Mulch Makes Their Move: Espresso on wheels, offered in and/or around their space.

by shelbinator3000

Jason Calhoon of Mulch Coffee just poured a beautiful cappuccino made from Water Avenue espresso and Organic Valley milk, swagger intact.

Mulch Coffee saw fit to make it so you could sit down and sip one of the best cappuccinos out of anywhere in the country right in Old Town Scottsdale – every Saturday morning. Sooner rather than later, it will be every day.

They chose a good place to set up shop – the Old Town Farmers Market couldn’t get more adoration from valley locals; the competition is stiff but boasts a friendly attitude and a lot of vegetables. Of course, no one takes the silent credo of stiff competition to heart more than Scottsdale dog owners – for perfectly groomed and mannered pups, Saturday morning at the market is show time.

The market vendors are a bit less flashy than the dogs and their owners, but they set the bar high for quality. Some markets don’t have raw honey from The Health Foodie, a sourcer that pays attention to the whole honey bee chain, or every root vegetable under the sun plucked from the soil at Blue Sky Farms, or those buttery croissants that would feel at home in Paris but Essence Bakery brings with them from Tempe – to which I remain faithful – though I dare you to challenge me with a pastry tour in France.

Up until very recently the farmers market in Old Town Scottsdale didn’t have a solid coffee option, either. And as early as 8 o’clock in the morning, entering the bitter cold of Scottsdale’s winter season, marketeers deserved coffee that tasted good and was brewed fresh.

When Mulch Coffee opened up shop at the market just a few weekends ago they brought high quality coffee grown by families in countries ranging from Ethiopia to Kenya and Colombia to Guatemala that kept customers on their toes. The coffee is roasted lightly and in small batches by a smart company out of Portland called Water Avenue. All together it was a world of coffee that Scottsdale hardly knew existed prior to Mulch, but the marketeers caught on quickly. As for presentation: Brian Clemens and Jason Calhoon brewed cup by cup to each customer, by v60 or Aeropress pour-overs (as well as offering a delicious, single origin cold-brewed iced coffee) with a smile and some conversation – be it about the coffee itself or the Sun Devils football game the night before (they probably lost).

Mulch suddenly outgrew their space and as of last Saturday they’re permanently across the street from the market, in front of the space they’ll be moving into in early 2012, right next to Old Town’s The Mission restaurant. Now the Mulch operation is decked out with a coffee cart that dons refrigeration for their Organic Valley milk and ample wooden counter-tops for pour-over coffee brewing – not to mention a world-class La Marzocco espresso machine and grinder that line up in front of the owner-baristas who work wonders behind it. They’re friendly too, so you won’t think twice about ordering that top-notch cappuccino.

This Saturday the guys at Mulch will be sweetening the deal by getting a bit more handsome – Handsome Coffee that is, a roaster out of Los Angeles that the reigning World Barista Champion, Mike Phillips, calls home. Their roaster, Chris Owens, knows all too well how to roast a coffee bean, having originally roasted for Ritual Coffee Roasters in San Francisco – a personal favorite of mine. Handsome, as you may have read, is quickly becoming a favorite as well.

After Saturday the Mulch guys will be out in front of their space on Sunday as well, and then a two week break for the holidays will take it’s course. Shortly after that, however, you’ll see them quite a bit more often. Whether it’s in the form of their cart and some seating outside their space or if they’ll be inviting you inside their doors, at this point, is beyond me. Count on this: nearly daily operation as they move closer to the grand opening of their coffee concept – which at that point you’ll be able to visit them as often as your heart (and palette) desires.

P.S. It’s a safe bet that you’ll be able to find out where they are and when on their Twitter.

Setting up before the Farmer's Market opens, Brian Clemens of Mulch Coffee is setting the espresso dial to delicious outside of the coffee bar's storefront.

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