SA Life

Get CityMag in your inbox. Subscribe
August 1, 2019

Adelaide’s favourite coffee has been decided

In the inaugural Adelaide City Coffee Championships we registered more than 4,000 votes for your favourite coffee shops in the four corners of the best postcode on Earth.

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

We want to go on record and state, unequivocally, we believe it’s impossible to give the award of “best coffee.”

The intimacy of your coffee drinking moment and existential and physical collateral involved in the creating the perfect coffee experience consists of data that cannot be parsed even by an MIT supercomputer.


Thanks for voting in our inaugural Adelaide City Coffee Championship. And remember, you can find CityMag print wherever good coffee is sold.

Congratulations to:
Exchange Specialty Coffee
Where We Met

Instead, our first-ever Adelaide City Coffee Championships were a way of asking CityMag readers to share and celebrate their favourite place to have coffee in Adelaide. And, because we know you love coffee that much, we allowed you to have favourites in each corner of the city.

The results are in. Voting was prolific. (And to the skeptics out there and to the wannabe rorters – we got you. While multi-voting was allowed, multi-counting was not.)

Each of the winners are great and we can personally attest to the quality of each shop’s drop. The fact they’ve won meant they ran a good campaign with their fans and their support has delivered them the 2019 conference.

We’re already dreaming up how we might expand on the concept for 2020, it really seems to have struck a chord with you this year. Thanks for voting and we’ll see you at your local.


ACCC 2019 Northeastern Conference Winner:
Exchange Specialty Coffee



Exchange Specialty Coffee
12-18 Vardon Avenue,
Adelaide SA 5000

Exchange was founded in June 2013 (happy recent sixth birthday, team), and on most days you can find owner and founder Tom Roden at work behind the Synesso (as pictured).

The café made a name for itself by taking coffee and service very, very seriously, and, of course, being the first café in Adelaide to make free sparkling water for the table standard. For that, we thank you.

Market Lane is Exchange’s coffee roaster of choice, but the shop also rotates through a series of guest roasters. Tom was also early to the filter trend, offering both Aeropress and Moccamaster batch brew.

If you’re stopping by for coffee and a snack, Tom says you can’t go past a buttery croissant as a pairing (supplied by Abbots & Kinney), or the kitchen team’s seasonally rotating breakfast loaf – currently made with banana, cranberry and pepitas and served with whipped cream and butter.

“The hospitality scene is so strong in Adelaide, we do food and drink so well, there’s so much good choice, if you’re not firing on all cylinders, then people will just go elsewhere. You’ve got to have a complete package,” Tom says of his team’s win.

“I can comfortably say, setting aside any bias, the team we have now, I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a better, more personable, more likeable, more down-to-Earth group of people, and I think that really is what makes it.”

Congratulations to the Exchange staff on taking out the Northeastern Conference of the inaugural Adelaide City Coffee Championship.

❤️ And a special mention to the northeastern runner-up, Larry & Ladd.


ACCC 2019 Southeastern Conference Winner:



96 Gilles Street,
Adelaide SA 5000

Sibling has been keeping patrons at easy for a little over a year now, opening their doors for the first time in May 2018.

What was intended to be a “a quiet little gallery-style café to complement my sister’s shop next door ,” says co-owner Caitlin Duff, has become anything but.

“It’s surpassed our expectations in the best possible way,” Caitlin says.

“When you have a vision from day one and you fill the space with things you love, people can feel that.

We care about everything we do – the food on your plate is sourced locally, we’ve experimented with the ceramics and the vessels we serve our coffee in [and] we’ve gone for the aesthetic, the form and the function.

“All these things add up and they just make you feel like you’re experiencing something someone really cares about.”

The café pours a Monday’s blend from its two-group La Marzocco as its base coffee, and also offers rotating single origins for its Moccamaster filter option.

If you’re in for a mid-morning pick-me-up, Caitlin suggests the lumberjack cake for cappuccino drinkers or salmon on rye for those fond of a long black. But the breakfast bagel is by far and away the crowd favourite.

“The most common pairing we have, when people walk through the door, is double-shot latte and a breakfast bagel,” Caitlin says.

Congratulations to the Sibling team for taking out the Southeastern Conference of the inaugural Adelaide City Coffee Championship.

❤️ And a special mention to the southeastern runner-up, The Motorcycle Society.


ACCC 2019 Southwestern Conference Winner:
Where We Met



Where We Met
114 South Terrace,
Adelaide SA 5000

The youngest business to take out a title in the Adelaide City Coffee Championship, Where We Met is coming up to eight months in business and has wasted no time winning hearts in the Southwestern corner of the city.

The café pours Dawn Patrol exclusively, and is the only CBD location selling the roastery’s range retail.

The Modbar set up – consisting of both the EP and AV ABR models – was picked for its ability to enhance the connection between customer and coffee maker.

“The biggest thing, and this is the whole point of getting the Modbar, is the service side of it. We want the customers to feel like they’re more than just a dollar in the till,” owner Ben Allen says.

Where We Met’s coffee program is constantly rotating, with the milk blend changing every three months, and two single origins, used for espresso and Moccamaster filter, changing on a month-to-six-weekly basis.

With that said, consistency has always been foremost in Ben’s mind.

“With the equipment we’re using and the calibre of the coffee we’re using, it’s always really good. We do everything we can to make sure it’s consistent,” he says.

Ben’s mum Kate Allen takes care of the food, and there is a range of house-made cakes to choose from. Ben also suggests sitting down with a coffee and Small World Bakery’s “under-rated” fruit toast, or the café’s scrambled eggs.

“The scrambled eggs are pretty spectacular. We slow cook them in cream and butter,” he says.

Congratulations to the Where We Met team for taking out the Southwestern Conference of the inaugural Adelaide City Coffee Championship.

❤️ And a special mention to the southwestern runner-up, My Kingdom For a Horse.


ACCC 2019 Northwestern Conference Winner:



16 Bank Street,
Adelaide SA 5000

Bonobo opened up on Bank Street in a former frozen yoghurt shop in August 2016, after owner Derek Crozier decided to jump into business following a long stint working in the café industry, in both coffee-making and media production roles (he used to set up screen projections for coffee competitions, so he knows a good coffee when he sees one).

He saw opportunity in the Market-to-Riverbank strip prior to redevelopment, and reached out to local roaster Kommon Grounds to develop a Bonobo house blend specifically made for the Adelaide palate, which he pours from behind his lime green La Marzocco.

Bonobo’s coffee is a medium roast made from a mix of Colombian, Brazilian and Indian beans, and has a nutty profile with blood orange notes. It is perfectly accompanied with the cafés toasties; Derek suggests the pear and brie.

“Pear and brie is great on a wine platter, so I thought let’s turn it into a toasted sandwich and pair it with our coffee,” he says.

To survive and thrive in Adelaide’s competitive hospitality scene, Derek says special attention has to paid to service.

“I know we know this, but it’s something that should be emphasised double. Unlike larger cities, Adelaide is like a big country town where our regulars are our business,” he says.

“And people can taste the passion in the coffee. It’s like mum’s home-cooked meal – you can taste the love that goes into that.

“Here, one of the job requirements is you have to be passionate about coffee, because customers can taste that. You can’t fake the passion in coffee, I believe.”

Congratulations to the Bonobo team for taking out the Northwestern Conference of the inaugural Adelaide City Coffee Championship.

❤️ And a special mention to the southwestern runner-up, Peter Rabbit.

Special thanks to Tristan Kerr and Uppercase Studio for the type treatment!




Share —