Mean Bean, Kristiansand

Mean Bean, Kristiansand

By Chris Kolbu

Mean Bean is the second venture of the duo behind Cuba Life, led by Steinar Svenning. Since opening in May 2011, it has played host to art performances, concerts and other social activities, and has quickly attracted a varied lot of customers. Interestingly, it also features what has to be one of the world’s most micro of micro-roasteries.

Under the slogan Coffee with Character, Mean Bean and Steinar aim to roast coffee that highlights its sense of place and seasonality. Aside from a few restaurants, Mean Bean roasts almost exclusively for itself and Cuba Life, its sister shop nearby in downtown Kristiansand, a town of 83,000 people on the south coast of Norway.

Mostly using a 2kg roaster from Coffee Tech, Mean Bean is small, even on the comparatively small scale of Norwegian specialty roasters. Steinar has built up considerable roasting competence, coming second in the 2010 Norwegian Barista Championships with an Ecuadorean coffee he himself roasted. Aiming to only use seasonal coffees, he has joined up with a consortium of several smaller roasters led by Kaffa, enabling him to keep a small selection of in-season, high quality coffee in stock. It’s a small operation, but by no stretch of the imagination an amateur one.

Black coffee at Mean Bean is brewed to order – normally on the V60 brew bar – but other methods, such as the Chemex and Siphon are also available, depending on the workload at the bar — be sure to ask your barista!

Aside from lovely black coffee, the normal selection of espresso-based drinks are also available, as well as wine and beer from what is arguably the best micro-brewery in Norway, Nøgne Ø of nearby Grimstad.

Mean Bean is open from 08-17 Mon-Fri; 11-17 Sat; and 12-16 Sun.

For more information about Mean Bean, check out their facebook page.

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