Coffee History in Sweden
Let’s dive into the Swedish Coffee History.
Coffee first entered Sweden in 1674 and it wasn’t widely used until the 18th century
when the wealthy started drinking it.
An edict against coffee and tea was issued in 1746
because of the misuse and excesses of tea and coffee drinking.
The ban did not stop its consumption, however.
Gustav III (Swedish King) therefore decided to do an experiment to prove the negative coffee effects.
Coffee experiment in Sweden – “The first Swedish clinical trial”
The Swedish King Gustav chose two identical twins and did a study.
Each of the twins was tried for the crimes they committed and condemned to death.
Both the brothers’ sentences were commuted to life imprisonment on condition
that one would drink three pots of coffee daily,
and the other would drink tea daily for the rest of their lives.
Initially, two physicians were assigned to supervise the experiment
and report the results to the king.
What were the results of the coffee experiment in Sweden?
Both doctors died before the experiment was over, probably from natural causes.
Gustav III also died before seeing the results.
The tea drinker died first, at age 83 and the coffee drinker’s death date is unknown.
Later on, they tried to ban the coffee once again.
Since 1820 when the ban was lifted coffee became a dominant beverage in Sweden.
It’s now a country with one of the highest per capita coffee consumption rates.
Let’s go and Fika!
We all deserve a coffee break, but Swedish people are actually taking them.
Many Swedish firms have mandatory fika breaks
and employees are given free hot drinks.
We believe this should be done everywhere around the world.
What does Fika mean?
Fika is often roughly translated to “a coffee and cake break”
but it’s much more than that.
Of course, we can’t help but wonder if these regular coffee chats actually help
Sweden’s likely realized that working long hours without meaningful breaks
isn’t healthy and it doesn’t lead to more productivity.
They see this time as a chance to chat and relax with their colleagues.
Plus, we all know that beautiful ideas can be born over a cup of coffee.
Fika is a ritual. It’s a way of life and time to pause.
It’s more about socializing than drinking the actual kaffi ( Swedish word for coffee).
What coffee do Swedes drink?
A very common method of coffee preparation in Sweden is called kokkaffe
which is boiled coffee.
It’s very simple to make.
Put a heaped teaspoon of coffee per person in the pan,
add cold water per person and bring the mixture to a boil.
Once it’s boiled, remove it from the heat and strain through a filter into a cup.
Another coffee type they prefer is regular drip coffee.
You can’t go wrong with this one.
What amazed us though while exploring Swedish Coffee Culture was the egg coffee.
Take a look at the egg coffee recipe:
- 1 fresh egg
- 1 to 1 ½ tbs of your preferred coffee, coarsely ground (similar to what you would use for a french press)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of ice-cold water (yes, that’s a total of 2 cups of water)
- Sugar and milk to taste
We all love a breakfast with eggs and coffee
but what about coffee and an egg in one?
This is one of the smoothest coffee you’ll ever drink
because it helps removes the tannins from it
which makes it a lot less bitter.
We’d love to know if you’d try it.
Fika as a way of life
Unlike Americans who love to take their go to coffee or drink coffee and work,
Swedish people see coffee break
as an opportunity to wind down and connect.
Let’s remember that we are human beings and not human doings from time to time.
Make a cup of coffee.
Invite your friend to a park.
And go fika.