Small Town Two Lane Travel: Columbia, TN Part One
Muletown Coffee: Downtown With a Global View
This week we want to share with you one of Mike’s favorite towns in Tennessee. Located about 40 minutes south of Nashville, Columbia, TN was incorporated in 1817 and is the self proclaimed “Mule Capital of the World”. It also is home to several historic sites, quaint shops and is a great small town destination if you are headed toward Tennessee. Later this week we will post more on Mike’s other favorite spots in Columbia so stay tuned but coffee always comes first 😉
Our first stop is Muletown Coffee. Nestled next to a vintage record shop in the town square of Columbia, Tennessee is a coffeehouse that brews the bean in such a way that suddenly ordering a simple coffee turns into a delicious experience. We’re talking ethically sourced, pour overs and lattes, folks.
The owners of Muletown Coffee Chris Weninegar and Matt Johnson, each retired from careers in music for a life of lattes in an unique, Main Street coffee shop. What separates this mule from the the rest of the herd, is that Chris and Matt work directly with farmers to purchase ethically sourced coffee beans.
“It’s more than a cup of coffee,” says Chris. “We want to feel connected to the places we touch. Our goal is to know the farmers and make sure you do too because they’re masters of their craft. When you order a coffee, we can tell you the name of the farmer, the type of bean, where it’s from, its harvest process, etc. We don’t want the cheapest coffee for you; We want the best coffee for you.”
Muletown, named after the famous and local Mule Day Celebration, began as a modest roasting studio on December 5, 2013. With the demand for coffee in a small town, the guys traded up and began serving the coffee they roasted, putting their beans in neighborhood restaurants like Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant and Marcy Jo’s. [Fun Fact: the entire space is only 800 square feet, and they roast about 600 pounds of beans a week!]
The Muletown baristas want to make sure you are getting something in each cup, such as adding their homemade bourbon vanilla into the masterpiece they call “the hardisson mill latte”.
Another treat is the pour over method. Muletown Coffee baristas have mastered the process and are happy to have you watch is your coffee brews before your eyes. The particular pour comes from Arnulfo Leguizamo, Columbia, whose coffee beans took first place at 2011 Cup of Excellence and sold for $45 per pound.
“I pursued coffee because of the culture,” says Chris. “I’ve had the pleasure of working in and familiarizing myself with this amazing culture that the business of coffee so organically creates. This is a peek into my life, the people in it and what makes Muletown more than just a great cup of coffee.
The coffee shop is open Monday through Saturday and intentionally closes on Sundays. “We want to make sure everyone is taken care of, that includes our employees,” says Chris. “If you go to our website to check out our hours, it actually says ‘Sunday-day of rest.'”
Want to try some of their ethically sourced roasts? Select a pound of your favorite origin and pretty soon you’ll have Muletown in your town.