I am a coffee fan. Not just any coffee, mind you. Good coffee–dark, robust, served in a nifty cup or mug, and with something flavorful alongside. My earliest coffee memory is from sleepovers at my grandparents’ house–my grandmother would wake me on a winter morning with a steaming mug of coffee-flavored milk, which I got to enjoy with Grandpa while we read the newspaper together. Perhaps I get my coffee affections from the Swedish branch of the family, immigrants to the US almost 150 years ago?
Learning to fika
The Swedish have a wonderful tradition of coffee and cakes to break up the workday: fika. The practice is so ingrained, it happens twice a day, at appointed times. Fika is even a verb!
Coffee time is the place for catching up with friends and hatching business deals, with hot drinks and cakes to smooth the way. In Sweden, everywhere I went, fika was on offer–with hot chocolate or tea for the non-coffee drinkers. And always with a slice of cake or a sandwich alongside.