Chino Hills, CA: Platform 909

I have recently enjoyed some time in my hometown. Nearly three weeks of uninterrupted time has given me the chance to leisurely explore, and to find a new appreciation for my particular section of southern California.

On one particularly eventful day, I drove over to Chino Hills to visit Chino Hills State Park. In October, it happen to be 90 degrees, quite the unusually warm day to visit and hike around a park.

I enjoyed a nice breeze, some outstanding overlooks, and a short sweaty hike. It was a brief but beautiful visit. At its end, I really felt like something more than water, perhaps a good cup of coffee. Hello Google.

I had been researching local coffee shops since my arrival in southern California and I had stumbled upon Platform 909. It had peaked my interest but I hadn’t been close enough to make a stop. Turns out, it’s less than a mile from Chino Hills State Park!

Platform 909 is a Harry Potter-inspired coffee shop, which I did not realize until I entered it. For some reason I had focused on the 909 part, and fallen in love because this was my area code as a child. I just felt that it would be fun to go somewhere that was somehow honoring my original and specific Californian identity (someone from the 909).

Anyway, I walked in and was thrilled to see the sprinkles of Harry Potter decor. It made me think of Bad Owl, it made me feel like I had been transported to my other home: Las Vegas, Nevada.

The venue is relatively small, but there are plenty of options for seating (tall tables, small tables, a couple of cushioned chairs). The lighting is excellent, lots of natural light, which is my personal favorite. The parking is free and plentiful, which is important anywhere but certainly in southern California. Finally, the customer service is absolutely outstanding.

The woman answered all of my questions: they’ve only been open about a year, this is their only location, they serve tea along with coffee, and yes this a Harry Potter inspired place.

The barista also explained their Spanish latte.

Spanish Latte: coffee, condensed milk, a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Not overly sweet, not as much as you’d think; great hot or iced.

I decided to go for it–I purchased an iced Spanish latte.

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It was delightful. The condensed milk was not overpowering, the drink had only a bit of sweetness. The cinnamon on top I immediately mixed into the drink, so when I was drinking I had hints of cinnamon here and there. The combination, the balance of condensed milk and coffee, was perfect for me. I had enough coffee and enough milk to enjoy my drink as well as get a dose of coffee/caffeine for the day.

If you’re in southern California, close to Chino Hills, make a stop at Platform 909, the coffee is magical.

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