Although Cancun was pretty much a disaster, coffee at Pastelteria is an amazing experience. It really is coffee like you’ve never had it before. Ordering alchemist coffee on a whim was an adventure in itself. Finding the restaurant near the famous Fifth Avenue shopping was another adventure. For some reason, you can find anything you want at Fifth Ave., except coffee. We made the mistake of asking a few locals, who wanted to lead us on a wild goose chase, for cash of course. It took some time but we managed to shake of all the “helpful” locals and find our own coffee. When we did, it was the best coffee ever!

The Setup

When our waitress rolled out a cart with a burner and a giant glass siphon, straight out of chemistry class, it was obvious this wasn’t going to be an ordinary cup of coffee. A second employee came to help with the setup. Just arranging everything on the cart took several minutes. A manager came out to supervise the two employees.  If you decide to order the alchemist coffee, be ready for a lot of attention. Several tables stopped eating to watch what was happening. I was fascinated as well, because I’ve never seen coffee made this way. It was so good a few days later we went back to try it again at a different Pasteleteria location.

The Ingredients/Process

Besides the ground coffee of course, our drink included a blend of cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and a few other spices that I haven’t had in coffee before. There was also an orange peel involved somewhere at the beginning of the process. Our barista measured the ground coffee in the top and mixed in a small amount of water with the spices and orange peel.

Next she lit the flame at the bottom and brought the water to boiling then removed the flame. She continued to stir the coffee at the top. As soon as the water was boiling, it siphoned the coffee from the top into the bottom. A few minutes later we were served the coffee black in small blue and white cups. Not as small as a Turkish coffee cup, but definitely smaller than an American coffee cup.  I don’t understand the physics behind the process, but it produces one smooth, sweet cup of coffee. It’s also strong. Really strong. Make sure you have something to eat right before or right after sipping the alchemist coffee. If you don’t eat (and I didn’t the first time) expect the jittery shakes for several hours afterwards.

The Verdict

The coffee is a sweet cup of happiness. I ALWAYS put cream and sugar in my coffee, but alchemist coffee needs neither. It’s perfectly balanced. In fact, the employee’s told us that it’s almost sacrilege to add anything to the coffee. Looking at the process from the perspective of the employees, it would probably be insulting to change the coffee after all of their hard work. The entire process takes about twenty minutes. The cost? About $10 USD. It’s well worth the price to taste coffee this unique. The flavor is tangy, with a hint of sweetness and spices, and the coffee is surprisingly smooth. There’s only one problem, I can’t find coffee like this in Arizona.


Location: Plaza Malecon Americas, Local 13 y 14 Mz. 1, SM 6, 77500 Cancún, Q.R., Mexico

Hours: 7am – 11pm

Phone:+52 998 884 5926