What's a Coffee Commentary?
Subject: The Mud Truck
(a facet of Mud Coffee)
Location visited: Manhattan, NY
Free WiFi ? : no
Rating: 2+ [see key]
Who in their right mind doesn't like food that comes to you on its own? Nay, I do not talk of delivery (for that incurs a tip) but of the many different mobile dining operations out there such as grease and ice cream trucks. Whether the business-on-wheels either parks in your employer's parking lot to set up shop or meanders slowly by your house with hordes of small children tailing behind, it's a beautiful marriage of convenience and calories.
For some years now I've wondered why not many people have ventured into the coffee truck business. Surely with the niches of ice cream and lunch items occupied, it's a simple expectation to hope someone will roll up with your morning espresso too. Sure I have heard tales of Long Story Short Coffee (a barista and his coffee truck tromping all over Northern Idaho) featured in last month's issue of Imbibe, but (not) oddly enough there seems to be nothing like that on the NE side of the country.
Fast forward to a couple weekends ago when meandering the streets around Soho I come across the Mud Truck; a bright orange vessel with very obvious signs of serving coffee and espresso. Acting on curiosity as well as out of the love for the aforementioned mobile food industry, I moseyed my self into the short line to sample the product.
According to the efficient (bordering on rude) barista, they roast their own coffee, available in three blends (light, medium, and dark). Deciding to leave the chit-chat at that, I grabbed my coffee and espresso to drink in a nearby park. The coffee twas mediocre; bright but cardboardy and charred. The espresso also disappointed, as the shot was pulled with a milkshake-ish consistency and tasted tremendously sharp and stiff. Didn't get a chance to note the teas.
While I am happy to have found a mobile coffee business relatively close by, I can't say I was too impressed with the Mud Truck. I'm not sure how much impact the truck facilities limited the quality of the coffee along with other factors such as the barista's practices and the coffee quality, but something needs tweaking. While the bar for the mobile food industry isn't really that high (would anyone consider Jack and Jill or Mr. Softee gourmet ice cream?), no one should allow what's been done to set a limit on what can be done.
If you're into trying stuff for the sake of novelty, definitely give the Mud Truck a try. If you have your sights on a better cup of coffee, then venture elsewhere.