– excerpt Sept. 13th, 2015

Joshua, torrefattore di caffè in frac
ad Amsterdam Noord (En)

A sweet aroma pass through the narrow hallway that leads straight to Joshua’s coffee laboratory.

green and roasted coffee beans

Walls covered with graffiti and drawings, a space decorated with taste, ambient music in the background and, above all, a myriad of dark beans sealed in so many glass jars: it is the “Sweet Alchemy” universe, made of roasted coffee by Joshua and his Italian girlfriend, Angela.

moka pot

I walk in their laboratory together with a friend and, of course, what’s the first thing we ask? A cup of coffee (we’re not silly). I sink into the armchair and, excited, I revive the truly Italian espresso coffee ritual: the moka pot on the stove, a nice chat breaking the waiting time, the flame slowly  slowly lessened.

Joshua is an American young man, who moved to Europe in 2001. “When Bush was elected,” he says, “I said bye bye to America.” Before creating the brand, he had worked at Bocca as a coffee roaster, tasting up to 35 espressos a day: “Every morning, when my colleagues were starting their day, I was already at my fifth coffee.” I look at him surprised and say to myself: “I thought I was the one drinking too many coffees!”.

I ask how Dolce Alchemia’s project had developed over the years and where did it start from.

“We started four years ago with the support of our friends. Their positive feedbacks about our coffee (which comes directly from Costa Rica, Brazil, Ethiopia, just to name a few) and their valuable advises have been of great help . Now we have bigger customers: the main ones are a café and camping. Then we like travelling, we love participating at festivals, art galleries and handicrafts fairs”, he says while starring, from time to time, out of the window, greeting the other side of Amsterdam from the Noord.

As he speaks, I wander around the room till my eyes catch an old roaster, that does not look anything like the ones I had ever seen. I ask where it comes from and he answers that everything in the atelier is recycled: “The coffee grinder is from the 50s, while the cast iron coffee roaster is a German brand and is probably 150 years old. We never bought anything brand new “.
I do not know a lot about coffee, although I drink plenty of it. However, I have the feeling that these old-fashioned machines give a unique aroma to the rough and crunchy beans.
I pour some more coffee in my cup and think to myself: Joshua’s coffee is really good!

As if he had read my mind, he says: “ we always know the roots of each bean; where it comes from and how it got here; which one people like it best.”.

From my side, I will definitely remember this day and take away a bag of coffee to help remembering..

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