Cartel's Drew Scharnitzke Demonstrates 3 Coffee Brewing Methods

Categories: Grind

Heather Hoch
Drew Scharnitzke explains what you're really getting when you order a Chemex brewed coffee.
A few doors down from Cartel Coffee Lab's flagship roastery location in Tempe, there's a door that reads "Cartel World Headquarters." Inside, Drew Scharntizke, along with his fellow coffee instructor Bill Kennedy, spend most days using refractometers to ensure their brews are being extracted properly or educating new baristas. Since teaching coffee is Scharntizke's full-time gig, he's definitely one of the best people in town to ask if you want to know what the difference is when you order a V60 versus a Chemex versus and Aeropress brewed coffee.

See also: Daniel Suh Teaches the Science of Hot and Cold Brewed Coffee

With about three years in the coffee business, Scharnitzke has spent his time in coffee houses soaking up information wherever possible. As he puts it, "making coffee approachable is [his] first priority." He splits his days making sure the staff knows proper methods, devoting time to community outreach, and exhaustively tracking the exact ideal measurement for each brew.

Heather Hoch
When it comes to the thickness of the grind, the exact gram measurement of both water and coffee grounds used, the temperature of the water, the time it brews, and the amount of coffee it produces, everything needs to be precise. That means each roast on each bean has its own sweet spot for brewing to achieve the "best perceived flavor" for every cup of coffee brewed at Cartel.

Though that might sound like a lot, luckily, Scharnitzke shared some basics for brewing coffee that will make deciding between which method you opt for at your favorite coffee shop or in home a little easier.

Pour Over Filter Drip

Heather Hoch
The Chemex.
Heather Hoch
The V60.
Filter drip methods at Cartel include the Chemex and the V60. The Chemex is a large, two chambered glass drip brewer, while the ceramic V60 is a single chamber that sits atop the cup you're brewing into. Both methods take approximately three to four minutes to brew, but they both also need more attention.

Scharnitzke says as a barista he prefers this method for many reasons. The shorter contact time to the actual coffee grounds means a less oily, more light and acidic result. Scharnitzke classifies this as "tea-like" and "clean."

However, since you are controlling the coffee's contact to the water more directly, you have to be much more aware of your water pour while brewing than other methods. This makes the filter drip method more difficult in terms of consistency for beginners, but, for professional baristas like Scharnitzke, it's a chance for him to show his skills.

"It's a balance of technical elements with the artisanal human element," he says.

Heather Hoch
Brewing Chemex can be tricky.
Technically, your standard home drip brewer fits in this category, along with the larger commercial drip brewers found in restaurants. However, methods like the Chemex require much more technical know-how than automated machines, like properly rinsing the filter and blooming the coffee, to achieve a well-balanced end product.

Location Info

Cartel Coffee Lab

225 W. University Drive, Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Phoenix Public Market Cafe

14 E. Pierce St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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Downtown Phoenix Public Market
Downtown Phoenix Public Market

Drew Scharnitzke is rad! We love when he shares his knowledge with us! Check him out this Sunday at the Cafe 8-10am!

Tyler Greaves
Tyler Greaves

I think the coffee tasting event starts at 8am...


You mention emersion a couple times when the word you want is immersion. Cheers!


The instruments used to measure coffee extraction are refractometers, not spectrometers. 

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