Hot for Coffee 4

Mudsmith takes the artistry of the perfect cup to another level — and serves it up in an attractive space.

Whether it’s fatigue, stress, or the mere tediousness of waking life, Mudsmith Coffee offers the libations to cure what ails you. The coffee shop and hangout spot, which first opened in Dallas’s Greenville in 2013, now has a sister location in Fort Worth. To find the place requires either a lucky explorer’s sense or foreknowledge of its existence, as the cozy, attractively decorated shop is tucked away behind the West 7th Chuy’s in Suite 445 at 817 Matisse Drive. In this out of the way spot, caffeine has found its purest expression, and is offered alongside wine, beer, and choice delectables to fuel your next foray into a workday, weekend, or lazy afternoon of introspection.

For many customers, Fort Worth’s Mudsmith stands as a pure expression of the coffee shop ideal: comfortable seating for work or relaxation, and a dark interior with lots of wood, books, and curious accents. If you’ve ever wanted to drink coffee inside a David Lynch film – within the Bookhouse, perhaps? – Mudsmith provides a facsimile opportunity. Instead of BOB or Frank Booth, however, you’re treated to the company of a friendly and expert staff, one whose primary drive is to create the perfect cup of whatever you might need.

“The owner, Brooke, traveled all over the United States trying different coffee shops,” says Jesse Carrasco, Mudsmith’s general manager. “She wanted to make an alternative place for people who work from home. We serve great coffee procured from local roasters in Fort Worth, along with big deli sandwiches. You can come work here, but also enjoy our space anytime of the day.”

The Fort Worth location exists as a spiritual parallel to the Dallas store, with taxidermy accents, old maps, locks, science posters, and other stimulating décor.

“The idea is that you could just be sitting there, taking a break from work, and look up to see this interesting stuff,” says Jesse. “We aim for a homey, warm, and cozy feel.”

Much of the space is rightfully dominated by the counter, which provides a home for the espresso machine and its expert operators. Unlike certain large, ubiquitous coffee shop chains, Mudsmith prides itself on the careful measurement and calibration of its espresso shots.

“One thing that’s completely different here, as compared to a place like Starbucks, is that we measure all of our espresso shots,” says Jesse. “Starbucks uses automatic machines, which are consistent, but can produce poor quality coffee. Lots of factors go into how we produce shots each day, including the time of roast, and the temperature and humidity outside.”

The perfect espresso depends on precise formulation, which can vary depending on many changeable factors. At Mudsmith, espresso machines get dialed on a daily basis, which is a necessity for the perfect shot. Baristas get trained to a high level of expertise on the art of espresso, and understand the necessity of temperature formulation, machine pressure, and freshness. The slightest misstep in the process – allowing the espresso to brew a few seconds too long, for example – can result in a burnt flavor or dark foam. Too little brewing time, and you have a weak coffee with a light foam.

In addition to espresso, traditional coffee and pour-overs ensure that you can get a tasty caffeine fix. If you’re hungry, Mudsmith has a selection of breakfast and lunch sandwiches. The Fort Worth location also has its own specialty items.

“In Fort Worth, we have shaved ice, and an Aztec hot chocolate that’s a play on Mexican hot chocolate, with cinnamon and different spices,” says Jesse. “We also do a turmeric latte, which is a no-espresso, super spicy latte. It’s delicious, but may not be for everybody.”

Mudsmith also has beer and wine available to purchase. Customers can build their own six-packs, and even take bottles to go. This brilliant array of drinks makes Mudsmith an ideal place for all ages. Adults can kick back with a beverage of their choice, and let the children enjoy a shaved ice or hot chocolate on the spacious patio. One more curious feature adds even further to this appeal: Mudsmith’s putt-putt golf course.

“We added the putt-putt course,” explains Jesse. “We have such a big plot for the patio, we wanted to add something for people to do outside. We’re also pet-friendly, so bring your dog and kids and enjoy what we have to offer.”