Eatery - Theorem (CA)

Theorem on Urbanspoon

3313 Hyland Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Pricing - $$ | Dining - Casual, Reservation Recommended | Cuisine - Coffee
Theorem Theorem were but a mere concept not too long ago. Now you are a realization of the mastery behind craft specialty coffee and the geniuses that reside in Portola's entourage. I had talked a long time ago with some friends about getting together to go to Theorem but it wasn't until fairly recently that we finally committed. I say that reservations are recommended and not required now because they've recently opened up their brew bar concept for walk-ins but it used to be reservation only at this six-seater coffee bar. You get a time slot at $20/person for one hour of the barista's time and a tasting menu.

My apologies for not having any more pictures than the exterior shot (LOVE the design by the way) but they have a no technology policy once inside so that people can fully enjoy their experience. That's great and all but man did I just want to gush about what was going on! We got lucky and had Truman as our barista (he's the head honcho of Theorem really) presenting his Coffees of the World series in the Part 1 menu of Cuba, Greece, and Vietnam. We had a Cuban espresso, a Greek frappé, and a Vietnamese cà phê sữa đá; the main focus was on drinks that use the basic ingredients of coffee, milk, and sugar. I'd go into detail about everything he told us but that would defeat the purpose of me trying to get you to go there - seriously, you must. The manipulation of three simple ingredients to create three widely different emotional and technical experiences in the coffee was astounding as was Truman's vast knowledge about what he was doing (and the dexterity at which he was doing everything!). I'm looking forward to booking more reservations there! Who wants to join me?

Photography by Minerva Thai.



  1. So 20$ and a reservation would net me an hour with the barista and all the drinks on the day's menu right? The drinks aren't a separate thing.

    I had the 7$ chemistry brewed coffee last week from Portola's and was thoroughly impressed. Can't wait to try this one out.

  2. Yep, $20 for an hour and three drinks. It's quite a steal actually, and we asked so many questions of Truman. He answered all of them quite well and even thought together with us on the potential of the specialty coffee industry's growth. I loved the passion behind his work and the skill!