About us

We, the team behind ‘Kaffee-Alchemie’,  want to express our passion for high quality coffee; directly and fair traded. ‘Speciality Coffee’ differs from ‘Branded Coffees’ in that it normally comes from single origin and from recent seasonal harvests:  we want to purchase excellent green beans from small coffee farmers who grow and processes unique coffees with great attention to quality. Such coffees reflect the variety grown, the micro climate and the specific preferred processing, which are characteristics you will not find in large bulks of commodity coffees branded by importers. Most of the coffee grown world wide comes from small farm, but as most of these coffees are of a low or average quality, the coffee is picked and sold as red cherries at the market or to a local Coffee Processing Mill, which then processes the fruits to dried green beans for export, blended with hundreds of other lots. Most coffee farmers world wide cannot process the freshly picked coffee themselves; the green ‘seeds’ will easily be tainted by unwanted flavors while waiting to be pulped, cleaned and dried, and the safest way is to bring the red cherries to a Mill. If a farmer has especially good coffee,  his beans will none the less end up being blended with all sorts of qualities at the mill. The quality of coffee cherries picking on a farm is one of the major factors which influence the taste of coffee in your cup. In case of large Brazilian farms, which are located in flatlands and cover areas of hundreds of hectares, the cherries are harvested mechanically. In Central American or African farms located in high altitudes, automation is not possible, and all coffee is thus picked only manually. Since pickers are usually paid by the amount they harvest, picking usually tends to be of poor quality. In order to be able to pick selectively only perfectly ripe cherries, it is necessary to repeat the picking several times during the harvest season. Daily harvest volume depends e.g. on the elevation profile of a farm, the coffee tree variety, and of course on the picker’s skill. For a branded coffee to get a uniform taste, immense volumes of blended coffees from many mills are required, and thus you will get ‘regional’ coffees like ‘Ethiopian Yirgacheffe’, ‘Java’, ‘Brasil Santos’, ‘India Malabar’, Kenya AA’ etc, which are now common even in Supermarket shelves. ‘Speciality Coffee’is not what it used to be: The comparison to wine would be that the larger coffee houses imports tons of beans from a region or a country (like ‘French Wine’ or  ‘Italian Wine’, you’ll get ‘Java’ or ‘Jamaica’).  For our coffees, we are looking not only for the Vineyard and the producer, but also for the variety (in wine like: ‘Chardonnay, Pinigio Grigio): the actual single origin  (in coffee: ‘Bourbon’, ‘Geisha’, ‘Maracatu’). Thus we can present to our customers not only a characteristic, unique coffee, but also a specific farm and the face of a farmer. And there’s usually not many bags of these ‘micro lots’: that is what makes it both a challenge and an ever-inspiring quest: to find the small, unique coffees. Wine gets some of its character from its processing in barrels or tanks, and Tea is processed dry either green or black;  The best coffees are -as grapes and tea leaves-  picked when at its peak: the coffee cherries ripen to a deep red or yellow, and this is when the seeds (the ‘beans’) should be processed to a dry stage. The different methods of removing the coffee pulp (which sticks to the seed like on a peach or a plum) has an impact on the quality of the flavor when the seed later is being roasted. Thus, the different processing methods: in dry lowland countries, coffee is sun dried, and in steep highland regions with lots of presbytation, the coffee seeds are ‘washed’ in clean water and then sun dried, carefully. And ‘care’ is the key word here: green coffee seeds, (still protected by the inner ‘parchment’ during the drying process), are easily ruined by burning sun or surprising rainfalls, and there’s a large variety of techniques.

At present the most popular method for processing specialty coffee is the ‘washed‘ method. Its outcome should always be clean coffee, with all defects removed and fully reflecting its terroir in taste. This method is also quite safe if some basic rules are adhered to, especially during cherry fermentation. Its major drawbacks are requirements for technical equipment and large fresh water supply.
The processing mill is divided into several parts, built in order for the coffee to move in water by gravity. In the upper part there is a receiving station, where farmers bring freshly harvested coffee cherries late in the evening. After weighing the cherries, these are transferred into a huge “siphon” filled with water. This is where the first sorting of faulted cherries takes place. This is followed by a thorough massage in a huller, which separates hard unripe cherries from the ripe ones. The ripe cherries, whose skin has been removed, continue in the water trough to fermentation tanks. Fermentation process follows, lasting 12-72 hours, depending on the variety, of altitude and the temperature. For the final quality of the beans it is absolutely essential to judge correctly the right time for terminating the cycle and to assure perfect cleanliness of the tank. In ideal climatic conditions, coffee is dried in concrete patios. This saves energy and resources which would be otherwise consumed by coffee drying machines. Great care is taken to ensure the moist ‘seeds’ do not get ‘baked’ in the sun: the nights are cold and the ‘dew’ at sunrise and after sunset should be avoided.  Usually, coffee is partly dried in the sun, and the drying process is then completed mechanically to obtain the required 11-12 % moisture of the beans. Driers are heated by wood stoves, in which the removed parchment and wood from pruning etc can be burnt as well.

Behind Kaffee-Alchemie are John, coffee enthusiast from Norway, with more than 15 years within Speciality Coffee; International Cup of Excellence Judge, experienced barista trainer and navigator of Kaffee-Alchemie;  Andreas, Professor in Biology at the University og Salzburg and the Map Reader of the business. On Board are also our young and aspiring baristi  Katharina, Johanna and Olle to share the coffee fun and madness with us. Because, next to our passion for Speciality Coffees, we also aspire to be an addition to Salzburgs coffee scene: that coffee place where you, the customer, would like to come by for that good cup of espresso, cappuccino, caffè latte or that good brew of high end coffee. ‘Coffee-Alchemy‘ means to us the art and passion for brewing better coffee  -and aiming for that gold cup! We are pulling our espresso shots on a La Marzocco GB5, using a Mahlkönig Twin grinder. We alternate between different espresso blends, trying out and offering different ‘espressos of the day’, and advising different espressi for the pure shots and the espresso & milk beverages. We were advised to offer aggressive espresso to austrians, but not surprisingly what gets thumbs up are the milder roasts from Tim Wendelboe (previous World Barista Champion) and Oslo’s Solberg & Hansen Roastery. Another partner whos coffees we appreciate is Erste Tegernseer Kaffeerösterei. We hope to find more roasters in the future! ‘Filter Coffee’ has a bad reputation in Austria, and we would like to show our customers that there’s a whole new world out there of new brew parametres and brew standards, which now results in excellent filtered coffees. We serve most of our ‘coffees of the day’ as AeroPress, but offer Pour Overtoo, of all our coffees. We welcome you!

Der Kaffeebaum ist eine besondere Schönheit. Seine schneewissen Blüten duften nach Jasmin. Er nimmt sich Zeit und braucht von der Blüte bis zur Reife der Früchte knapp ein Jahr.

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