World Coffee Series: Swedish Coffee

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Sometimes the things we love most and often associate with being ‘American’ aren’t American at all. In fact they come from a completely different country entirely; all the way on the other side of the Atlantic! For such a small country you would think that Swedish products don’t make their way to this side of the ocean, but really there are so many products you wouldn’t even think of were Swedish to begin with.

H&M, IKEA, Absolut Vodka, and obviously Swedish fish all come from that blue and yellow Swedish flag. If these aren’t enough reasons to love Sweden as it is, think of all the other products that come out of it; like coffee! Of course all coffee does not come from Sweden but they do have their fair share of coffee importance. For starters Swedish Coffee originates from Sweden - duh!

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Starting in the late 17th century, coffee has become one of the most famous products on each street corner. At every turn, coffee will be there waiting, ready to have your back with the hot brew. Roughly about 100 years after the beginning of its time in Sweden, coffee still holds the title for being the best choice of beverage amongst Swedish peers around the country.

At one point during the coffee’s reign, the King at the time decided to place a tax on all forms of coffee, which outraged the members of the community. Denying the King’s request to pay the tax on coffee, the people of Sweden continued to drink their coffee at all hours of the day, even if that meant drinking their coffee in secrecy. Whenever people got the chance, they would meet up with their friends to discuss the latest gossip over a piping cup of coffee. Often this resulted in meeting friends after hours just to sneak in that cup of coffee, for fear that they might get caught by their superiors. This trend of meeting with friends over coffee brought coffee to be apart of the Swedish culture.

A century later, Sweden tops the coffee charts in being the third most coffee drinking country in the world. Some would say being in the top 3 of any lead is a major achievement, but in Sweden the amount of coffee that is drunk is not a reward that sits on the mantelpiece, but rather is a lifestyle. Coffee plays a very crucial part in the Swedish culture, so much so, that it a main point to any work day. Companies all over the country give their employees a fika break, or coffee break, everyday to enjoy their most favorable drink of choice.

What is a fika break? How does one incorporate coffee into their toughest of days? Fika, or the Swedish term for coffee, is not just a drink, but is their life. To many Swedes, fika breaks are the equivalent of a lunch break to us Americans. For an hour each day people gather amongst their peers at either coffee houses down the block, in the breakroom of the workplace, or even in the living quarters of one’s home, Swedes socialise with friends and colleagues while drinking coffee and having something sweet to eat. The fika break is viewed as putting the struggles of the world to a stop momentarily, a yield if you will, to gather with others and simply relax; allowing you to transition into the second half of your day more smoothly.

Since coffee is a common drink in all of Sweden, if not a necessity, it is something that can be found constantly. Wherever you look you can find people on their fika break, about to be on their fika break, or even thinking about their fika break and who they will spend it with. The constant flow of coffee brings the entire country together as a whole. By having a mandated break for coffee, all of the citizens share a sense of unity and passion towards coffee.

What about those people who are on-the-go? Can they still enjoy a fika break everyday even if there is no time? Absolutely! With the help of instant coffee the Swedes can enjoy their fika break just the same. In just a few minutes the instant coffee can be brewed and ready to give you that delicious drink for your travels. Sometimes there simply isn't enough time to sit for a whole hour and enjoy a nice cup of fika with some friends, as sad as that may seem!

In fact, Sweden is home to some delicious blends of instant coffee, for they ensure that each package is at its best. The quality of the coffee is important to them as fika breaks are part of their lifestyle daily. Having this important quality in the back of their minds, they make sure to take the time to get the instant coffee up to par. As long as you are drinking coffee at some point during the day, the fika break police are at peace, whatever form of coffee you may choose to drink.

Every country has their own way of making coffee that is specific to their borders, so why shouldn’t Sweden miss out on having their own coffee? Yup! You guessed it! Their version of coffee is called Swedish Coffee. So what makes a coffee Swedish? Is it the water that they use? The milk? Or even a hidden ingredient? Let’s find out!

When it comes to Swedish coffee, of course there are variances in terms of milk to coffee ratio. But what about Swedish coffee makes it unique? Swedish coffee has a secret ingredient that you would never have imagined can be paired with coffee. That ingredient is eggs; or eggshells to be more accurate. If you pictured a cup of coffee eggshells would be something that you steer away from as much as possible. You wouldn’t want to get a crunchy piece of eggshell each time you took a sip coffee. Why eggshells! Contrary to popular believe, the eggshells in the coffee give the brew a perfect blend of proteins and nutrients that are smoothly blended together (so no there won’t be any hard pieces in your coffee cup. Phew!)

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World Coffee Series: Swedish Coffee. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 12, 2024, from
“World Coffee Series: Swedish Coffee.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022,
World Coffee Series: Swedish Coffee. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 12 Jul. 2024].
World Coffee Series: Swedish Coffee [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2024 Jul 12]. Available from:

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