"Ska vi fika?" ="Do you want to have a fika?", is something more than "do you want a cup of coffee?"
Fika is almost like a holy ceremony for the Swedish people, and Fikapause is mandatory on all workplaces. 15 minutes, normally at 9 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon.
Fika is more than coffee, it´s about sitting down together SHARING the coffee break, gossiping a little maybe and chit- chatting. Preferably with something sweet to go with the coffee like a cinnamon roll.
Today it felt like spring finally arrived, and we had this years first outdoor fika in the sun. WITHOUT a big jacket! Such a lovely feeling!
So what is it that makes the Swedish fika so special? The tradition goes way back, from the time people would visit each other in the countryside. It became almost a competition on who had the best "fika bread" which generally had to include a cinnamon roll, some kind of spunge cake and at least seven shortbreads. Why seven? I really don´t know. I remember visiting my Grand mothers friends when I was a kid, and they had complete control on who had what cookie. You had to eat your seven kinds, otherwise it was considered rude. In that far away country side they also served a glass of snaps (real strong alcohol) to go with the fika. Maybe for digestion, I don´t know. I was offered, but refused.
Nowadays there are of course like everywhere else a lot of different variations of coffee to choose from for your fika, but still the most common is regular coffee with either milk or sugar. Two generations ago, the coffee was boiled not brewed, and my grandparents and their friends would drink their coffee on the saucer. They poured some of the coffee from the cup onto the saucer and balanced it on one hands fingers and sipped loudly. Supposedly to get the right temperature of the coffee. My grand dad would also drink "on the bit" which meant he had a hard lump of sugar on the end of the saucer and sipped the coffee through the sugar. I haven´t seen anyone doing this for a very long time, so I guess that tradition is dead. But the fika tradition definitely is not.
Swedish people are sometimes considered cold and not so social, mostly staying at home. Maybe that is true, but we are very very good at fika!
Kim is originally Danish with a Norwegian mother and Veronica is all Swedish. We live on the west coast of Sweden and run the design brand Born in Sweden with a true love to the all Scandinavian lifestyle.
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