Alchemy Coffee Aims For Permanent Location On VCU Campus

by | Jun 24, 2014 | POLITICS

Take heart, coffee connoisseurs and food-truck junkies – your favorite tear-drop coffee cart, Alchemy Coffee“>Alchemy Coffee, is m

Take heart, coffee connoisseurs and food-truck junkies – your favorite tear-drop coffee cart, Alchemy Coffee“>Alchemy Coffee, is moving indoors and opening a permanent location later this summer in the VCU Arts Depot building at 814 W. Grace Street.

Eric Spivack has been serving beverages with a Northwestern-sensibility since 2012, when he moved from Portland, Oregon to RVA to work for Altria. While Spivack said he was impressed by RVA’s food truck scene, he felt that Richmond lacked the quality coffee that the Third Wave Coffee movement had brought to the Pacific Northwest.

“To me, the question was what could I do that would be more rewarding and fulfilling,” Spivack said of why he moved to making coffee professionally.

Chemically, a cup of coffee is very simple – it’s 98.5 percent water. But what goes into a good cup is a whole lot more complicated. “I think for a lot of people that don’t have exposure to good coffee, coffee is an afterthought,” Spivack said, and he wants to educate people. The Alchemy Coffee trailer has “brewing enlightenment” written on it, and talking to him about coffee means hearing about quality water, single-sourced beans, correct temperatures, mass-based measurement, grind-particle size, solid equipment and proper brewing ratios.

Spivack said what appeals to him about coffee is that a quality cup is something the average person can afford, versus quality wine which can cost hundreds for a bottle. Furthermore, coffee is the second most widely consumed drink on earth, and it’s something that many people start their day with. “It’s a very personal beverage,” Spivack said.

Spivack said a storefront “naturally makes sense” for Alchemy Coffee at this point in his business. After two years of good reception and strong sales from his trailer, he wants the space to expand his setup and have a “third place” for customers to sit and work or socialize. Reflecting his chemistry-inspired approach to coffee brewing, Spivack said, the store will be called The Lab.

“Personally, it’s something I was always passionate about,” Spivack said about his relationship with coffee, so expect that passion to pour out from his new shop somewhere on VCU campus sometime soon.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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