Alchemist Coffee Lab Serves Golden Cups in Fresno
A new coffee shop in Fresno, California, called Alchemist Coffee Lab is weaving together themes of coffee, science and history while exploring modern heights in coffee quality.
In Fresno’s Tower District, Alchemist is also the first retail coffee concept from Hamzeh Mahmou, the owner and roaster behind three-year-old Q29 Roastery (Instagram).
The new shop leans into its science motif with flasks, beakers and antiquated coffee grinders displayed on lab-like shelving, alongside a siphon brew bar. Exploratory offerings like single-origin flights encourage guests to investigate coffee through side-by-side comparisons. Drinks are complemented by a selection of healthy toasts and light bites.
With Turkish coffee also on the menu, and the Arabic style artwork of its logo, Alchemist Coffee Lab also pays homage to coffee’s commercial history, having been introduced to the West by way of the Middle East.
“It’s just a token back to my culture,” Mahmou told DCN. “You know, [we] kind of founded and invented the [coffee] thing, and made it into what people know as it is today. So [the brand is] just paying homage to it with the language and calligraphy.”
Mahmou was living in Jordan when he bought his first 1-kilo Toper roaster and dove into the craft. Today, he uses that same machine as a sample roaster, while a 20-kilo Toper machine handles the production load. Green coffee comes from numerous importers, including Covoya, Genuine Origin, Mercanta and Sucafina.
“My main priority is either Fairtrade or direct trade,” said Mahmou. “The main thing is making sure the farmer gets the best price that [they] can.”
Through Q29 Roastery, Mahmou has been serving wholesale clients around the Fresno region for the past three years, roasting in the styles that suit customers’ needs. For Alchemist Coffee Lab, which is a new and separate company, Mahmou is excited to follow his own muse with a greater variety of coffees and an emphasis on the bright, natural qualities of each.
“A lot of coffee shops are afraid to change. They don’t want new things,” said Mahmou. “They’re afraid to lose their customer base, whereas Alchemist is the opposite. It wants to take advantage of the micro roaster where with every order you can get fresh new beans and have something completely new.”
Born in Southern California, Mahmou moved to Fresno with his family when he was young and has since spent the majority of his life there. He envisions both coffee businesses as catalysts for quality in the local coffee scene.
“What’s next for us is to just implant that culture here in Fresno, so you don’t have to drive to the Bay Area or Los Angeles to get a good cup of coffee,” said Mahmou. “I’m trying to establish a culture in Fresno where you don’t have to be a frappuccino drinker to like coffee.”
Alchemist Coffee Lab is located at 1306 N Wishon Ave in Fresno. Tell DCN’s editors about your new coffee business here.
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Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.
Source: Daily Coffee News