Stationed in front of the Santa Ana College Nealley Library, The Drip isn’t only about coffee. Professor of communication studies Marilou Morris, who treks from her office on the second floor of the C Building, said “I drink tea very strong. This is what my grandmother would drink.”
History professor Dr. Ronald Martin frequents The Drip for hot chocolate, while track and field runner Reyna Fonseca enjoys an occasional strawberry smoothie. But for most people, The Drip is about coffee.
“I drink coffee for the caffeine,” said Fabian Loere, a barista at The Drip.
For his choice, he used to dabble in espresso drinks such as a latte or mocha, but now regularly drinks Columbian drip.
Every school day, coffee lover Chris Huezo, 21, also stops by for his large drip coffee.
“This place helps me wake up. Thanks to this place I can start my day,” Huezo said.
The Drip’s cart has a wooden frame shielded by a green awning. Various coffee dispensers line the counter in front: Decaf Colombian, French Columbian, Hawaiian Hazelnut, Vanilla Nut, Colombian and French Roast.
The aroma of coffee floats on a breeze. The chatter of students in the quad mixes with the sound of grinding beans, ice churning in the blender, milk aerating and espresso shots being pulled — it all culminates in an everyday spectacle.
“Our coffee is one of the best,” says owner Michael Peltz who also runs beverage carts at other colleges in Orange County.
Of the competition on the other side of 17th Street, he said, “we are better than Starbucks. Their coffee is over-roasted, it’s very bold and it’s too strong.”
While The Drip remains profitable, revenues have decreased since Starbucks’ September 2011 arrival. Unfazed by this challenge Peltz said, “I’m not concerned.”
Some SAC students at the Starbucks on 17th Street split their time between there and The Drip.
Biology major, Phat Hoang, 23, noted the coffee “Is similar. I come here for the environment,” he said of Starbucks.
Nursing student Lauren Fey, 25, and her study buddy Sylvia Campos, 28, both said they visit The Drip “all the time.”
Campos added “The coffee there is more rich. I go there for coffee, here” — meaning Starbucks — “for lattes.”
“I’ll have the usual,” said a customer at The Drip. And then the milk frothing began.