The story of “The Bean”

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

We have just released our two new coffees so we thought it would be a good time to give you a little bit of the backstory to why we are talking so much about coffee.

Coffee is an important part of our lives.

Pia has been an avid coffee drinker for more than a decade. She has been a nurse for 5 years and while at work at the hospital a cup of coffee is a welcomed break in a busy and stressful workday. Sharing a cup of coffee with her colleagues in the break room is where she gets to know them better and have a quick recharge between taking care of patients.

She has gotten used to the hospital coffee, which is known to be terrible and didn't really think much of it before we met. 

But I have worked with specialty coffee for almost a decade as a barista and coffee roaster. So when we got together and I started making her freshly roasted, quality coffee in the morning she struggled to go back to the hospital coffee. 

She now brings her own coffee in the morning instead. 

For me, coffee has been my life since 2012. I stared as a Barista at one of the top hotels in Norway, Scandic Nidelven, and from there started competing in regional and national championships.

In 2015 I started working as a coffee roaster and was part of opening a new coffee shop and shop roaster in Trondheim. 

At first, I found it fascinating how many different flavors a seemingly simple thing like coffee can have. And as I learned about why things taste the way it does I got hooked. 

Over time, after having roasted for a while and learned how I bring out each coffees flavor profile I started making decisions on which green coffees to buy for our shop and I started to learn about the coffee industry and all the different sides of it. I started to understand what the price of coffee actually means.

I am not going to go into detail here, but let me give one example. 

After sorting, this is about 2-400 grams of coffee

In one kg of coffee, there are roughly 10 000 beans and each coffee cherry contains two beans. All the coffees that I buy are handpicked, then hand sorted up to four or five times. This is to ensure the best quality. It is then packed in bags and shipped across the world where it gets roasted by a coffee roaster like me before being brewed and served to a customer by a barista.

Sorting coffee by hand

There are a lot of people that need to get paid from this kg of coffee. The pickers, the mill, the truck driver, the shipping company, the roaster, the coffee shop, the barista.

The commodity price for coffee as I am writing this (June 2020) is 0.9$ per pound. Imagine how little is left for the people doing the actual work like picking and sorting the coffees.

I would recommend reading this article from Collaborative coffee source about transparency in the coffee industry to learn more.

This is why we always pay a much higher price for the coffees that we buy. Often upwards of 10 or 15$ per kg. That way we know that people get paid what they deserve so they can live a good life. That also means the final cup or bag of coffee costs quite a lot more than a cheap store brand coffee, but we know that nobody is being exploited. 

We are very lucky to be born where we were. Here in Norway. One of the safest and most prosperous countries in the world.

When we now decided to leave our steady jobs and safe life behind to ride our motorbikes to Africa, we are very aware that this is a luxury most people in the world do not have, and we do not take it for granted.

Since coffee is what I have lived for in the past decade, we really wanted to visit some of the washing stations and meet some of the farmers that I have bought coffee from in the past few years.

Coffee is also a great way to get to know people. It is a great icebreaker and is something most people around the world have some kind of relationship to. 

That is why we decided that we wanted to have our own coffee that we can bring along with us and share with people we meet along the way. So we created “The Bean”.

At first, I roasted the coffee myself, but because of Corona, I was put on leave from my job. It is also a bit difficult to roast the coffee while riding motorbikes.

Luckily we know many people in the industry in Norway and one of our good friends, Adrian, very recently started his own Nano roastery. So we thought why not have him rost our coffees while we are on the road. Then he can ship it to us wherever we are. 

This way we can help each other.

I met Adrian when for the first time when I took part in my very first coffee competition back in 2013 I think it was.

Since then we have been both competitors and teammates in different competitions. We opened a coffee shop together in 2015 together with some other people and have both been part of the Trondheim coffee scene since then, doing courses, events, and festivals together. 

Adrian won his first Norwegian championship in 2019

Adrian has for the past two years

worked really hard on perfecting his skills as a roaster and barista and it has paid off with two first places in the Norwegian Barista championship

, which means he gets to represent Norway in the World Barista Championship (WBC). 

Who better to roast our coffees than the best barista in the country?

Adrian's quality standards and understanding of the coffee trade means that all the coffee he uses is sustainably sourced, something that is important for us, and that each bag will be made with love and care to bring out the potential each coffee can offer.

We have decided to have two different types of coffee for sale. One that is a coffee most coffee drinkers would love. A good breakfast type coffee with notes of nuts and chocolate that fits very well as a breakfast coffee. We call this one “The Nutty Bean”.

I also really love fruity coffees, so we decided to also make a coffee we call “The Fruity Bean”. This is a naturally processed coffee, which means that it is dried with the cherry on as opposed to a washed coffee where the cherry gets removed before drying. That keeps a lot of the fruity flavors in the coffee bean and gives notes reminiscent of red berries like red currants and strawberry. 

We think having one safe coffee and one that is a bit more special will show off the range of flavors you can find in coffee.

And by buying a bag you are supporting our dream of riding to Africa, while at the same time supporting Adrian's dream of building his coffee roastery.

We are also very proud of the label designs for the bags. They were designed by another really good friend of ours. Louis Everard. 

Before we even started our youtube channel, he was the one who encouraged us to go through with it and designed our logo for us. He thought our idea was cool and did it as a fun side project. 

Louis and I met in 2015 and was also a part of opening the coffee shop. He was a chef and responsible for serving the food at the shop.

After he quit he decided to follow his dream of starting his own design company which he started in 2018. Today he has a portfolio that includes some of the best restaurants and bars in Norway, like The Michelin star restaurant FAGN in Trondheim, The world-renowned HIMKOK in Oslo and Hammerhead brewery in Trondheim. 

And now he also has designed our coffee labels.

The idea behind them was that we use our motorbikes, The Tenere 700 to explore the world, but use the coffee to stop, take a break, and enjoy it. 

It is very important for us that we don't feel like we are taking advantage of our friends, soLouis also gets a very small cut of each bag that we sell. which will help him get through this corona crisis where he lost most of his clientele. 

We hope you will enjoy this coffee and we encourage you to check out Adrian and Louis social media and websites to learn more about them.



- Kenneth

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