Coffee Alchemy is as unpretentious as they come. Painting a very modest veneer for the public eye, its original Addison Road site was so unassuming it seemed to actively deter the curiosity of anyone who might stumble across it. But after nearly 20 years there, the business moved to a bigger space on Sydenham Road after its original digs were sold for redevelopment in 2021.
Though it's a spiritual successor, Alchemy’s Sydenham site doesn’t feel like a carbon copy of the original. Soft sunlight floods the space through a bank of floor-to-ceiling windows opposite a long timber countertop. A calming teal paint job is the canvas for some familiar accoutrements: Addison Road’s white frosted pendants, circular gold mirror, Synesso coffee machine and, of course, those pews for dine-in coffees.
Co-owner Hazel de los Reyes is a well-respected figure within the Australian coffee scene, and for good reason. As well as an Australian “cupping” title (the tasting process by which roasters grade and categorise coffee), her list of accolades includes a number of prestigious barista and roasting titles. The huge range of brew methods and meticulously sourced selection of coffees are a testament to her talents.