One of the things I appreciate about living in beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia is the abundance of artisanal products that are high-quality and produced locally. There’s a vibrant network of people making food, drink, and physical goods: wineries, chocolate, art, blacksmithing, and much more. Many of our local producers are recognized worldwide. As a newly minted coffee lover, I also appreciate the variety and quality of coffee roasters in town and nearby. Of course, we have to import the beans, but there’s much to the coffee story after the beans are harvested. Here are some of my favorite local coffee resources.
Mudhouse is my favorite coffee in the entire world. It’s a small local chain that started as a coffeehouse and expanded into roasting because they were unhappy with lack of control over that part of their supply chain. Their motto is beautiful coffees thoughtfully sourced and carefully roasted for you and they now make available their coffees via subscription online.
I love Mudhouse coffee for all the things they say about themselves, as well as the fact that I prefer light- to medium-roasted coffee. They do light and medium roasts better than anyone I know. Their espresso, Are You Gold, is the gold standard for me. They’ve been recognized many times nationally and internationally as well, most recently winning perhaps the most prestigious award in the industry: Roast Magazine’s Roaster Of The Year.
If you prefer dark roasts, perhaps Trager Brothers will be your cup. They swing the pendulum all the way to the other side, even boasting a roast called Dark As Dark, which is exactly what it sounds like.
Red Rooster Coffee roasts in Floyd, Virginia. My favorite is the Old Crow Cuppa Joe, which makes espresso that my taste buds say is great.
Black Hand roasts from RVA, the local abbreviation for Richmond, about an hour away. Their coffee is easy to find in many grocery stores here.
There really are too many local and regional roasters to list in detail. Here is a summary of some of the selection available in grocery stores and coffee shops. Many of these are personal favorites for me.
- Milli Joe Coffee
- Shenandoah Joe Coffee
- Atlas Coffee
- Greenberry’s Coffee
- Blanchard’s Coffee
- Larry’s Coffee
- Lexington Coffee
In addition to what’s physically close by, we get a lot of coffee from places that have “trade routes” to Charlottesville, including the following:
That last one is in Maine, but the people behind it have local ties and I’ve gotten their coffee several times locally.
For those who are happy to pay a bit less and get coffee they can still feel better about, there’s always the Allegro bulk coffee in Whole Foods, which I’ve found is extremely fresh—one of the most important attributes of good coffee!
Finally, to wrap this up with a bit of fun, here’s some coffee entertainment. Artist Tammie Wales spends hours painting steampunk art with coffee.
And here’s a quick video showing how to make a latte art tulip. That looks easy; I’m sure I can do that too.