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Subject: Kean Coffee
Location visited: Newport Beach,CA
Free WiFi ? : yes
Rating: 5+ [see key]
While I am all about using coffeehouses as a rendezvous for friends, waiting at a crowded one with little promise for a table can be a bit trying.
Twas my luck when meeting up with friends at Kean Coffee in Newport Beach. The traffic proved nil for my wife and I as per our course, but our friends had worse fortunes and they ended up sitting on the 405 for some time. So to kill some time while the wife and I waited, we decided to get our coffee and wait inside.
Kean Coffee sits in a small shopping center with a few outside tables along its long windows. Inside, Kean has a moderately-sized cafe with nice wood furniture and tribal chandeliers. The apparent popularity of the place showed with the impossibility of getting an inside table but fortunately, there were a few seats outside.
Kean roasts their own coffee on a drum roaster in the back corner of their store (they were putting a couple batches through while we were there). I sampled their Ethiopian Sidamo, and to my delight it produced a very floral and bright cup, with noticeable berries throughout. The espresso came out decent, with strong tones of citrus and caramel but a fair amount of char on the back end. I didn't note the tea at the time, but according to the website they have their own line of free leaf teas.
By the time my wife and I finished our drinks (she had a delicious mocha), our friends arrived and we made our way to lunch (which ended up a bit more of a drive up to Culver City). In the end, I liked my experience with Kean and thus, if you're in the area looking for decent coffee, give it a try.