fan of nuances in coffee and for the last year I've been going to all pretty much all the major new coffee shops and checking them out for their ice coffee (For reference, my favorites are Paper+Plastic, Portolla, Klatch and Balconi)

          Now, since Dripp is new, I'm not sure what their coffee program is, but I LOVE the one at Klatch with rotating speciality coffees (A couple of weeks ago I had a Hawaiian - not even from Kona - Which was out of this world). But so far, Dripp's selection which is mostly intelligencia is very good in terms of it has something to make everyone happy. I went with my Brother, who perfers espressos and darker roasts and he got the Anjilanaka. It was pour over properly so that that it danced between its stronger notes and its wonderful nuances. Despite our divergent tastes, we both love coffee straight, so a cup of this was a very satisfying choice for the both of us.

          I of course got the iced coffee.... I was a bit disappointed to read on the menu that is was lightly sweetened, still, I gave it a shot. I was wonderfully suprised. It was a whisper of sweetness, which again brought out the character of the coffee....

          P. who doesn't do caffeine, went with their ginger lemonade and loved it. Not overly tart, not overly sweet... the ginger component was strong but not biting. One of the better lemonade blends we've had.

          As for the baked goods, the selection and quality blew away Klatch's (They have a few good items but most of them are really depressing in quality...). We did find their cookies a bit soft, but we chalked that up to they REALLY wanted to push their ice cream sandwiches. As Diddy Reese fans know, the key to their sandwich is the warm cookie, it becomes more pliable and fuses to the ice cream, making it a much less messy sandwich. A Sausalito would make an awful ice cream sandwich... while a Soft Batch would be ideal.

          The decor was hip, but still inviting (Unlike the depressing LA Mill) and we LOVED the louge area (So woefully missing is most of these new gen coffee shops... Cafe Tomo, Chimney Brick, Cognoscenti I'm looking at you. ).

          And while the staff was enthusiastic, they weren't quite the coffee expertize you'd get at Intelligentsia or even Demitasse. But I also find that sometimes visiting Klatch... There are only so many world class baristas to go around... ;)

          All in all, I look forward to go back to Dripp when I'm in the area and hopefully this brings some more inventive offerings in the Chino Hills!


          1. re: Dommy

            I'm glad you like the coffee at Dripp, Dommy. As I implied, my taste buds are more pedestrian, and the subtlety of Drips's coffee is lost on me. I have to disagree in the strongest terms, however, Dripp's cookies are a travesty. If I am having a cookie with my coffee, a Sausalito is exactly what I need. In terms of a medium for an ice cream sandwich, all I need is a couple of Mother's chocolate chip or oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to sandwich some good ice cream. You just take a scoop of say, Dr. Bob's Tahitian Vanilla and put two Mother's cookies around it, pop it in the freezer for two minutes, and then you have got an OUTSTANDING ice cream sandwich. Small, soft, mushy cookies, do not an ice cream sandwich make.

        2. Really enjoyed Dommy's write up and agree completely. Hard cookies with soft ice cream don't make a good ice cream sandwich. Dripp's butterscotch cookies are delicious with their Turkish coffee!

          1. Okay, since I live fairly close to Chino Hills I have been frequenting Dripp for quite a while now and I have to say that it has gotten a lot better since the opening. In the beginning, they made a huge error in that they did not use hot enough water for the end result, the coffee, to be served hot. After weeks of trial and error, the coffee is now hot and I think that they serve the best coffee in the area. I especially love the Intelligentsia El Diablo. They also serve maple bacon ice cream that is produced locally.

            2 Replies
            1. re: A5 KOBE

              Agreed, I think they've really worked on and improved their technique and overall operational mumbo jumbo. My wife and I are huge fans of Intelligentsia coffee, but the trek to Pasadena from the 909 can get arduous. We heard about Dripp and gave it a try within days of their opening. Disappointing. But they had the right beans (and really good bakery items--haven't tried their cookies but the dark chocolate baguette is a must!) so we have given them about a dozen chances to win us over. And they have! We live in La Verne, Klatch used to be our choice. We drive the extra few miles to Dripp now.

              1. re: L.A. Jay

                Well since Dripp is practically down the street from us, and they may have worked out the kinks, I'll ask the Mrs. if she wants to give them another chance, next time we are over at The Shoppes.