In Short: Coffee Alchemy is not just another cafe. Their artisanal approach to coffee will reveal itself when you take that first sip. Outstanding coffee in a retro space that is a real throwback to the ’80s. I loved the light that streams through the space of an afternoon. My tip is to try a pour-over coffee, specifically an Ethiopian single origin, if available. The cafe only serves coffee and there’s no food available.
I am often asked where my favourite spot for coffee is in Sydney. Without reservation, each time, it’s been Coffee Alchemy. It’s unassuming and blends into the industrial landscape of Addison Road in Marrickville. Before polished cafes like Matinee (review coming soon) moved in across the road, Coffee Alchemy sat alone and drew in (and continues to draw!) coffee purists from across Sydney.
When Coco and Viner Mavis first moved to Sydney she wasn’t much into coffee, an irony not lost on me, as her own Grandfather ran one of Singapore’s old school coffee shops in the ’60s and ’70s. In fact, her grandparents set up a cot for her in the coffee house, yet all she yearned for was her grandfather’s cookies. Introducing her to a coffee from Coffee Alchemy changed all that. At the time a Belgian affogato styled coffee won her over, and then the cappuccinos. Fast forward 6 years and we are still coming back here for coffee, and with the Coffee Alchemy expertise extending to Gumption in The Strand and Micro at Barangaroo, we are fortunate to have additional access to their arsenal of outstanding coffee.
Coming to Coffee Alchemy is a unique experience in itself. Whether it’s at 8am or 2pm, it can be a challenge to get a space to sample the coffees on rotation. You know what’s even more remarkable? Coffee lovers congregate in this retro fitted out space for coffee alone. Not even pastries or small treats are available, it’s a pure uninterrupted coffee experience.
Service is friendly, and the setup of the cafe ensures the baristas aren’t far from the coffee consumers and they are happy to talk coffee. In fact, if this is your first time, along with the coffee notes and origins, don’t be afraid to seek out the opinion of the team at Coffee Alchemy.
On our visit, we sampled three coffees. First out of the barista’s hands was a flat white. I loved the silky micro-foam with a luxurious nutty flavour that packed a decent caffeine punch. A sweeter, caramel finish was the hallmark of this mighty fine cup.
Mavis’ cappuccino had a similar tasting profile with a frothy, chocolate texture. It was beautifully presented with well defined latte art.
To top off the best hour of the day, was a pour-over. An Ethiopian Sidamo Heirloom coffee. Served in a rather novel vessel, it made the drinking of it just that little more fun. An aromatic coffee that was bright with a subtle lemon tang. It was perfectly extracted with a nice body. A perfect ending!
If you are a coffee fiend, or just appreciate watching baristas work the state-of-the-art Spirit boiler or make precise movements with their milk jugs, Coffee Alchemy has to be an experience to tick off. For me though, I am just looking for any excuse to stop by for a coffee hit that delivers!