40 years ago, in a little area of Chicago called Lakeview, a new coffee shop opened up and it was called The Coffee & Tea Exchange. This cozy place on the corner of North Broadway and Aldine has been roasting their very own coffee beans since 1975. The business went from roasting their coffee beans right in the store, to now roasting them in a warehouse off of West Grand Avenue, along with their loose teas that are sold in the store. The beans that they sell come from all around the world and are shipped to anywhere in the country. This independent coffee roasting company is not only reliable, convenient, and friendly, but also a local, family business. Steve, the founding father, created a strong foundation for his business and it continues to thrive the same way it has been for the past 40 years. Not much has changed since 1975 and that is a good thing for this business because they have continued to succeed and grow.
The bustling coffee shop feels like home as soon as you walk in. Warm, welcoming, and filled with a strong coffee aroma that will bring a smile to your face. If the big, decorative barrels of coffee in the center of the shop don’t intrigue you, there’s a whole wall of jars filled with loose tea to choose from…or admire. These barrels and jars are decorated in a cute and quirky manner and all of the products are very affordable. Compared to the various chain coffee shops that are on every street corner (cough cough…Starbucks), there shouldn’t even be an argument when it comes to whether or not to support the local coffee shops that we walk by each day. Let’s face it, everyone benefits. The business benefits and you benefit. You are getting better quality coffee at a local shop and not to mention CHEAPER coffee. You may have heard the rumors going around that Starbucks burns their coffee beans and according to WorldofCaffeine.com, in order to burn and completely ruin the coffee beans, “We can only assume that Starbucks starts with the worst possible beans”. So there you have it.
One of the goals of The Coffee & Tea Exchange is to provide genuine and affordable coffee to everyone. This is what initially intrigued me to the store. Not to mention the fact that it is only a short walk from my apartment! All I have to say is, go out and find that gem of a local coffee shop in your neighborhood. Trust me, it exists, but you just might have to search for it.
Click here to view my slide show on The Coffee & Tea Exchange!