In this very moment, writing this blog, I am in my favourite café and place to go to have a break or to be creative, Alchemy Coffee and Bookstore. I have the pleasure of writing this while sipping on a Costa Rican single origin cappachino or what I like to call a Shakkachino.

 Experiencing Alchemy and good quality coffee

The music in the background is smooth and suttle which allows the words in me to flow out. The coffee shop is full of art work from local artists and the café has books in every corner. It has creativity pouring out of the walls in both the baristas coffee skills and the art on the walls. The vibes are always cool and positive and the people that fill it are even better.

The baristas that work there, don’t only make the best coffee that has touched my lips but they make you feel welcome and they welcome anyone into the café. People from all walks of life go to Alchemy, from Athletes to business people to old retired coal men and of course hippies. Everyone is excepted at Alchemy and that’s what I love about going there. You could meet and chat with people you would have never met before.

What is the difference between coffee in Alchemy ( a small local indie coffee shop) to the big franchises such as Starbucks?

A few months ago I took part in a coffee workshop with Rhia, the head barista of Alchemy Coffee and Bookstore café. Little did I know that I would come away with a lot more knowledge about thanfairtrade, single origin beans, and the process of a good quality coffee bean than I would have thought. Before I went to the Alchemy, I was like the majority of people who drank low quality coffee from large franchises like Starbucks and Costa. Once I learned the difference between the both, I never drank a coffee from those big franchises again. Why would I want a burnt coffee, that is made up of beans from all around the world, that pays the people who grew the bean half nothing and pays employees of that coffee shop minimum wage, that also uses beans that have been roasted a year prior to being used from the big franchises like Starbucks when I could get a much nicer coffee from a local indie coffee shop that supports fair-trade, single origin beans that are roasted here in Ireland and are roasted a week or two in advance to being used and gives the employees a nice wage. The difference in quality is phenomenal.

The standard in Alchemy is always held to a high standard because every staff member has been trained in by the manager of the shop Rhia Gonzalez. Rhia is one of the coolest women I have ever met and I love going in to Alchemy to see her doing her thing. She epitomises a person who is passionate in her job. She loves to explain about the coffee and I love listening to her. I learnt a lot from her about coffee. She really values good quality, fair-trade and single origin beans that are locally roasted.

Come along to the next Real Bia event (Coffee tasting workshop) in ACLAI this Saturday the 9th of July,  and taste the coffee for yourself. There are limited places so follow the link below to book your spot.


This article was written by Shakira Coonghe Bsc

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