Article: Alchemy Coffee: One Part Science, One Part Magic

Words and Photos by Azam Malik

If the owner and chief coffee peddler of Alchemy Coffee, Eric Spivack, had any flaws it would be that he cares too much. From the source of his coffee beans to the brands of the milk he uses, for Spivack, everything has to be perfect.

It is this approach that led the Portland, Oregon native to set up one of the most distinctive food carts in Richmond this past November. Originally having set up downtown, Alchemy Coffee moved to the VCU campus in January and has since begun serving some of the most meticulously crafted coffees in the area.

Of the five days a week that Alchemy Coffee is on campus, not a single cup can be said to be made the same. As Spivack himself puts it, there is no point in roasting the coffee beans to the point that customers receive the same cup regardless of if the beans are from Uganda, Brazil or Sumatra. For him, it is the individual notes of the various types of coffee beans “that really open the eyes of coffee drinkers.” This is why he uses coffee beans from Blanchard’s and Counter Culture; their emphasis on highlighting the difference in flavors falling perfectly into place within Spivack’s visions for coffee.

Looking forward, Spivack hopes to further cement Alchemy Coffee’s place into the daily routine of many VCU students. Alongside his coffees, which do come with vegan-friendly alternatives, he also sells oatmeal and granola bars. Alchemy Coffee can be found from Monday through Friday at the Grove Avenue end of the compass from 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

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