Today is World Coffee Day.
Sweden is one of the top coffee consuming countries in the world, but we do it with a special touch, and not just once year but virtually every day. "Fika" is a Swedish cultural ritual that we need more of here in the U.S., and I thought that today was the perfect day to inspire you.
Fika is a treasured tradition that is in that sweet spot between the elaborate English afternoon high-tea and the American coffee-to-go.
Growing up in Sweden, no matter where we were or what we were doing, we would stop mid-afternoon, take a short soothing break, and enjoy an earthy cup of hot coffee along with a little sweet and some company. In Sweden, we have quite a sweet tooth, and indulge often, but always in moderation.
Fika is all about celebrating the simple pleasures in life, with others.
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I have such a longing for this familiar tradition that I grew up with - such wonderful memories of the ritual.
Typically, if we were out for the day, we would have already thrown a basket together with a large thermos of fresh, hot (and many would say strong) coffee as well as some homemade snacks.
We would literally just pull the car over on the side of the road, grab the basket and a picnic cloth, and plunk down on the grass or in the woods (just steps off the road) to enjoy a short break. It's fair to say we virtually always had a large thermos with us at all times. And if the basket of goodies wasn't possible, there were countless bakeries to pop into in order to meet the need.
At home, in the summer, we would take the break outdoors if at all possible. Most often the table would be covered with a casual cotton cloth, the dishes would be mis-matched old china, and the coffee cups were small, not enormous mugs.
Fika is such a civilized respite from a busy day, to appreciate the little joy's in life.
There is another, somewhat similar, tradition called Kafferep. Honestly, it's a bit hard to understand the differences today, but as I understand it, the history of Kafferep is more formal and structured. But the overall idea is the same - to take an afternoon pause and celebrate with coffee.
how will you "fika" today?
The goal isn't to just down your coffee while multi-tasking, but to slow down, relax for a few minutes, and chat with others.
While it may not seem casual to most Americans to whip out homemade sweets from a basket, it's certainly not a requirement that everything be homemade. It's more of the act of making the moment special by taking the time and enjoying something with others.
My challenge to you: How will you "fika" today?!
tips & inspiration for your fika
Here's a really nice book that'll get you inspired and cooking.
Written and illustrated by two Swedes Anna Brones & Joha nna Kindvall. It's basically a cookbook but there's so much more in it including the history of coffee in Sweden, and cultural insights.
BTW, I make no profit from your purchase :)
Learn More about Fika
Peace and contentment,
Hey there. I'm Miriam ~ and I've been doing this my whole life. It's my passion.
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