Tom Roden has the London coffee scene to thank for inspiring the opening of Exchange Specialty Coffee.
After he’d finished his university degree, Tom travelled to London and started working at Workshop Coffee in July 2011.
“It was a real eye opening experience for me. I got a lot of inspiration from Workshop Coffee, including their wonderful approach to specialty coffee and hospitality in an engaging environment. It gave me a lot of insight into how a business should operate from the word go,” says Tom.
Upon his return to Australia, Tom was disillusioned by the lack of variety of quality coffee in Adelaide. “I know I had to start my own place otherwise I’d be continuously disappointed,” he says.
What evolved next was Tom’s own coffee shop, Exchange Specialty Coffee, which opened in July 2013. Tom describes his coffee bar as “minimalist”, with nothing there that doesn’t need to be. “It’s a functional, clean, simple space that’s designed to facilitate interaction between staff and customers,” Tom says. “I didn’t want a space where baristas could hide away behind a wall, I wanted them to engage with the customers.”
As such, a large communal table invites customers to gather together, and a brew bar encourages guests to explore more adventurous coffee options, including aeropress, V60 and filter over ice using a Japanese cold brew method.
Exchange Specialty Coffee serves Market Lane Coffee for their seasonal espresso and filter roasts. At the time of print Market Lane’s seasonal espresso comprised a Doña Magdalena, a washed coffee from Bolivia, and São Judas, a pulped natural coffee from Brazil.
Single estate espressos rotate every few days. Guest single estate coffees are also available, with past favourites from the Coffee Collective in Denmark, Workshop Coffee in London, Mecca, Smallbatch and Seven Seeds.
Located in the backstreets of Adelaide, Tom says customers find the café’s location intriuging. “People say we’re Melbournised because our café is moved from the main street to the back street,” he says. “It’s a fantastic place to work. You shouldn’t work in hospitality if you don’t enjoy daily interaction – so thankfully I’ve found the right career.”