If it wasn't for the hordes of people crowding into this unassuming place, Coffee Alchemy would certainly go unnoticed along Marrickville's industrial concrete stretch. We all know looks can be deceiving so what this place lacks in aesthetic appeal it makes up for with killer produce – coffee.
Coffee Alchemy is serious doing things right. Yes, we're talking about their beans. Good beans. For these guys, "coffee is the elixir of life." They are meticulous about freshness, preparation and having the most superior coffee. In short, your coffee will no doubt come with a shot of devotion and taste pretty darn fine.
Owner Hazel de los Reyes was recently awarded NSW Barista Champion for 2012, but this is only an addition to the list of other accolades both she and the cafe have received, including SMH "Best Coffee" for 2011 and 2012. Evidently, Hazel is mad about coffee and not half bad at making liquid gold out of it.
The house blend, Goodness Galileo, is the standard bearer for cappuccinos and lattes ($3.50 or $12.50 for 250g bag). With rich notes of chocolate and nuts, it leaves a satisfying taste on the palette long after the last sip. Coffee Alchemy's Sibila's Brew — fruity with a bit of spice and clean finish — is another popular coffee and best prepared in plungers, espresso machines or sophisticated equipment such as a vacuum brewer ($12.50 for 250g bag).
For those coffee nerds who are bearers of such sophisticated equipment, the usual suspects such as filter, pour over and syphon are available. A Bolivian mamani mamani is the pour over special of the week ($5) and has a lively orange acidity to it, with hints of toffee and caramel even coming through.
If you're in the mood for something experimental, the sparkler ($6) is the way to go. Served in a tall beer glass, at first glance it might look like you're getting a dark lager instead of a caffeine fix. However, the chilled coffee is an appropriate refreshment for those balmy days.
And on Saturdays, Coffee Alchemy extends the fort with a takeaway counter in the garage next door. There's something truly remarkable about Coffee Alchemy and you'd be a fool to miss out if you're a fan of the bean