For Roasters & Retailers

Mundos serves up comfortable vibe

When asked about recently-opened Mundos Roasting and Co., customer Shea Pataja highlighted several points.

Coffee was not first — or second — on the Traverse City woman’s list.

“There’s no meeting place over here, there’s no gathering place,” Pataja said of area around the business at 708 Boon St.

“This is a place for the community to gather in what I consider an up-and-coming neighborhood. It has a very comfortable vibe. I’m all about community and connection. Coffee is just an excuse to get together.”

That’s just fine with John Steen, one of three co-owners of Mundos, along with Dan Clark and his daughter, Sarah Clark. Steen said the 1,700-square-foot business has been getting favorable reviews since it opened three weeks ago.

“It’s been so well received and people love the space,” Steen said. “One thing I think is really important to mention, is we believe that we’re not in the coffee business, we’re in the people business. That’s kind of like becoming our motto.

“We want to give the best experience to our guests and not just serve them a great cup of coffee. Give them a cool space to hang out in. It’s all about being warm, welcoming and inviting and creating the right environment that people want to come back and see us maybe more than they want to come back for a great cup of coffee.”

The Mundos website says, “Life is an epic adventure … your coffee should be, too.” Steen said Mundos delivers on that with two “niche” items.

The first is delivering a hot item in a cool way.

“We have a nitro cold-brew coffee on a tap handle,” Steen said. “The cold-brew coffee is one of the latest and greatest crazes in the specialty coffee world. The keg is actually tapped with a nitrogen line, so nitrogen gets infused into the cold coffee and it gives it a real smooth, creamy texture, almost like a nitro stout or a Guinness. So it takes a lot of the acidity out of the coffee. It’s just super delicious.”

Mundos has a special area complete with bar stools.

“We also do a pour-over coffee bar,” he said. “Pour-over coffee is just a different way of brewing. It’s grinding up just enough coffee beans for one cup of coffee. It’s weighing out the beans and weighing out the water on a scale. It’s almost like coffee chemistry, if you will. The brewing method pulls out all the flavors and really highlights each coffee. It’s our way of serving the top-shelf cup of coffee.”

Mundos has traditional drip coffee, as well as espresso and latte drinks. Steen said Mundos doesn’t have a “strict roasting style,” instead choosing to roast “each coffee based off the origin the bean comes from.”

“We roast everything fresh in house,” he said. “So being in control of the roasting really elevates the coffee experience as far as the quality and freshness, the integrity of what we’re doing.”

All of the pastries are made in-house by Steen’s wife, Bonnie. He said the sauces and syrups for lattes and espressos also are made from scratch.

Steen said Mundos will carry a rotation of seven different beans from around the world. He said there’s also a “jackpot espresso” house blend of different beans.

Beans are sold in 12-ounce retail bags, or in a sampler with three 4-ounce bags.

Mundos is open from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with later weekend hours. It’s open from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday.

“We want to intentionally stay open on those two nights to capture the dinner crowd that’s out at night for some after-dinner coffee and we’re also going to start doing some live music on those nights,” Steen said.

The name of the coffee bar has a double meaning. It is the Spanish word for world. It’s also a shortened version of the nickname of Dan Clark’s childhood friend, Jeremy — Jeremundo.

The blending of meanings is similar to the blending of Dan Clark’s roasting experience with Steen’s 12 years working downstate in the coffee industry. Pataja thinks it all works together.

“Things taste better when they’re made with love, and there’s a lot of love here,” Pataja said. “They’re on to something and they’re the right people to do it.”

By Mark Urban, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.


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