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Cartel Coffee Lab

Coffee Shop$$$$
Maple Ash, Tempe
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8.9/10
476
ratings
  • Ranked #5 for coffee shops in Tempe
  • This place is famous for their coffee. It's one of the most popular in the city!
  • Andria K.
    "Fantastic dirty chai, but they can do just about anything."(10 Tips)
    ASU's Tempe Campus
    "The Espresso Excelente is delicious!"(3 Tips)
    Phoenix New Times
    "when Cartel released the Desert Pale Ale & Coffee Brown Ale."(3 Tips)
    Alice D.
    "good espresso drinks"(27 Tips)
174 Tips and reviews
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  • Alice D.
    Alice DaerMay 8, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Signal that they know how to craft good espresso drinks: they have a sign posted that reads: "Free Wifi for customers. Don't be a WiFi moocher! Our coffee is more reliable than our WiFi anyway."
  • Shawn P.
    Shawn PartridgeJanuary 6, 2015
    Best coffee in Phoenix hands down is Cartel. Mostly hipster baristas. Solid mustache vibe going on. Usually goof music. Dogs welcome on the patio.
  • Jamie S.
    Jamie SchmellingNovember 13, 2013
    Great coffee, great vibe, great people! It's definitely the hangout spot for Tempe's finest, including students, families and even ASU professors. Great spot to catch up with friends or do homework
  • Zsuzsa M.
    Zsuzsa MegyeryDecember 17, 2014
    They feature a different black coffee each day - super unique and they tell you not just the country but more specifically where it's from. Great vibe for business or catching up with friends.
  • Markus R.
    Markus RennemannNovember 18, 2013
    The vibe is very hip but in a friendly way, and it's usually a good place to work on homework. The iced toddy is the drink I get most often, but the iced chai is worth trying at least once.
  • Joey W.
    Joey WilliamsAugust 5, 2013
    I'm not even a coffee person but this place is COOL. Been here a few times to accompany friends and I end up getting a tea or a beer just because. Really chill atmosphere, and they just expanded too!
  • amber b.
    amber booneJuly 24, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    This is my favorite coffee shops out of all those I've been to. Never disappointed in my beverage or the service! Get the dirty chai - hands down the best I've ever had.
  • Jared M.
    Jared MurrayDecember 3, 2011
    Whatever you get, you'll be pleased with it. Check out this shop's mention on the popular coffee blog: Dear Coffee, I Love You. That's how I discovered it. Also, get the dirty chai.
  • 🌵Andrew K.
    One if the two hippest cawffee joints in the entire Valley. Big, cozy and... Wait for it... Wait for it... It's a brewery too! Cartel Home brews! Yeowza!
  • Chelsea B.
    Chelsea BrogiAugust 4, 2013
    Awesome coffee! The level of craftsmen ship that goes into every cup is great! Their cappuccino is the best in town! Love that its so close to campus.
  • April
    AprilFebruary 16, 2011
    You can walk to this coffee shop from ASU's Tempe campus. If you choose to drive they have free parking. Try a fun spin and order the 'dirty whore.' Same as espresso excellente but more fun to say.
  • Phoenix New Times
    Phoenix New TimesDecember 12, 2011
    Best of Phoenix 2011: Best Coffee House, Tempe! There's a reason many other coffee shops in the Valley use beans from Cartel Coffee Lab: Flavor, baby. Lots of it. Read more
  • Phoenix New Times
    Phoenix New TimesJuly 23, 2013
    We were ecstatic when Cartel released the Desert Pale Ale & Coffee Brown Ale. Since then, the beer lineup at Tempe's #1 coffee spot has changed a bit, but we're still pretty excited. Read more
  • Jocelyn G.
    Jocelyn GeeFebruary 18, 2013
    Iced toddy's are the best! All of the Cartel regulars are so nice, and the workers always make a point to remember you the next time you come in.
  • Jennifer H.
    Jennifer HayeFebruary 14, 2013
    Their cappuccino's are great! The art and music make the whole experience relaxing and enjoyable. Also love the little designs they put in the foam.
  • Marissa D.
    Marissa Del PradoFebruary 12, 2013
    Really cool place to sit and hang out, and truely the best coffee in town. This might weird to say, but the bathroom graffiti is pretty rad too.
  • Alice D.
    Alice DaerJune 18, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Probably the only coffee shop I can work at without wearing earphones (cuz they play good music). Also, love that I can pay with the Square app.
  • Kevin O.
    Kevin O'BrienJune 11, 2016
    Small joint ( 5 barstools maybe) but you can tour the brewery in the back while you try their beer. Their coffee beer was the best ever.
  • Jennifer D.
    Jennifer DooleyMarch 18, 2012
    The dirty chai and nonfat cappuccino were amazing! The baristas were super friendly. Some of the clientele were a bit douchey, but worth dealing with for the coffee.
  • April
    AprilFebruary 16, 2011
    Semi-hidden; a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle of university life. Good place for studying or conversation. Nice natural light when the back garage door is open.
  • Kyle R.
    Kyle R.August 13, 2014
    Possibly too busy for its own good. But you can get excellent coffee and single origin beans from the best roasters in Phoenix.
  • Rhett D.
    Rhett DoolittleMay 6, 2015
    Great place to meet somebody for a quick meeting or get some work done in a cool trendy environment
  • Global H.
    Global HighlanderAugust 9, 2014
    Great coffee shop with amazing coffee right near the ASU campus. I would definitely return here on a visit to Tempe.
  • Phoenix New Times
    Phoenix New TimesAugust 5, 2014
    If you live in Phoenix and haven'€™t heard of Cartel Coffee Lab, you'€™ve probably been living under a Starbucks-shaped rock. Read more
  • Garrett M.
    Garrett MayNovember 11, 2010
    nice little coffee shop next to campus that actually plays amazing music. if you enjoy mundane acoustic music, then stick to starbucks, but if enjoy innovative music, this is your place
  • Phoenix New Times
    Phoenix New TimesJanuary 14, 2013
    2012 Best of Phoenix Winner: Best Coffee House, Tempe! The Arizona pioneer in roasting their own beans, Cartel is the top dog coffee house in Tempe! Read more
  • Bob D.
    Bob DownsOctober 9, 2015
    Cold brew coffee actually has nuanced tastes - not just "coffee" flavor. Delicious!
  • Amelia
    AmeliaNovember 22, 2014
    The ultimate chill sitch. Try the cold brew! Also quite a nice beer selection. R&B on the speakers.
  • ☀ Jelena ✈
    ☀ Jelena ✈November 4, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Amazing little hidden gem; coffee is superb, music is relaxing & groovy, atmosphere is chill, & the people are very interesting
  • Colton R.
    Colton RobertsonJune 10, 2015
    Great place to chill, drink coffee, and get some work done. Or just chat with friends. Super chill
  • Ting S.
    Ting SOctober 26, 2015
    Very good coffee in Tempe. The espresso-based coffees are super good.
  • Mark
    MarkAugust 25, 2013
    Great and simple iced coffee. Exactly what I wanted without all the fluff. I love how they have expanded.
  • Kyle C.
    Kyle CesmatMarch 29, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    ask for a dirty hor (espresso exelente) and you won't be disappointed. perfect drink for a hot day!
  • Valentin G.
    Valentin GuerinAugust 20, 2015
    Really nice coffee spot, lot of space to work, and it's also a craft beer place!
  • Aishwarya C.
    The smell of coffee when you enter is sublime! Good ambience. Effect of the coffee stays for long!
  • Mimmo
    MimmoJuly 6, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Ask barista Seth about coffee... his coffee knowledge, its' history, development, production, and chemistry is legendary!
  • Cody C.
    Cody CallahanAugust 5, 2013
    Cool coffee place just off University and Ash. Serves very strong coffee and is ideal for all night study sessions during finals week.
  • Jay L.
    Jay ListonAugust 7, 2013
    Cappuccino was fantastic!! Great vibe and got to see beans roasting also!! Highly recommended.
  • Get L.
    Get Local AZApril 10, 2013
    Grab your GET LOCAL CARD & receive a free small coffee or toddy or double espresso when you buy a bag of whole bean coffee.
  • Andria K.
    Andria KocourekOctober 5, 2015
    Fantastic dirty chai, but they can do just about anything. Incredibly wealth of knowledge about coffee.
  • Sunny D.
    Sunny DavisAugust 3, 2013
    It might be expensive, but it's the best mocha in town. Plus, the baristas are kinda cute... :)
  • Johann W.
    Johann WarnholtzJune 11, 2013
    This place is awesome. Super hip and comfy atmosphere. Free wifi and delicious coffee!
  • Erik H.
    Erik HaysAugust 24, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Craft beer, craft coffee and great people. What more could you ask for?
  • Brent B.
    Brent BrooksAugust 16, 2014
    Best coffee in Phoenix. Great environment, just wish they had more outlets.
  • Michelle F.
    Michelle FrostFebruary 17, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Can be busy, so don't count on a table most times unless you're lucky. Cool vibe and good service.
  • Lawrence Y.
    Lawrence YanezSeptember 7, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    The selection of scones are great. The pineapple coconut is my fave! It's also a bit "fall aparty".
  • Zach S.
    Zach Solomon-BeloinMarch 27, 2016
    Been here 10+ times
    One of the best lattes in Tempe! Great cold brew coffee too.
  • Shanna W.
    Shanna WesterNovember 12, 2010
    This place has the most hipsters I've seen in one location, but the artwork on the walls is gorgeous and the coffee is delicious.
  • Jessi S.
    Jessi SchultzNovember 13, 2013
    Go for the larger cup it's only 2.00$ more but is a ton bigger, definitely worth the money.
  • Ally W.
    Ally WalkerNovember 18, 2013
    A little hard to find driving by but it has SUCH a good atmosphere. I don't think I have tasted better espresso!
  • Angela L.
    Angela LilleyFebruary 20, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Check out the slow bar run by Seth Friday through Sunday from 0830 to 1400 hrs. They create amazing treats for you weekly.
  • Brian
    BrianJuly 14, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Excellent beer made here. Who knew? Desert Pale Ale is a winner.
  • Sergey V.
    Sergey VorontsovSeptember 25, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    They brew great Aeropress coffee here.
  • Dave C.
    Dave ChristensenAugust 2, 2013
    Killer coffee, poor pricing. It is overpriced for what it is. The atmosphere is great for work and hangout. The staff is pretty standoffish just about all the time. I don't know why.
  • anthony s.
    anthony schultzJune 26, 2015
    The cold brew is some of the best I've ever had. Hands down.
  • Caroline H.
    Caroline HallNovember 13, 2013
    Get the dirty chai! It changed my life! A little pricy though.
  • Phoenix New Times
    Phoenix New TimesJune 14, 2013
    We go to Cartel to get the best locally-roasted coffee in town. Read more
  • ASU's Tempe Campus
    ASU's Tempe CampusOctober 6, 2011
    The Espresso Excelente is delicious! Tea drinkers try the mango black tea.
  • Kenzie P.
    Kenzie PembertonNovember 17, 2013
    Great coffee with great employees. First timers will change their ways!
  • Jessica L.
    Jessica LoeberMarch 5, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    The "toddy" is amazing. That's their iced coffee. So good.
  • Yvette
    YvetteFebruary 23, 2013
    Such an awesome coffee Spot do homework or just hang out with friends.
  • Alex K.
    Alex KennedyApril 14, 2011
    The iced toddy is a fan fav, but the art and music add to the whole experience
  • Mitch
    MitchFebruary 28, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Order the Sunny Latte, a soy honey latte, or the Excellenté. If you don't know, now you know.
  • Eric H.
    Eric HaywoodDecember 14, 2013
    Do you enjoy hanging out with hipster douchebags? Are you a hipster douchebag? If your answer is yes, then Cartel is for you. The place is infested with packs of ass clowns in skinny jeans.
  • Heather R.
    Really great coffee shop with excellent coffee.
  • Nikolai A. T.
    Nikolai A. TaylorDecember 14, 2011
    Their Macchiato is outstanding, the best I've had outside of Italy
  • Arizona Coffee
    Arizona CoffeeOctober 18, 2011
    Cappuccino all the way, also the mocha is one of the best.
  • Andrew
    AndrewMarch 2, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Cartel DPA and Coffee Brown! Must try. Superb brew for sure!
  • Jay H.
    Jay HartwigNovember 20, 2014
    You can taste the quality in this coffee. Cool spot.
  • Dustin D.
    Dustin DiehlOctober 27, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    If you're in a hurry, this isn't your place. Takes forever to get your drink, but if you have the time, nice place to chill :)
  • Brock T.
    Brock TinnellJanuary 17, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    Grab a cappuccino in a real cup and watch them roast some beans.
  • Clayton L.
    Clayton LottMarch 3, 2014
    Go for the Ethiopia pour over. It's fantastic!
  • Patrick C.
    Patrick CashmanDecember 18, 2016
    One & One is a great way to taste an espresso and a macchiato
  • Lusenda K.
    Lusenda KigginsAugust 16, 2014
    The best mocha I've had and I love the atmosphere
  • Hussy D.
    Hussy DeeJune 26, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    They have great coffee for sale, 12oz for $12-$25 depending on which you get. They're all pretty good.
  • Jones Family D.
    What a great way to relax, work on your lap top and feel young and funky.
  • Vanesa G.
    Vanesa GarratyFebruary 4, 2014
    I like the concept, but couldn't sit inside long. The place smells of strong body odor.
  • Lisa K.
    Lisa KFebruary 29, 2012
    A little bit hipster, but good, strong and consistent coffee
  • scott m.
    scott milamJuly 24, 2011
    If you get a mocha, get half the chocolate! So much better!
  • Jon C.
    Jon ClineJanuary 30, 2013
    No coffee is bad here, whatever you order will be amazing!
  • Kathleen G.
    Kathleen GordonOctober 28, 2010
    Get an iced tea. Fresh brewed when ordered! Totally worth the 2 minute or so wait!
  • Adam B.
    Adam BanksFebruary 6, 2014
    They use the Square App Payment System. If u, like me, find paying on an iPad unsettling then this is not ur coffee spot.
  • Michelle J.
    Michelle JohnsonFebruary 18, 2016
    Been here 100+ times
    If you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, this is the place.
  • Everyday
    EverydayFebruary 14, 2014
    Probably the best chai I've ever had!
  • Joe J.
    Joe JohnstonAugust 28, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Cappuccino for sure. Ashley or Seth are my favorite baristas.
  • Jim M.
    Jim MagahernDecember 31, 2015
    Little bit of Tucson here in Tempe.
  • ☀ Jelena ✈
    ☀ Jelena ✈June 25, 2012
    Been here 10+ times
    Happy hour from 8-10pm which means half off coffee :D
  • Brandon C.
    Brandon ChizAugust 23, 2014
    Delicous. Bar and cafe. It's da best
  • Robert N.
    Robert NealApril 29, 2012
    Best mochas ever, but everything is good.
  • Rad T.
    Rad TorresMay 19, 2012
    Cappuccino is delicious. Ask for the wifi password during checkout.
  • Austin B.
    Austin BakerAugust 11, 2011
    Been here 100+ times
    Unless you know the password, the ministry of magic is not accessible. Don't try.
  • Hoppymoto B.
    Hoppymoto Biiru-sanMarch 21, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Make sure you try the beer too.
  • Matthew P.
    Matthew PetroFebruary 23, 2010
    Been here 50+ times
    Try an espresso excelente: homemade horchata, espresso and cinnamon over ice.
  • Rebecca C.
    Rebecca ClarkAugust 7, 2011
    The dirty whore is amazing! Ask for one!
  • Elizabeth D.
    Elizabeth DunneNovember 18, 2013
    Best iced dirty chai in Tempe!
  • Nick S.
    Nick SheckOctober 13, 2012
    Try the espresso excelente.
  • Smarti
    SmartiApril 25, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    Come for the coffee stay for the iPad cash register.
  • Lawrence Y.
    Lawrence YanezMay 15, 2013
    Been here 50+ times
    If you happen to see Judith Fedo, tell her her Lawrence misses her.... :)
  • Kip G.
    Kip GoldmanAugust 8, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Try the Desert Pale Ale.
  • Matthew D.
    Matthew DiBattistaMay 15, 2013
    Been here 10+ times
    Jumping on the bandwagon for iced toddy. All day every day.
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