Kean Coffee Open in Tustin
Mon Mar 30th 2009, 4:16pm
Kean Coffee in Tustin Now
Kean Coffee in Tustin Now Open

The Diedrich Roaster
The Diedrich Roaster

The Order Counter
The Order Counter

Lots of People
Lots of People
I am thrilled to see Diedrich coffee returning to Tustin under a new brand, Kean Coffee. The Tustin location has quite a history for me, and from several other people I recognized and/or talked to on Saturday, quite a history for many others as well.

At age 15 I was introduced to good coffee at the Tustin Diedrich's, and it soon grew to be my regular stomping grounds with friends in high school. I imagine the older clientele didn't appreciate our loud teenage behavior (I will never forget an incident of slipping on wet floor near the bathroom, falling on my back side, and swearing loudly like only a teenager could in front of at least a dozen other customers), but the coffee was excellent, and the atmosphere upscale but relaxed, so we all managed to get along. I have so many memories of sitting and talking to friends there over coffee through college.

That was all quite a while ago. Fast forward to 2006, and one day I walked into my regular Trabuco Hills Diedrich's and read a little sign on the counter that said Diedrich's was closing its stores and selling them all to Starbucks. The horror! A little piece of myself was getting bulldozed by the evil juggernaut. Indeed, some time later I recall driving by my old Diedrich's and seeing a cookie cutter Starbucks in its place. I didn't stop.

A little while after that, I learned that Martin Diedrich had actually left his namesake business some time ago, and had started up Kean Coffee in Newport Beach. That's Kéan, "Kee'-uhn", named after his son. I visited and actually met the man behind my coffee addiction. Great coffee.

Two years later, Starbucks, facing a serious glut of stores in a declining economy, closed the Tustin location. And an opportunity was born.

In March 2009 Kean Coffee opened up its second store at that very same location in Tustin. And on Saturday and Sunday this weekend Angela and I visited it and had coffee. The choice in locations was obviously no coincidence. Angela recognized one of the baristas behind the counter, the same guy that used to make her drinks way back when. I asked one of the other baristas how long the shop had been open--he wasn't quite sure (a few days maybe?), it was his second day, but for him too it was a bit of a homecoming. He and I exchanged a few stories of how we'd been fans of the old Diedrich's, and the trademark roaster on the premises. He was clearly a coffee lover and a much bigger connoisseur than I am. He described his experience so far of working there with the people who select and roast the coffee there every day, and he described a difference between Starbucks and Kean's was that at Kean's, coffee making is a culinary art. I could sense the awe in his voice. He said several of the people there had all worked at Diedrich's in the past (some at that very store). I could only imagine what they had done or given up to come back to where they used to work. On the way out, the roaster was spinning away under careful oversight.

I am glad my Diedrich's is back, even better than I remember it.

Visitor comments
On Fri Apr 3rd 2009, 7:34am, Clay posted:
This is too cool! This Diedrich's was my first introduction to an actual coffee house (we didn't have anything like it in St. Louis at the time). I can honestly say that my current coffee addiction can be traced back to this very store.

Looking forward to a return visit some day.

On Mon Apr 6th 2009, 2:40pm, Steve Kehlet posted:
Clay, that's great! I hope you can come out to visit sometime, and we'd be sure to stop by this store.