HomeCoffeeSkool Beans and Its Magical Icelandic Setting

Skool Beans and Its Magical Icelandic Setting


We observe Holly Keyser’s journey of opening a café inside an old-fashioned bus within the small city of Vík, Iceland.


Pictures courtesy of Skool Beans and Joshua Schumacher

Having fun with a cup of espresso inside an previous American college bus in Iceland isn’t an expertise one will get to have on daily basis. However for Holly Keyser, it’s her life. Holly is the proprietor of Skool Beans, Iceland’s first microroaster and tea lab espresso bus, situated in Vík. We reached out to Holly to seek out out extra concerning the journey of organising her enterprise and why she selected a small city alongside the southern coast of Iceland.

The interior of the bus: the floor is covered in mosaic style tiling, with the classic black rubber strip running through the middle. The ceiling is curved and painted white. At the end is a short wooden bar. On the left side is a row of two-person wooden tables with white chairs. On the right side runs a long skinny wooden bar seating area with the same shite chairs. The original bus windows line the top on both sides.
The previous yellow college bus has been remodeled into a comfortable café.

From Glacier Information to Café Proprietor

The Skool Beans bus started when Holly was supplied a job as a glacier information in Iceland by a pal. “Once I arrived in Iceland in August 2017 I noticed in a short time that outdoors of the capital metropolis, Reykjavik, there have been no little cafés that you would simply settle into and revel in,” she says. ”Vík is a city I might drive by to get to the town once I was a glacier information. It’s a tiny city with the ocean on one aspect and mountains on the opposite. I needed to reside on this tiny city subsequent to the ocean, however I needed a bit café to sit down in whereas I used to be there.”

For Holly, Vík was the proper match for her enterprise. Many individuals come to discover and admire the pure great thing about the area. Guests can discover the close by black sand seashore of Reynisfjara and the Reynisdrangar sea stacks. Different actions in Vík embrace exploring the ice caves beneath Katla, mountain climbing on Sólheimajökull glacier, and snowmobiling on Eyjafjallajökull glacier. However there was one factor lacking: a café to sit down in and loosen up.

“After a 12 months of strolling on a glacier I figured, if nobody else goes to do it, I higher cease moaning about it and do one thing about it myself! Vík has about 370 residents, however it will get over 2 million guests a 12 months, so I couldn’t have been the one one to really feel this fashion. It seems I wasn’t!”

Outside the bus, there are benches to sit on made from wood pallets. On the other side of the road looms a rocky cliff.
On a pleasant day, clients sit outdoors and benefit from the picturesque surroundings.

Taking a Leap of Religion

The most important problem Holly confronted was sourcing inexperienced beans that may very well be delivered to Iceland whereas additionally permitting small orders. “It was actually exhausting to discover a provider of inexperienced beans that will ship to Iceland, as a result of so many nations don’t. Plus, I began so small, and within the pandemic. I wasn’t able financially to decide to large orders of a whole bunch of kilos.”

She managed to discover a provider that supported her enterprise from the start and that she nonetheless works with at this time. When it got here to roasting, Holly used what she knew and jumped in with each ft—although there have been no microroasters shut by. She began out small with a 250g air roaster and ultimately upgraded to a 1kg roaster after launching a espresso card voucher that injected further money into her enterprise.

“The 1-kilo roaster diminished my roasting time to 1 / 4 of what it was,” she says. ”In busy seasons I’ve a really trusted workforce roast for me as a result of I additionally work full time on the bus. When I’ve time to roast, I wish to strive uncommon beans to cameo within the bus now and again.”

Holly making a drink inside the bus, seen through the window. She wears a headband and khaki apron and has her hands placed on knobs on the espresso machine.
Holly had a 10-year profession within the emergency companies within the U.Ok., specializing in large-scale operation planning and counter-terrorism.

A Step Contained in the Distinctive Skool Beans Bus

So what can one anticipate when visiting the Skool Beans bus? There are three choices of specialty espresso to select from, plus a artistic menu of specialty scorching goodies together with the Dragon’s Breath, a white scorching chocolate with dragon fruit and cayenne pepper, topped with cream, edible flowers, and coconut flakes. 

Holly says the bus evokes a whole lot of nostalgia for American clients. It’s additionally enjoyable for individuals who have by no means been inside an old-fashioned bus. ”It’s extra than simply the bus itself although,” Holly says. ”It’s the log fireplace, the mountain view, the unusual idea of a bus, underneath a large volcano, in Iceland.”

The front corner of the bus features a small metal wood-burning fireplace with a skinny chimney. Wood is piled neatly underneath. A black striped basket lies on the floor near it. Behind the fireplace is the orginal bus driver's seat and signage.
Skool Beans affords a free guide alternate, so you’ll be able to loosen up with a guide by the log fireplace.

Holly believes that one of the crucial necessary elements of beginning a enterprise is believing in your self. Regardless of folks telling her that the concept wouldn’t work, she continued to maneuver ahead and trusted her intestine intuition, which in the end led her to success. She advises aspiring entrepreneurs to all the time again themselves it doesn’t matter what.

The Skool Beans workforce is at the moment within the technique of constructing a roasting lab and says we will anticipate extra thrilling roasts and customized blends sooner or later.


Vasileia Fanarioti (she/her) is a senior on-line correspondent for Barista Journal and a contract copywriter and editor with a major focus on the espresso area of interest. She has additionally been a volunteer copywriter for the I’M NOT A BARISTA NPO, offering content material to assist educate folks about baristas and their work. You’ll be able to observe her adventures at thewanderingbean.internet.




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