What began as a selfish pursuit of delicious coffee turned into a decade long fanatic passion for roasting coffee. Owner and roaster Jeff Duggan fell in love with coffee while pursuing a degree in Chemistry. His natural inquisitiveness and thirst for quality led to the need to get under the hood to see what made coffee tick - or as us industry folk say, "crack." Jeff took it upon himself to learn the craft of roasting. While this newly-found hobby was often rewarding, it was not without despair. For every bean gone bad, Jeff was determined to never let the fruits of so much labor fall victim to his roaster again. Over time, successes outweighed failures and yummy coffee began to happen consistently and not occasionally. While turning green coffee beans brown with fire in Orange County, Jeff concluded that there were likely more people than his friends and family that would deem his work great. That was when his idea to make this craft legit and open a roastery in Orange County was born. Portola Handcrafted Coffee Roasters in Irvine began in 2009. Using a very small batch roaster, Jeff worked feverishly to keep the pantries and hoppers full in many homes and food establishments throughout O.C. As he spent more time behind his roaster and less time sleeping it became apparent that it wasn't only his loved ones (who wouldn't have had the heart to tell him if his coffee sucked anyway) that developed a craving for his coffee. In more or less words, his risky venture turned out to be not very risky at all.
It was now time... Roasting meticulously sourced coffee beans and serving them ultra-fresh was not enough. Far too many great beans get destroyed at the hands of poor equipment, flawed technique, and coffee storage dispensers. Brewing science was, and continues to be underestimated in our industry. Portola Coffee Lab, a 100% single-cup craft brew coffeehouse was designed and constructed as a nod to craft, quality, and freshness.