Cartel Coffee Lab is a peaceful and welcoming coffee shop and easily turning into my new favorite spot to work without distractions. They have high industrial ceilings and tall vertical windows, allowing lots of light to beam into the coffee shop, offering a light work space with good vibes. Cartel is originally from Arizona but just opened their first Austin location on the East side. Since they’re located at the base of the hotel Arrive, you’ll notice the clientele is more business-focused, coming and going with suitcases in-hand, sprinkled in with the locals who are grabbing coffee post-run.
The baristas are really friendly, letting you try all types of flavors of coffee if you ask.They compliment your clothing or jewelry and come off as really personable. While their speciality coffees are expensive, they have great customer service. I had a work meeting with someone, they forgot his tea and when he went up and asked after 10 minutes, they gave him a card for a free drink on his next visit.
Shoutout to my friend Courtney below, who pushed me to publish my blog after having a coffee date with her at Cartel. She ordered that tiny little almond milk latte for $5. She’s a coffee a pro, and true inspiration to me, as she’s always hustling, running her own diary-free coffee creamer company, called Prymal.
Good for: solo work session or morning business meetings.
Expect to: spend all your money here
Pro Tips: save $$ by ordering their 8 oz daily drip coffee. The featured coffees are an extra $1 and can get pricey!
Although, they don’t give discounts for bringing your own mug, they’re very nice, serve their coffee in glass mugs and offer a welcoming and comfortable work environment.
Don’t come here if: you want outdoor seating or hate spending too much money on coffee. I one time almost spent $7 on cold brew since the featured one is more $$.
Free refills? No - $1.50
Do they roast their own coffee? Yes
Serves coffee in glass: Yes
Discount for bringing your own mug? No
Rewards card: No
Food? Yes they offer delicious sweet (and savory) pastries from local bakery Sour Duck
Free wifi: yes
Standing desk options: yes, lots of tall tables
Outdoor seating? No
Restroom situation: 2 single stalls, very clean