Brewing Up More than Coffee

On August 5 of this year, Jeremy Lambert, Mary Gildea and Matthew Ryan opened a lovely new coffee shop at 3471 North Federal Highway called The Coffee Cartel.   Each partner brings years of experience to the venture - Jeremy managed City Dock Coffee in Annapolis, Maryland and Mary and Matthew are the former owners of Chase’s-off-the-Square in Savannah, Georgia.

 

As you enter the quaint establishment, you quickly notice the loft-style ceilings and earth tones of the furnishings.  With a capacity of about 50, The Coffee Cartel is about the same size as some other local coffee joints, but that’s where the comparison ends.

Matthew Ryan was quick to highlight the differences between them and the chain stores.  “All of our coffee is made using a French Press,” he states with a smile, knowing that I know a thing or two about coffee.  A French Press is a device which allows the coffee to steep in hot water before being brewed, adding to the taste and freshness of the cup.

“All of the beans that we use are roasted locally,” Ryan tells me.  “When I place an order on Monday, I receive my shipment on Wednesday.  That’s why we our product tastes so fresh.”  Chain establishments usually roast their beans in bulk six months prior to actually receiving them.

In addition to brewed and blended coffee drinks, the 1,200 square-foot location is fully equipped with Wi-Fi access and offers a wonderful selection of pressed sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts.

During my visit, I decided to try a roast called Banana’s Foster.  The first thing you notice is the wonderful aroma of the coffee, which was smooth and silky, without the bitter aftertaste that some flavored coffees produce.  Other interesting options included White Chocolate Raspberry Reef, Caramel Kiss and Sumatran Sunset.

To accompany the Banana’s Foster, I chose the Turkey Avocado Panini, an overstuffed sandwich consisting of fresh turkey breast, bacon, lettuce and tomato served warm on Focaccia bread.  Additionally, Chef Jeremy prepared a delicious Lobster Bisque, which was light and sweet and didn’t contain an overwhelming amount of cream, which ultimately leads to a heavier bisque.

Other sandwich items include the Traditional Cuban, the Roast Beef and the Virginian, made with ham, Swiss cheese, Granny Smith apples and brie.  Standout salads include the Chopped Cobb and Wedge.

Guests should note that all menu items are under $10, making The Coffee Cartel a great place for a quick and inexpensive lunch.

For more information and for store hours, please visit Coffeecartelsofla.com or call 954-916-7778.


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