Written by Lori Thiessen
In the post about the coffee break, I wrote about discovering the origins of the coffee break could have started by a group of Norwegian ladies in the 19th century living in the mid-Western United States. This possible urban legend got me thinking about my Swedish grandmother and her love of coffee.
Apparently, the Scandinavians are the world’s top coffee drinkers with Finns and Swedes vying for the number one position by consuming between 11 and 13 kilos of beans per year per person.
Try though I might, I couldn’t get any real data on why the Scandinavians drink so much coffee. So here are some guesses on my part.
Just in practical terms, it’s dang cold in the Nordic countries so a hot drink is bound to be popular. But the Swedes have a tasty hot drink called glog or grogg which is basically mulled wine.
But I think the Swedes and the Fins latched onto coffee for many of the same reasons that other European countries did. Coffee is a luxury item. It has to be imported from countries like Brazil so it isn’t cheap. People do like their luxuries.
Coffee is also a stimulant. During those long nights in the lands of the midnight sun, something to keep you awake is probably a good thing.
In Finland, alcohol was abolished for a while so coffee was the social drink of choice for many years and it continues to be the ultimate social drink.
It’s a great drink to have during the day because it won’t make you sloshed (unless you add something to it) and it will keep you alert.
There’s my two cents worth on the question of why the Swedes and Finns consume more coffee per capita than anybody else in the world.
If you have any addition information or insights into Nordic café culture, then please do write in. I’d love to hear from you!
Until Next Time,
May your coffee always be freshly brewed!