You know I love me some coffee; I do not start the day without a cup. Last week, I was invited to visit a new coffee bar located in Chino Hills. Chino Hills? Wha?! Surely I jest? But ho ho, I do not. As a coffee
addict fan, I was excited to drive out to Dripp and meet founder and owner Rabih Sater. He spent three years developing the concept after staying at the Gramercy Park Hotel, the inspiration for Dripp. His goal? To bring a boutique coffee bar back to his hometown. I’m going to say he’s succeeded.
As you walk into Dripp, the interior is beautiful – full of reclaimed wood, furniture and even the floor tiles. Thankfully, the space is functional. There are plenty of tables and seating inside and out for you patrons who need to write blog posts or meet with friends. Look up above, and you’ll find a quiet loft space with cushy seating. Check out the decor – old tractor seats, backyard pulleys, vintage coffee grinders, the list goes on. A lot of thought and care went in to building the space. Every piece has a story behind it. (Look up before you go the the restroom.)
What makes Dripp drip? Two things: a custom-built Hario V60 coffee drip bar and a pair of Oji coffee drippers. The entire space was built around the drip bar, not the other way around. It takes about two minutes for specially filtered water to drip through and create some of the best coffee you’ll ever have. The bold, medium and light Intelligentsia-roasted beans that Dripp employs are rotated regularly. On this visit, I tried the Celebration (medium roast, fruity notes) and the Bolivian (dark roast, earthier notes). If you’re a caffeine-phobic, these would not be for you – they’re strong and hearty.
The Oji Drippers take about 8-10 hours to yield a naturally sweet coffee. This is different from something you’d see at other coffee bars – it is not like a giant French press with an eyedropper. Dripp offers this as an iced coffee product, and let me tell you – it’s terrific. There is no acid taste to it nor is it watered down. This is something you need to just sit, enjoy and discuss the NBC decision of shelving Community mid-season.
We also tried the turkish coffee, the Hu-Mina-tea and the GinGin. Hu-Mina-Tea (pronounced “humanity”) is an iced green tea with a tiny bit of Mocha Mix. (Don’t knock it ’til you try it.) It gives the tea the right amount of creaminess and sweetness. The GinGin was my favorite – it’s a West African ginger lemonade with a spicy kick to it. BTW, Dripp spices their own ginger every day. [WIN.] The Turkish coffee is brewed with Rabih’s own Black Goat by Espresso Republic beans.
Dripp had only been open a week when I visited, and already their most popular drinks were the hot chocolate and the mocha. You should see the staff pull espresso from their fancy machine. There’s no “button-pushing” on this machine. This ain’t McDonald’s.
Hungry? Dripp also offers the Cream Bar: sammies, pastries and ice cream from local vendors. The sandwiches and pastries are brought in from BreadBar daily, and the ice cream is sourced from local creameries. This is really nice to hear because they’re so close to many dairy farms in the Chino and Chino Hills area.
So, you’re asking me, why Chino Hills? I asked that question, too. Rabih shares that it is his hometown, where he grew up and now works. It’s central to many areas and gets commuter traffic as people leave and come back via Grand and the 71. This reminds me of “Clueless” scene where Cher’s dad says,”Everywhere in LA takes 20 minutes.” If you live in or around Chino Hills, it is central to LA-proper, OC, SB counties. If I were still in grad school, this would be a great place to make a pitstop to class or to meet my classmates.
My overall impression? Fantastical. I wish there was a Dripp closer to my hood. The space invites everyone in, which is a big plus in my book. Not everyone can be a hipster and listen to Deathcab. I think the fact that their space can hold so many people (if they wanted to) is an advantage that Dripp has being based in Chino Hills instead of, say, West Hollywood or Venice. The products are amazing. Lucky for me, I have family in the area, and can visit them and take them to Dripp! I’m looking forward to trying the mocha and affogato and ice cream on my next visits.
A big thanks goes out to Rabih and Kelly who were so gracious and generous to share their time and coffee with me.
Rabih and company are looking to build a Dripp either in LA or thereabouts in the next few months. In the meantime, bring a book, a friend, a laptop or just yourself and drop by Dripp.
The fine print: Drinks were provided by Dripp. The above review is my own honest opinion.