Thursday, August 25, 2005

Svensk Kaffe (Swedish Coffee)

In this, our second Swedish culinary episode, we will discuss Swedish coffee.

Scandinavians drink more coffee per capita than anyone else in the world. In fact they ingest 12.5 kilos per year of raw beans per adult. By comparison in the USA we yanks only comsume 4.4 kilos per person per year. And in jolly olde England the teabaggers go through only 500 grams of coffee beans per person per year.

Typically, Swedes rather drink strong acidic drip coffee made from medium quality beans from South America, Colombia in particular.

A typical adult Swede will drink coffee two, three or even four times per day; in the morning with breakfast, an optional mid-morning coffee break, a uniquely Swedish mid-afternoon coffee break called "fika" (consisting of coffee and sweet pastry or cake), and optionally after a large or important dinner.

The best-selling brand is the cool-looking and sounding Löfbergs Lila, which comes in a 500mg purple bag and costs about SEK 20 (US $3.00).

Stockholm and in fact most parts of Sweden are full of "kaféer" or coffee houses where you can sit and relax for hours if you wish. Once you buy a cup of coffee it is a general rule that you can refill one time (called påtår) for free although in theory I guess you could do it more times if you really want to get wired.

Typically Swedes drink coffee with milk and optionally sugar, and for those who like cream (like me) kaffe grädde (coffee cream).

For those of you who like your beans decaf, rest assured that the Swedish will stare blankly at you. Most are unaware such a thing exists, and you will not find decaf amongst the relatively large selection of beans in the supermarkets. Tourist restaurants will of course accomodate you.

The most famous coffee house in Stockholm is perhaps Vetekatten, and surely a viable place to get a nice cup of joe. For the hipsters, more bohemian java joints are littered throughout the city.

1 comment:

Raphael Muszynski said...

There are different opinions on this subject.