Initially opened as a store specialising in Cuban products, Cuba Life, now helmed by Steinar Svenning, has since 2008 turned into one of Kristiansand’s pre-eminent coffee shops.
Occupying a small space just off the main strip in Kristiansand, Cuba Life, with its rustic walls, patterned tiles and distressed wood, is an inviting place; it conjures a far warmer climate than is common for Kristiansand, a windswept coastal town of 83,000 people on the south coast of Norway.
Still true to its roots, the innermost part of the shop boasts a walk-in humidor, one of the largest in Norway, specialising in — you guessed it — Cuban cigars. But the coffee is where Cuba Life shines.
It is a common problem – or rather a fact of life – that smaller towns often are unable to support niche businesses such as that of a great coffee shop, but since 2008, Cuba Life has bucked the trend and kept a strict focus on quality.
The coffee at Cuba Life is roasted by Mean Bean, a roastery run at a very small scale by Mr. Svenning, roasting almost exclusively for the two coffee shops he’s involved with, Cuba Life and Mean Bean, as well as few of the better restaurants in Kristiansand. For more information on Mean Bean roastery, check out our post on Mean Bean. Black coffee is served brewed either to order on the V60, or as a batch brew that’s rotated daily.
Since starting out in specialty coffee in 2004, Steinar has helped put on the regional qualifications for the Norwegian Barista Championships every year since, himself qualifying several times, achieving second place in 2010.
Cuba Life is open from 08-16 Mon-Fri; 08-18 Sat; and 10-16 Sun.
For more information on Cuba Life, check out their facebook page.