Q: Why Coffee?
A: I got introduced to coffee with a Keurig. My parents bought a Keurig and I didn't know specialty coffee existed. I thought it came out of a can. I had no idea there was an entire world of coffee out there. I was reading one of the Keurig boxes and saw "bold / medium roast" "100% arabica bean", and so on. I got interested and did a lot of research into what that meant and eventually found out about pour overs, bean storage, grinding your own beans and after five minutes they'll go stale if you doing use them. It blew my mind!
Q: When did you take the big step into brewing quality coffee over instant coffee?
A: A few years ago I remember going into CREMA out of Nashville and tasting my first cup of specialty coffee. That was it, my world was changed permanently. I bought my pour over devices did a lot of research and remember being blown away by the science of it.
At first it was just a home thing. Back then there was no specialty coffee shops in Huntsville. In my enthusiast days I would go to Atlanta and take classes offered by Counter Culture Coffee so I was already familiar with Counter Culture. A year or so later I found out about Alchemy and did research on them. Come to find out, they partnered with Counter Culture and I immediately emailed Candace and told her that "I have to work here!! I've had training with Counter Culture". That power of networking is what got me started here.
Q: How do you see yourself now compared to when you first started pursuing coffee?
A: I've learned so much! A part of that is getting calibrated, knowing how to taste, knowing what sour is compared to bitterness and knowing how to make those changes. I think it's important to never be comfortable.
Q: If you could only drink one coffee bean for the rest of your life, what bean would that be?
A: I would have to say Kenyan.
Q: What got you into coffee?
A: I wanted something different besides my parents run of the mill coffee. I think about 10 years ago someone told me about French Press so I experimented around with that a little bit and it's grown from there.
I like this ritual of getting up every morning and having something to look forward to that's warm, helps you wake up and embrace the morning. I also really enjoy traveling to different cities, experience new coffee shops and taste their take on a good cup of coffee. It tells me a lot about that city and the scene.
Q: What's your preferred method of brewing at home?
A: I guess, if I'm being lazy, it would have to be the Aeropress. If I have time I will do pour overs. If I go to a shop or cafe I always want to try their espresso.
Q: If you had to stick with one bean for the rest of your life, where would it be from?
A: Anything from Kenya.
Q: How did you get into coffee?
A: I love craft and connection and the reason I love coffee is because it combines both of those things. Coffee creates an atmosphere where tons of different like minded people can come together in an atmosphere that's really constructive.
Q: So, tell us about 3rd wave coffee.
A: Alchemy is a 3rd wave coffee shop. 3rd wave coffee is taking coffee back to its roots in a sense. Most people don't know that coffee is more chemically complex than wine, so there's so much more you can do with it other than just adding syrup to it. It really becomes the merger of art and science which I love.