23 August 2014

The Caffeine Chronicles: Alchemy Café

I first tried a macchiato from Alchemy at SPIN X LCF's Christmas event last year, but although their café in the City is about halfway along my commute to work, I only got round to visiting a few weeks ago. They are only open until 4.30 pm and only on weekdays, which means that for me, a quick pre-work breakfast is the only option, but that's OK: breakfast is my favourite meal (after brunch).

The café is based on Ludgate Broadway, a quiet side street near St Paul's and the City. Inside, you are greeted with a big wooden counter etched with As (or zigzags, at least) [ETA: Alchemy say, "The 'As' on the bar are actually four separate symbols: the Alchemical notation for Earth, Air, Fire and Water."], and a big coffee menu that highlights the special espresso and filter varieties of the week and their tasting notes. Filter fans can order an Aeropress brew (£2.70), so I did, choosing the Kenyan coffee on offer.

The breakfast menu includes an assortment of pastries. I was in the mood for a croissant, but looking back at my photos, I notice that I didn't spot the bacon muffins on offer. Fail! The croissant was tasty though—perfectly buttery and flaky—and I took a seat in the window and waited for my coffee, watching the mainly suited-and-booted passersby.

Alchemy is on the petite side, and there are only a few seats along the window, but at 8 am, most people were taking their coffees to go, so it wasn't too crowded. As you might expect from a café named Alchemy, my coffee was served in an Erlenmeyer flask. The Kenyan coffee had that nice fruity acidity that cuts through the humidity of a hot London morning, and I felt refreshed as well as caffeinated.

Just as I was about to leave, though, I spotted the cold-brew coffee (£2.50) served in adorable vintage medicine bottles and adorned with 'drink me' style labels that reveal the coffee's origin (Costa Rica, in this case). Not quite as cool as the cold-brew bottles from Revolver, perhaps, but hipster enough to generate a number of questions from curious colleagues when I made it into the office. The cold brew was strong, rich and utterly delicious. Now, if only I could convince my office's coffee shop to serve it...

Alchemy Café. 8 Ludgate Broadway, London, EC4V 6DU (Tube: Blackfriars). Website. Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Great review Bex ! I was looking for a nice/young but still quiet café and this one sounds really good.
    Did you ever bought from them online ?