Brad Nixon’s Elementary Coffee on Young Street has nothing to hide. Despite being designed as a wholesale coffee business, the open-plan warehouse allows customers to wander between the “roasting area” and “cafe area”. It’s all one big, light-filled space.

Nixon worked for several of Australia’s major coffee companies (Code Black, Five Senses, Axil Coffee Roasters) and as a result spent several years in Victoria. He always planned to return to Adelaide and bring home a taste of the Melbourne coffee scene. What he soon realised was Adelaide had established a remarkable scene of its own.

“I had to tweak things for the Adelaide market,” he says about the roasting and service. “But I’m really happy with how it’s turned out.” Expect bright, complex black coffees (espresso and filter – Nixon’s preferred brewing method) and subtle, sweet milk coffees. He’s especially pleased with the Kenyan coffee beans bought directly from growers Nixon met while he worked for “big coffee”.

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Saturdays are spent roasting for the coming week to ensure the beans are aged perfectly. Nixon is keen to demystify the process. He extends an open invitation to industry types and coffee enthusiasts to stop by and chat while he works.

At present he’s only producing enough for the cafe and its first wholesale account, Flinders Street Project, but aims to develop his client base over the coming months.

Elementary’s fit-out was designed and constructed by Josh McCallum of Wholegrain Studio – based out of The Mill. The brief was to accentuate the existing character of the building and work with local materials. McCallum and Nixon were excited to discover an old, timber-framed window during the renovation. It has been revived to form a beautiful centrepiece for the bar.

The menu features a few slow-cooked beef and pork sandwiches; all-day breakfast options; pastries; and smoothies. If you’re not a coffee drinker, Elementary also serves ridiculously tasty peanut-butter and smoked hot chocolates.

Elementary Coffee
9–17 Young Street, Adelaide
0450 066 216

Mon to Fri 7.30am-3.30pm