CARTEL COFFEE LAB X MODERN TIMES: A COLLAB 2+ YEARS IN THE MAKING

...and totally worth the wait.

Approximately 400 years ago in 2018, two of our most prominent coffee ninjas, Jake & Bartleby, had a chance to visit Phoenix’s Cartel Coffee Lab, and an idea was born. The idea seemed simple at the time, but would end up weaving through a gauntlet of extenuating apocalyptic circumstances before it became the delicious reality it is today. Thoroughly impressed by both the incredible coffee being served at Cartel and the seriously excellent people that seemed to inhabit it, Jake and Bartleby set out to put together a collaboration with this AZ roasting powerhouse.

As it turned out, not only did Cartel share our love of exceptional coffee, but also our philosophy of open-source collaboration and the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats in the independent coffee universe. Shortly after we first chatted, we invited them to take part in our festival of beer & coffee, the 2020 Carnival of Caffeination, with more plans down the road for designing cold brew offerings to release at each of our respective roasteries.

Now, you may have noticed a “2020” in that last paragraph, and, existing in your current time period, you’re undoubtedly aware that those four arabic numerals in succession are a universal herald of impending doom. Needless to say, our subsequent visits to each other’s locations were canceled, and the project seemed in serious jeopardy. Our coffee program and their new BFFs, however, were not so easily dissuaded.

Moving to the digital arena, Cartel and Modern Times Coffee organized a series of online cuppings and planning meetings, deciding to use coffees from Cartel’s importer, Mercanta. Each coffee team received the same 8 samples from Mercanta, and blindly selected their four favorites. When we reconvened, both teams had selected three out of four of the same coffees! Bananas, right!? Knowing that this improbably alignment portended something special, the teams spent more time together over video calls, cupping and blending and discussing until, at last, a truly special blend was arrived upon. 

The blend is called Home Planet, and it’s 50% El Salvador El Carmen & 50% Colombia Familia Rivera. It’ll be roasted at each roastery with our own roast profiles, so each version will have its own distinctive spin, which is pretty rad.You’ll be able to snag our version beginning this Saturday, 12/5, in our online special release pre-sale, and any remaining bags will be in our online stores and physical locations after that. If you want more info on the special release pre-sale, we recommend joining our mailing list on the homepage.

You can also pre-order Cartel Coffee Lab’s version right this second, in the Cartel Coffee Lab Online Store.

This coffee was a serious journey, and we could not be more hyped on the results. We can’t wait for you to taste it.