A couple of people sent me the link to the newest article about Cartel Coffee Lab. The article is called Little shop’s big plans crushed by giant competitor.

Crushed? If anything, it’s helping them get the word out. Look at the number of media events it has created? They’ve been talked about in the newspaper several times.

Clover Coffee Machine

Was it worth the $7,000 the article says they paid? I would wager it is.

  1. People want to try coffee made on the Clover, so it creates immediate interest in their coffeehouse.
  2. It got them multiple articles in newspapers and elseware.
  3. Created word of mouth marketing.
  4. Implies that Cartel is “ahead of the times” and is a visual metaphor for “quality.”
  5. They’re the only coffee shop that has one in Arizona — scarcity.

I’m sure there are other reasons, but it’s an interesting situation.

On the other hand, I think they should capitalize on this and improve the appearance a bit. Put it on a table all by itself with some special lighting just for it. Place real mugs next to it, and not paper cups. Place some instructions next to it so people know what to do (it isn’t evident whether customers should operate the machine themselves or ask a barista). With a few improvements they can make it even more special.

Arizona Coffee

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  1. Bruce

    Considering all the “Free” advertising this machine has brought them, I would say it has paid for itself.
    Nice job Cartel!

  2. Erik

    Once Starbucks starts installing the machines in Phoenix the Clover at Cartel will have little significance.

  3. Starbucks is still starbucks be it on a french press, espresso machine, clover, moka pot, or anything else.

  4. Pierce/Bear

    I tend to side with Austin here…………….especially factoring in that Starbucks seems to be on a downward spiral as it is.

  5. I think any time you can get a full page story on the front page of the living section, its a good thing.
    Way to go Cartel!!

  6. Cartel just rocks, and Jason is a great guy with a great shop. With the Clover and the Versalab M3 grinder, he’s got two pieces of kit that may well be the only ones of their kind in AZ. I’m almost positive that it’s the only one being used in a commercial environment.
    It’s the love, though, that makes his coffee special. this cat is driven, and will make it on enthusiasm alone, if nothing else. This is one of the ten best cappus I’ve had in AZ, and I’ve had some pulled by the best.
    One shot, and the friend I’d brought was asking me how she could get an espresso machine and a grinder on the tour with her.
    As for signage, He doesn’t really seem to be too shy about that sort of thing. The one in front of the register is now one of my very faves. If someone has the opportunity, post a pic of that sign somewhere so that Nick Cho can get a peek at it. I’m pretty sure that that will elicit a belly-laugh from him!

  7. Jc

    Did you have a cup from the clover (Psyd)?

  8. Naw, I’m an espresso/cappu kinda guy, and was working the limits of my caffeine intake for the day as it was. I did get to play with the one at the AZ Barista Jam to see if I’d wired it right, though!

  9. Oh, and Ron? There is such a thing as bad press. Fortunately, it tends to be confined to the obit pages! ; >