What began as the selfish pursuit for delicious coffee has turned into a decade-long fanatic passion for roasting coffee for Jeff Duggan, who first opened Portola Handcrafted Coffee Roasters in Irvine 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 Orange County, but roasting meticulously sourced coffee beans and serving them ultra-fresh was not enough. He found that far too many great beans were destroyed at the hands of poor equipment, flawed technique, and coffee storage dispensers. To further his brewing science, which continues to be underestimated in the industry, Jeff and his wife, Christa, created Portola Coffee Lab in 2011. The goal was to create a 100% single-cup craft brew coffeehouse designed and constructed as a nod to craft, quality, and freshness.
Within a year of bringing a never-before-seen concept and style of coffee to Orange County – one that had previously only been offered in the country’s largest metropolitan areas – Portola Coffee Lab has created a distinct brand that revolves around producing an artisanal culinary product, Craft Coffee. In late 2014, husband-and-wife team, Jeff and Christa Duggan, will expand Portola Coffee Lab and bring their concept to several other locations, including 4th St Market in downtown Santa Ana.