Alchemy Coffee owner Jason Briggs mentioned to Emily Gassman that he always loved the lean-to addition of her restaurant, Em’s. Emily hadn’t thought of sharing the space, but considered the proposition. Jason also phoned Ivan Banning in Seattle to ask Ivan if he wanted to help him design a new business, not knowing that Ivan had recently resigned from his job. Elements aligned, and a coffee shop materialized. But that’s alchemy, a power that transforms something in a mysterious or impressive way. Ivan has since transitioned from associate to business partner and the two complementary personalities have fused to create Alchemy Coffee, Capitol Hill, a same but different coffee house in the Marmalade.
The same as the 1700 S. location, says Ivan, is the quality of product, presentation and their “genuine connection as a rule” customer service. One difference between locations is the method they’re using to prepare coffee drinks. “We’ve gone old-world, old-school,” Jason says of their espresso machine. Their “new wave of coffee” lever machine gives them full manual control over brew production.
No doubt, Capitol Hill needed a gathering place, and the partners have allowed their new neighbors to help shape some of their decisions such as their 6:30 a.m. opening time.
A grand opening is expected in April, the details of which will be posted on Alchemy’s Facebook page.
Alchemy Coffee, Capitol Hill. 271 Center St. Open M-Sun, 6:30 am – 2:00 pm.