THE STORY

THE ART OF ROASTING

INTRODUCING OUR COFFEES

STORE INFO

  1. Mudhouse

  2. HOW WE GOT HERE

    The two of us used to giggle and pass notes in 8th grade math. After college, walkabouts, and real jobs, we met back up in Alaska and lived in a old VW van, down by the river. That's when we decided to open a coffeehouse back in Virginia. We wanted to make a difference. People thought we were crazy. Banks thought we were crazy, but we persevered and now here we are, 20 years later, in the middle of a dream, roasting coffee together for people we love and playing around, still giggling like two little monkeys.

  3. IT STARTED WITH THE TWO OF US AND A COFFEE CART

    November 2, 1993 was our first day. With a little red wagon, we rolled our baby cart, and from the looks of it, everything we owned, down the mall. Bob and George and Lin and Bernard were our first customers. Most people looked at us funny. We had ice storms and lots of snow that year, and we wore every piece of clothing in layers to stay warm. One day a clearly skeptical Italian gentleman stopped by and ordered an espresso. When he came back the next day we felt like we were doing something right. Jamie Dyer would bring his guitar, Phil Gair would sit on a bench making poetic buddhic pronouncements, somebody brought a chess board, David Van Buren would serenade everyone with his violin. It began to feel like a coffeehouse without walls.

  4. IN 1995 WE OPENED OUR FIRST COFFEEHOUSE

    We wanted to open a coffeehouse that was a place for free expression, where skate punks and city councilors would sit side by side and begin a dialogue. We searched and searched, needing to be on the downtown mall, as it was to us, the heart of Charlottesville. We found our building on the sunny side of the west end where the old Virginia Lunch used to be. There was no ice skating rink and the Regal theater was an abandoned boarded up building. Woolworth’s was still there, but most buildings were empty, and folks came only to hear music at Millers or have dinner at C&O or Metropolitain. We loved it, the bones and the beauty, we saw the mall clearly, how it could be a shared space, a community park, small business and city council working together, a place to commune. Our dear friend Derek worked tirelessly helping us build out while we painted and sawed. On October 13, 1995 we pulled the paper from the windows and opened the door. Mark Gresge of L'Etoile was our first customer. We’ve changed a little since those days, but our spirit is the same. And our mission is still the same…to create good feeling.

  5. FROM FLAGSHIP BEGINNINGS TO COFFEEBARS AND CROZET

    After a few years, we opened coffee bars in Tiger Fuel's gourmet stations at Bellair and Mill Creek. In 2009 after surveying countless locations, we opened our second coffeehouse in Downtown Crozet where the Stanleys had the old Crozet Drugstore. We fell in love with the building; it has the original tin ceiling, and a beautiful westward facing stained glass window. Albemarle County is investing a lot into Crozet, streetscaping the downtown area, creating safe walking lanes to the schools, and building a new 20,000 sq. ft. library. We wanted to play a part by creating a big comfortable smoke free/alcohol free coffeehouse for all ages. Rick, Jeff, Jean, and Billy from next-door at Crozet Hardware came over and helped us install a 400 lb. communal table in the middle of the space for folks to gather and collaborate on ways to enhance and improve Crozet: things like raising funds for the new library or a new roof over the Crozet pool, or game planning a weekend devoted to cleaning up the area trails, or brainstorming new businesses for downtown.

  6. HUMAN EXPANSION AND EXPERIENCE

    A coffeehouse in a beautiful old building is cool, but it is just an empty space. What makes Mudhouse Mudhouse is our crew, our people, the wild cards of the world. Almost anyone can learn how to make coffee. There's a lot to learn about how to roast and brew excellent coffee consistently day in and day out, but that's the easy part. The most important thing we do is we always always look for people who have love in their hearts. It doesn't always show up on a resume, but it shows up behind the bar when you come in for your coffee. Everyone on our crew is kind and compassionate and silly and sparkly. They are the best, year in and year out. We love and are honored to be working together with them.

  7. 7 YEARS AGO WE
    BEGAN TO DREAM ABOUT ROASTING

  8. IN MAY 2005, WE STARTED THE PROCESS

    WHAT DID WE MEAN BY "FIRST CRACK?"

    The first stage of the coffee roasting process is endothermic as the green beans absorb the heat of the coffee roaster. First crack marks the beginning of the second stage which is exothermic. The beans begin to give off heat and expel aromatic gases and the remaining water vapor. It sounds like popcorn popping. The majority of chemical reactions within the bean happen from this point on.

  9. WE'VE COME A LONG WAY SINCE OUR FIRST CRACK

  10. Build Crozet Library Blend

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