photo essay.: Bad Coffee, Costa Mesa, California.

I want it bad

play “Auburn Epitaphs” by Mutual Benefit while reading


Bryant Trinh, owner of Bad Coffee behind the La Marzocco.








Bad can be bad. But bad can also be good, oh so good!

Playing on the latter, Bad Coffee is a high ceiling, twinkle light adorned coffee shop in Costa Mesa. Bad Coffee says hello with a perfectly sized La Marzocco on its entrance facing bar. I felt immediately welcomed by this touch, as if the hosts I had yet to meet, were waiting to meet me.

Seating, aligned along its windows, is like outstretched arms capable of enfolding you with views of simplicity and accents of healthy green fiddle plants.

A bench here by the condiments enclave, a bench there by the front of house corner,  and chairs parallel to the exit without the suggestion that you should make one soon, let you know that people are staying here for the bad coffee, which after a pull and a steam is anything but that.


There’s a front row seat to barista, machine and steam wand.  I stood watching craft happen before and polaroids hung above me of people who had received what I was about to welcome.  To receive my cup with these coastal theatrics was an encore to the real show: the coffee of the coffee shop.


A cappuccino is poured after milk is steamed to microfilm perfection.


A couple wait on one of the seating benches for coffee.


Afternoon light trickles into Bad Coffee while a patron eyes something.

Two years into being officially bad, multi-roaster coffee served here is artful and balanced. The waning afternoon sun shone on my face, as I twinkled,  in its solar powered energy tasting how good this bad stuff was, like a milky way chocolate bar with a Swiss Creme Sandwich middle.

Twinkle twinkle, Bad Coffee with its metal straws is a star! #drinkbadcoffee

1534 Adams Ave Ste A, Costa Mesa, CA 92626