Swedish "Fika" listen

Swedes are among the very top consumers of coffee. Swedes drink coffee at any occasion and at any social or work related gathering. The word "Fika" is a verb and a noun for having coffee with sweet buns, cookies, or openface sandwiches.

A "Fika" is nothing you grab on the run or while driving. Fika is a layed back activity even at work. It is considered very rude as a guest to leave before coffee is served. Fika is taken sitting down at a kitchen table, conference table, on a picknick blanket or on a bale of hay. Coffee is served with a bun and cockies, or a sandwish.

History of Fika

Stockholm had several cafés in the early 1700s. They served coffee with wheat bread or buns according to French fashion. Some time after the introduction in Sweden it became prohibited to drink coffee. The fine if caught while drinking coffee was so criticized that after a few years the ban was lifted.

"Seven Kinds of Cookies" refers to a term and a tradition since the late 1800s. It refers to how many different flavors of cookies a hostess should offer. The most famous cookie is probably the Gingerbread cookie. It has been baked since 1444 at the monastery in Vadstena. Children also take fika breaks. They often dip the gingerbread cookie into milk or berry juice.

The traditional cup of Swedish coffee is stronger than the traditional American coffee. For a normal Swedish coffee cup you need to measure 1 ˝ dl or less then one cup of fresh cold water for one tablespoon plus a dash of grounded beans to serve boiled (kokkaffe) or brewed (bryggkaffe) coffee.

There are times, however, when less than a regular cup is served. Very small coffee cups called mocka cups are sometimes used at dinner parties. The mocha sugar cubes are smaller than regular sugar cubes. Coffee Kask also calls for less boiled or brewed coffee. It is diluted with liquor.