Downtown Phoenix now has another great coffee experience waiting to be devoured. The new Cartel Coffee Lab opens today in Phoenix. The new location is on 1st St. and Washington St., next to a Burger King.

Jason Silberschlag invited me to check out the grand opening festivities last night. They threw a great party — the coffee drinks were flowing, and there was a lot of great food to eat, and we even had some champagne — and at the end we had an impromptu latte art throwdown (pictures will be posted later).

Video tour of Cartel Coffee Lab (Video)

Seth Mills pours a latte (Video)

There were about 30 or 40 people there, including nearly all of Cartel’s staff.

cartel coffee lab
They have a brand new 3-group Synesso Cyncra espresso machine.

The building previously housed a breakfast / lunch restaurant and it has a very large kitchen in the back. Cartel is searching for a chef that is interested in renting out the kitchen and working with Cartel to sell food. Jason said that their baristas will not be making food — they’re sticking to coffee and doing what they know. I personally think this is a great approach.

Cartel will not be roasting coffee at their downtown location (since it is in a tall building and isn’t zoned as industrial), however you can purchase roasted coffee and a nice assortment of coffee merchandise are available for sale. The Clover machine is situated on the counter.

cartel coffee lab
Espresso pour by Samuel Rognstad.

The interior is largely undecorated at the moment, but they have plans to finish the design soon. They do have a very cool aluminum counter that they installed, and a solid steel wall near the entrance adds an urban vibe. On the opposite side a bare wall is covered with plywood at the moment.

I was unable to detect a wireless internet signal. So all of you couch surfers might be disappointed.

The parking situation isn’t great, and from what I can tell you’ll either need to pay for parking on the street in front (about 10 spots) or directly to the north of the building (metered), you can also take the light rail (Washington/Central & 1st Ave/Jefferson stations according to PHXRailFood).

Business hours are 6 am to 2 pm, Monday through Friday. The hours will most likely be expanded at a later date.

More photos are available here.

Cartel Coffee Lab
1 N. 1st St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Twitter: @cartelcoffeelab


Arizona Coffee

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Will Bradley

    Sounds cool. Now if only I worked in downtown Phoenix so I could enjoy it!

  2. Kudos. It looks sparse, but I’m expecting it to be all Cartel’ed up in no time.
    Still drooling over the Cyncra cheesecake photo, thanks Chris. BTW, don’t pass over the Compak K10 WBC (although, I’ve never seen a doserless one?) grinder. WBC for those that aren’t in, stands for World Barista Champion! Nice kit.
    I wonder if that’s the new Hydra version of the Synesso… ; > There was chat about that last tiem I was at Cartel.
    Nice work Jason!

  3. Granpa Wayne

    Great job son! Kelly & I, as well as all the Tucson & San Antonio Schlags, are very proud of you and Amy. Keep it up.
    Love Dad
    PS You sure did alot of work since Sunday.

  4. Ralph and Ingeborg

    Great job and best of luck, we need to take the trip up the road to experience the Jason and Amy perfect cup of coffee. Good Luck you two. Ingeborg & Ralph

  5. A wish for continued prosperity to the Cartel family. I will be visiting the downtown space soon…

  6. Just a couple notes:
    The Synesso is a Hydra – in case Cartel wants to try out some pressure-profiling.
    Also the car-parking is tricky, but the bike parking is excellent! And you can also park anywhere along the light-rail, and ride that to a stop about a block away from the new location.

  7. Yeah, I figured it would be the Hydra. Now all we have to do is get the local BGA rep to have a jam in his new digs so we get to play with the beastie!

  8. Pingback: Arizona Coffee – Downtown Grand Opening Party for Cartel Coffee Lab