We are changing the date for the Espresso class to Saturday, April 13th at 11 am. The class will be at Dancing Mule and will be presented by Sean Hunziker of Grounded Coffee/Copper Canyon Roasters and Randy Austin from Dancing Mule. We will discuss the basics of espresso preparation and then get hands on and pull some shots. Please reserve your spot for this class by email to email@example.com. The date for the milk steaming class has also been changed to Saturday, May 11th, at 11 am at Dancing Mule. If your are an aspiring home barista or just curious about how it is done you will be able to explore during this class. We will get our hands around some pitchers and steam and texture some milk. We can’t promise you will be a latte art champion after this class but you will be headed in the right direction. The date for the roasting demonstration has not been set at this time. We will post more information about the roasting demonstration on the Dancing Mule website and Facebook when it is available.
Dancing Mule will be hosting a series of Coffee Education classes beginning Saturday March 2nd at 11 am with a Coffee Cupping. Coffee Cupping is the standard format for tasting and evaluating coffee for purchase, or during the roasting process, or in our case just for fun . One of the core values of Dancing Mule is to educate in a positive manner without being condescending or arrogant. We want to share what we know about coffee because we love great coffee and want others to appreciate it as much as we do. All of our classes will be free. We ask for participants to sign up in advance so we can make sure we can accomodate everyone who wants to come. We will limit the number of participants for each class however, we will schedule more classes if needed. We will keep a sign up sheet at the register. You can sign up in the shop or give us a call at 417-883-5114 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also offer a 10% discount on our wide selection of coffee or brewing equipment after any of the classes. Check the website and our Facebook page for updates on upcoming classes.
The schedule for classes will be:
Coffee Cupping, Saturday, March 2nd @ 11am - We will explore the different tastes of coffee through the standard cupping process.
Brewing Class, Saturday, March 16th @11 am – We will explain and demonstrate Pourover and French Press brewing methods including the reasons for following the best brewing procedures and not just the techniques.
Espresso Class, Saturday March 30th @11 am – Are you an aspiring home barista? Learn about the espresso brewing process and even try your hand at extracting a great espresso.
Milk Steaming, Saturday, April 13th @11 am - Start your journey to becoming a latte art champ, well at least the first step on the journey. Steaming and texturing milk is one half of the equation of making a great latte.
Roasting – Time and date to be announced, This class will be held at Copper Canyon Roasters and will include a roasting demonstration and explanation of the process.
Recently Ed Peaco, a free-lance writer for the Springfield News-Leader asked if he could interview us for an online article about Dancing Mule. We said yes, of course, since we aren’t shy about receiving free publicity for the Mule. Ed spent about 2 hours with us sampling food and drinks and talking about the Mule. It is always interesting to see the results of an interview knowing it will have to be condensed and edited to a reasonable length. We appreciate Ed spending so much time with us and including much of what we talked about during the interview. Our only regret is we didn’t have our more attractive staff members available for the group photo. You can check out the article here: http://www.news-leader.com/article/20120709/ENTERTAINMENT12/307090048/Restaurant-Profile-Dancing-Mule
I was reading an article in the April/May issue of Barista Magazine written by Michael Phillips and it made me think about the choices we offer at Dancing Mule. Michael Phillips won the United States Barista Championship and the World Barista Championship in 2010. He is supremely qualified to comment on specialty coffee and is certainly entitled to his opinion. The article is about choices Handsome Coffee Roasters (his new coffee venture) have made in setting up their retail coffee bar. The article brings up an ongoing debate in the specialty coffee community about limiting choices we offer our customers. Dancing Mule believes our customers should be able to enjoy their coffee drink the way they like it. We believe the best coffee for our customer is the one they like the best not the one I or my staff like the best. Some coffee shop owners believe milk choice should be limited to whole milk. Some believe drinks should only be served in traditional sizes so the notes in the espresso are not drowned in milk. Flavorings, according to some, should be limited to either none or a few basic flavors. Some believe in serving only traditional drinks and eliminating or minimizing the condiment bar so the customer will taste the coffee without cream or sweeteners. The drive-thru is a negative in the mind of some shop owners and baristas because they believe the customer can’t possibly appreciate the awesome goodness of coffee while drinking it from a paper cup in their car.
What is the justification for this kind of thinking? In some cases I think it is a completely negative and snobbish attitude that ultimately hurts specialty coffee shops. No one likes to be looked down on by someone serving coffee who thinks they have it all figured out. I believe most of the time the motives are pure and shop owners are trying to differentiate themselves as true specialty coffee shops. They are trying to elevate coffee beyond a commodity. They are trying to showcase the hard work of the farmer, the roaster, and the barista by serving the coffee in an unadulterated form. I respect their commitment to quality and only selling what they perceive to be the best coffee prepared in the best way. I feel the same commitment to great coffee only I want to let the customer decide the best way to enjoy their coffee. If you enjoy a 20 oz vanilla soy mocha, then the Mule Team will try to make you the best one you have ever tasted, pour a Rosetta in the top of your paper cup, put a lid on it, and serve it with a smile through the drive-thru window. I will also be happy to serve your double espresso in a demitasse with a fancy little spoon. I believe the customer should not be judged or reprimanded or lectured for how they enjoy their coffee. I believe in offering as many choices as we can manage so we can serve great coffee to a wide audience. We enjoy talking with our customers about proper milk texturing, latte art, how the espresso is carefully prepared, how the beans are the top 1% available in the world, and by the way would you like to try an espresso? I believe gently educating when the opportunity arises is the best way to turn people on to great coffee.
Dancing Mule Coffee is all about offering choices to our customers. We have 8, 12, 16, and 20 ounce sizes for hot drinks in paper or ceramic cups. We have 16, 20, and now 32 ounce sizes for our cold drinks. The 32 ounce size is certain to get our coffee purist credential revoked. We started offering the 32 ounce cold drink because some of our customers requested it for iced tea. Who am I to say someone shouldn’t have a 32 ounce frappe if they want one? We have skim milk, 2%, whole, half and half, soy, and almond milk. We have even steamed heavy cream upon request and eggnog during the holidays. We can make almost all of our drinks hot, iced, or blended and decaf. We will attempt to duplicate any combination of modifier you might have for your coffee drink even half-caf (although that is the hardest one for me to understand). We have a wide variety of flavors including 14 sugar free flavors. We serve 2 varieties of Chai, 8 Harney and Sons hot teas, unsweet and sweet iced tea, and we will ice any of our Harney and Sons tea upon request. We have juice boxes for kids, hot chocolate, Italian sodas, crèmes (flavored blended drinks like a frappe without the coffee), and six varieties of fruit smoothies for the non-coffee drinkers who come to the shop. We will serve your drink to-go, in the café, or out the drive-thru window. We have 15 – 20 different coffees available for retail sale including single origins, blends, a couple of flavored coffees, and coffee from two different roasters. We stock whole bean coffee to keep it fresh but we will grind it for you. We keep 2 or 3 coffee choices in addition to our house and featured available on the pour-over bar so our customers can explore the coffee world.
Every coffee shop owner, really every business, has to decide what they will serve and how many choices they will offer their customers. The marketplace will ultimately decide if a business is providing for the needs and desires of their customers. I respect any coffee shop that is doing what they think is right for their customers. A rising tide lifts all boats. All independent coffee shops benefit when we make specialty coffee truly special and better than what the customer expects. I would appreciate any feedback or comment on the choices Dancing Mule offers to our customers especially by our customers. Please email email@example.com with your questions or comments. We want to constantly improve our service and our coffee so any suggestions are helpful.
We have 21 different varieties of coffee available for you to enjoy at home. Including two new PT’s Direct Trade Coffee’s from Bolivia. We have the Juan Yujra Micro-lot from Finca Senda Salvaje featuring notes of roasted hazelnuts and brown sugar. The smooth, buttery cup rounds out to a delicate and refreshing sweetness of melon as the coffee cools. The Vicente Baltazar Micro-lot features a creamy body with notes of gentle honey, caramel, and a juicy acidity. The cup rounds out with a delicate jonagold apple sweetness as it cools.
Our current featured brew is also roasted by PT’s Coffee and is from the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. La Candelilla Estate consists of 9 small coffee producers working together to produce their harvest. The pickers at La Candelilla Estate take special care to ensure they only harvest cherries at 100% ripeness. The cherries are brought back to be pulped, washed and processed. The coffee is then set out on drying patios to be sun dried, until the proper moisture content has been reached in the drying process. This coffee has a very nice aroma, hinting at caramel, chocolate and almonds. The cup has a mild acidity and a well balanced body with notes of caramel, gentle cedar and a soft melon sweetness.
We have five coffees from Copper Canyon Coffee Roasters in Springfield, Mo available for you to take home. Our current Copper Canyon selection includes the Sumatra Black Satin, Costa Rica, Matagalpa, Rwanda, and the Swiss Water Processed Sumatra Decaf. All of these coffees are Fair Trade Certified and Organic.
At Dancing Mule we enjoy offering a wide selection of retail coffee. We are happy to talk coffee and help you select the right one for you. We can also offer suggestions on getting the most out of your coffee brewing experience at home. We can always order any of the coffee available from PT’s or Copper Canyon for you if we don’t have your favorite.
Dancing Mule Coffee Company is very proud to unveil a new line of offerings for the New Year! Drew Haldiman, a professionally trained pastry chef, has joined the Mule team.
He brings years of baking knowledge and experience creating food masterpieces to the Mule table. With Drew at the helm of our baking department, we’re launching many new and exceptional food items.
Come check out our new line of fresh-from-scratch baked goods including: western and veggie quiche, cinnamon rolls, muffins, cookies, streudel and pecan pie (already proclaimed by a Mule customer as better than his mom’s). Really, the scrumptious possibilities are endless. We are excited to share with you all the delicious offerings he has in store, so stay tuned and watch our Facebook page for updates of when items are fresh from the oven!
At Dancing Mule Coffee Company, we believe great coffee starts with a great foundation. If you don’t get the fundamentals right, it can change the whole essence of your coffee.
Coffee is 98.5% water, so the first building block of great coffee is great water. We use the Cirqua Easy 720 reverse osmosis water filtration system at Dancing Mule. The Cirqua system doesn’t just filter water it allows us to formulate the best water for our coffee by programming the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) level in our water. We use our Cirqua filtered water for all of our coffee and espresso brewing and even our ice is made with filtered water.
Our water is purified three times through a sediment filter, a carbon filter, and the reverse osmosis process before it is used for making any of our drinks. Low grade tap water leaves you with bland, flat coffee, which is, frankly, unacceptable.
We’ll never compromise on any part of the coffee making process, not even the water… because picky doesn’t begin to describe our pallet for great coffee. All coffee starts out as water, so why not start out with the best? Because when you’re Stubborn About Great Coffee like we are good enough, just plain isn’t.
Dancing Mule Coffee Company has partnered with Makua Coffee, Kona, Hawaii to help with rebuilding efforts in Joplin.
Makua Coffee has donated one-pound bags of whole bean 100% Kona Coffee to the effort. Makua has named the coffee, Kokua Coffee. Kokua is a Hawaiian word that translates as, “extended loving, sacrificial help to others for their benefit, not for personal gain.”
Dancing Mule is selling the coffee for $25 per bag, with 100% of the proceeds going to Joplin Disaster Relief. Don’t have a grinder? No worries! Dancing Mule will grind it for you. Hurry, supplies are limited and 100% Kona Coffee will go fast
Well, it’s hotter than a two dollar pistol here in the Ozarks, and it’s time for cold drink season at the Dancing Mule. Fortunately, the Mule has several excellent options for your hot weather coffee needs. The first option is: Don’t be a wimp, just drink it hot like a real man or woman. There is nothing like a hot latte or cup of coffee to stoke your internal fire on a hot day.
If you are the sensible type who likes to adapt your habits to suit the changing temperature, you can try our many other options like iced coffee, iced lattes, frappes, crèmes, fruit smoothies, iced tea, Italian sodas, iced chai, or even a glass of ice water, bottled water, or a bottle of Coke or Diet Coke. We even have chilled juice boxes for the young ones or the young at heart. Over half of our menu consists of cold drinks, and we can make anything iced or blended that we can make hot.
What if you aren’t familiar with all the cool coffee shop lingo or you are just confused because different places call the same thing a different name? Don’t fret. We have some definitions and explanations that should clear up the confusion. While we’re at it, we’ll tell you why the cold Mule drinks are better than the corporate chains. Remember, friends don’t let friends drink corporate coffee.
Iced Coffee –This one is pretty simple—it’s just coffee poured over ice. Many people add a dash of cream or some sugar to suit their taste, but it tastes great without anything added. Some of the corporate chains have corrupted the name of this drink by really serving an iced latte with a flavoring and calling it iced coffee.
At the Mule our iced coffee is cold brewed and has a smooth rich and chocolaty flavor. We use the cold brewing method because pouring hot coffee over ice can make it bitter and it melts your ice and then you have diluted iced coffee. We use five pounds of coarse ground coffee and pour five gallons of filtered water over it and let it brew for 18 hours. The filtered water we use is from our Cirqua reverse osmosis filter system. Good water makes better coffee because coffee is approximately 98.5% water. The longer brewing time is necessary because we aren’t using hot water to speed up the extraction of the good stuff from the coffee. The cold brewed concentrate is then chilled and kept refrigerated. A batch of cold brewed coffee only stays around a day or so during the summer at the Mule, but if refrigerated it is good for several weeks.
Iced Latte – In our case, an iced latte is made with cold brewed coffee concentrate mixed with milk (skim, 2%, whole, or half and half). If you want to add flavoring an iced latte is a better choice than iced coffee. We can add any of our wide selection of flavored syrups or sauces to an iced latte. We use the cold brewed coffee concentrate instead of hot espresso because espresso can be bitter when chilled too fast over ice. We will make your iced latte with hot shots if you prefer the stronger coffee flavor. We make the iced honey latte with hot espresso shots because it is difficult to mix honey with cold coffee.
Frappe – The frappe is a blended coffee drink. We use a non-dairy base, ice (our ice is made from filtered water), cold brewed coffee, add a flavoring of your choice and blend until smooth. We can top with whip cream (our whip cream is made at the Mule) or use sugar free syrups or sauces to go the other direction and lower your calorie and sugar count. If you are really watching calories, an iced latte with skim milk or an iced coffee are probably a better choice. Our frappes are not made from a pre-packaged mix. They are better because we use our cold brewed coffee and are made to order the way you want it. We encourage custom orders, and we want you to ask questions so we can make you something you will really enjoy.
Crème – Crème’s are frappes without the coffee. The fruit flavors are great for a crème, and it is fun to experiment with different flavor combinations. Crème’s are very sweet and have a milk shake like consistency.
Smoothies – Our smoothies are a fruit puree and we have Strawberry, Mango, Wildberry, APB (Acai, Pomegranate, and Blueberry), Mango, and Strawberry Banana. Our smoothies are from Jet and have a green tea base although they taste like fruit and not the green tea base. We can combine flavors to create a custom smoothie.
Italian Sodas – They are a flavoring combined with soda water and ice. The fruit flavors generally work better in an Italian soda. Many of our customers like to experiment with Italian sodas and combine flavors to create your favorite.
Iced Tea – We use Harney and Sons Black tea for our sweet and unsweet iced tea and, of course, filtered water. Our iced tea is kept refrigerated and chilled so it doesn’t melt your ice. We can also ice any of our nine varieties of Harney and Sons if you have a few minutes to wait for us to brew it for you.
Iced Chai – Our iced chai latte is made with Oregon Chai concentrate mixed with milk of your choice and poured over ice. We have an extra spicy chai for the adventurous who like a stronger flavor. We can also make a chai frappe if you prefer a blended drink.
Come by and pick one of the options above to cool down on a hot day. We look forward to serving you your new favorite cold drink at Dancing Mule soon.
Many businesses claim they are serving specialty coffee. Specialty coffee is often defined as the top 10 percent of coffee available in the world. Let’s talk numbers.
The J.M. Smucker Company bought the Folgers brand in 2008. It has been a very successful acquisition for the company. Smuckers gross revenue in 2010 was $4.6 billion. Folgers is the number 1 store brand of coffee in the United States. The Folgers brand accounted for approximately 40 percent of Smucker’s sales in 2010 or about $1.8 billion. The Folgers brand family also includes Millstone and a 25-year agreement to provide coffee for Dunkin’ Donuts. Dunkin’ Donuts sales were $276 million of the total, making Dunkin’ donuts the number 2 “specialty” store brand behind Starbucks.
Speaking of Big Green (Starbucks), it has around 11,000 stores in the United States and 17,009 stores worldwide. Starbucks sales were $10.71 billion in 2010. Starbucks bought 269,000,000 pounds of coffee in 2010.
McDonald’s by comparison has 32,000 stores worldwide, 13,700 stores in the United States and $24 billion in sales. McDonald’s sells coffee in addition to burgers – about 500 million cups per year.
Why have we thrown all these numbers at you? The coffee that Dancing Mule serves, roasted by PT’s Coffee, is not available in enough quantity to provide the big boys (J.M. Smuckers, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, McDonalds) with coffee for a day. PT’s sold approximately 205,000 pounds in 2009, and PT’s primarily buys coffee from small farms in small lots. One of their recent micro-lots from Hawaii was 210 pounds and sold out in two weeks.
PT’s develops direct trade relationships with coffee farmer’s that benefit the farmer by giving them a better price for their hard work and benefit PT’s by allowing them to source the top 1 percent of coffee available in the world. For more information about PT’s Direct Trade policies you can go here: http://www.ptscoffee.com/education/direct_trade_coffee.php.
For more information and a longer discussion of the definition of specialty coffee check out this article http://www.scaa.org/?page=RicArtp1 by Ric Rhinehart the Executive Director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America titled “What is Specialty Coffee?”
Having the best coffee available is only a starting point to providing truly special coffee. The coffee must be prepared and served correctly. The fact that there is only one Dancing Mule is a huge advantage over large coffee chains in regards to serving quality coffee.
We don’t have to make our coffee taste the same in 17,009 stores! We are a locally owned family business with daily management and involvement by the owner’s of the business. To sum it all up, Dancing Mule is Stubborn About Great Coffee.