Caffeine Fix: Stereoscope Coffee Company

Waffles with fruit at Stereoscope. Photo credit: TS.

Stereoscope Coffee Company is a newer kid on the cafe block to offer great house-roasted coffee and good work ambiance in Buena Park.

Stereoscope looks as if it could be anywhere, but on a corner of a Korean-focused strip mall. Unless you have little understanding of what it’s like to grow up in SoCal surbubia where strip malls are bigger and its offerings more elaborate. And as they’ve been a part of the commercial lifeblood for decades now, it’s not uncommon to see creative reuse of the space in its 2nd and 3rd generation.

Stereoscope is pretty indicative of this. Inside, there is a minimalistic set of roasting equipment to the left. The communal table is off center towards the right, flanked by a long windowside work table bar top that faces Beach Boulevard. The table almost always gets packed with freelance graphic designers by day, college students at night.

You can get easily spend the afternoon there, getting most of your design or writing work done. Distraction might come from a trio of elegantly dressed Korean ajummas, chatting and chuckling at anecdotes you wish you understood. The white guy with a dog-eared paperback will likely get over his shyness and ask the guy in front of you all about his graphic design work. Or it might be the otherwise well-garbed woman on your left who’s so comfortable that she places her bare feet on top of her shoes (not cool).

You probably won’t get a real good sense of Stereoscope without trying their coffee, which is organized by addition of milk or not. On your first go, avoid the Instagram-worthy temptations of the latté and try a pour-over for a taste of their roasting efforts. Your barista will review with you the roasts you can select. Add a made-to-order waffle topped with fruit, or vanilla ice cream if you’re inclined. You’re going to stay 2, 3, 4 hours anyway and you may as well settle in with a worthwhile treat.

Stereoscope:  4542 Beach Blvd, Buena Park; (714) 747-5572. [map]

Ambiance: Chill, but focused like a study room for college sophomores.
Amenities: Password-protected WiFi that gets a bit spotty at night when you’re joined by other laptop jockeys. Parking can be easily found in the lot. Restrooms towards the back. Outlets alongside the way; one extension for communal seaters closer to the counter.
Drink/Food: House-roasted coffee. Eight types of organic loose leaf tea from Art of Tea. Waffles with fruit or ice cream. Housemade cookies and lemonade. Fresh fruit juices.