Kaffe ~ coffee

Every now and then, I check out those Plinky prompts. You can have them sent to you by email if you want to. The other day, the question was «Do you need coffee to wake up in the morning?», and I saved that one for later use. My answer would be a resounding YES, and I have a cup of steaming, black Arabica here beside me right now.

ImageI guess I’m addicted to caffeine. Haven’t been without it long enough to realize how addicted I am, but I know I get a headache when I don’t get my usual doze. If I had an appointment somewhere in the morning, and, for some unfathomable reason, were without coffee … I think I’d grab a can of Coca-Cola instead.

According to Wikipedia, Sweden is the number 2 coffee consumer after Finland, in the world, and it starts early in life. At least it did in my time. I was probably thirteen, fourteen when I started to drink coffee. This was okay with the older people too …sometimes even encouraged — so it wasn’t something you did on the sly, as with smoking.

It’s a social thing. When you visit people’s homes, you’ll be offered a cup of coffee right away. Were you to say ‘no, I don’t drink coffee’, there could be this little awkward moment of hesitation before they’d offer you something else to drink. Coffee breaks in work places are important, and quite often coffee is offered, in one shape or another, throughout the work day.

Since I don’t work here, my coffee consumption has automatically been cut back, without me even thinking about it.

Most people drink it black and strong … decaf is almost unheard of, and extremely expensive if you can find it. When Gerry came to see me in 2003, I was going to buy decaf, as he’d told me he only drank that. I found a little, quarter of a kilo, package which went for corresponding to $12. He said it didn’t matter, so he drank my stuff all the time and became like the Energizer Bunny 🙂 I’ve been drinking coffee for so long, so I can never get to experience that caffeine effect. The only thing that happens is that I get a slight termor in my hands if I drink to much.

ImageIn the beginning, when I first came to Canada in 2004, it took me some time to find a brand that I liked but I’m fine now … you get used to it. Just read now that Kraft Foods have teamed up with the most common, Swedish, coffee brand Gevalia, so that’s available now to US coffee drinkers. I wonder what they think of it?! Would also be fun to hear how the pronounce it.

Gevalia wasn’t my brand of coffee, while I lived there, even if it was alright! My preferred coffee brand was Zoégas, which is rather strong and full of flavour. Probably sold in IKEA, but I’m not sure.

Image

A lot of the above may have changed, with the influx of all the coffee houses and chains like Starbucks and the likes. Still … I think it’s deeply rooted in our culture, and it will take time before it really changes …if ever.

Related post: http://anettehermann.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/homage-to-coffee/

30 Replies to “Kaffe ~ coffee”

  1. I spent some time in FInland and noticed how much they drink. I think it is something like 10 cups per person per day.

    Still, Starbucks here in the UK has now doubled the amount of coffee per cup they serve, so perhaps the whole world will catch up with Finland soon.

    1. Wow …imagine all the Energizer Bunnies 🙂 I do drink the Starbucks coffee but I don’t feel that it has the same caffeine levels. So far, there’s still only one Starbucks in Sweden, and that’s at an airport. It will come … I’m sure.

  2. As a child, I only got to drink coffee when I visited my grandparents. At breakfast they gave me a special cup that said “Coffee Break” on the outside. After you emptied the cup you could see “Back to Work” written on the bottom. It was such a great memory, I still have that little brown mug on my shelf at home. If I tried to drink it at my parent’s house, my Dad always told me that it would make hair grow on my chest. As a little girl I did not want that to happen!!!

  3. Hi,
    I’m also having a cup of coffee at the moment, just after midnight now, and I just happened to see your post in the RSS feed, a nice way to finish off the night. 🙂

    You are so right about coffee being a social thing, and it is always the first thing I ask visitors when they come if they would like a cuppa, plus I meet friends at coffee shops etc. I think I would be lost without it. 🙂

    1. Yeah, it’s an easy and simple way to socialize. One thing I forgot to bring up in the post, and that I was a little surprised to find here [in North America], was all the talk about caffeine — like many people seemed to be almost scared of it! Back home, nobody paid any attention to it … guess they’re so used to it so that’s why. But, if I had coffee at midnight, then I’d had to go to bed right away afterwards … before it had kicked in, and fall asleep … otherwise, I’d have to stay up really late 🙂

        1. I know….some people are like that! Normally, I don’t feel anything of it, but if I’m going to go to sleep, then I have to watch out a little 🙂

    1. Thanks 🙂 I don’t know where that came from — I just like to write when I wake up in the mornings, I guess and the mug was sitting here on my desk 🙂 Will check out yours now!

  4. I remember seing the Zoegas, is it Swedish? I drank a lot of Gevalia when I lived in DK. I think it’s still the most popular brand there. I find American coffee to be very “weak”. Right now I run on coffee from the Dominican Republic, it’s very good and strong. They didn’t bother to de-caf or add vanilla flavor either.

    1. Zoégas is from Skåne, they live in Helsingborg … very close to Denmark 😉
      Dominican Republic-coffee sounds promising. I can’t stand the flavoured ones. I’ve had real, Turkish coffee once and that was so strong so the spoon could have stood straight up in it, by itself LOL

  5. I don’t drink much coffee here. Probably because most of my friends don’t. But in Sweden that was all I drank. Or sometimes hot tea. In Lindsborg, coffee is quite important since we are a Swedish town. Lots of coffee breaks. And at a couple of stores, we can get several brands of Swedish coffee.

  6. One of the first blogposts of yours I ever read was about you, coffee, coffee cups, and your mother. It was, what can I say, so YOU, a point of view, a personality, that I’ve been following your blog ever since.
    To read this feels like a wonderful rounding of a circle.

    1. Ohhh…I remember that! How my Mum had bought extremely expensive and SMALL coffee cups when my uncle and aunt were coming from the States … that was funny! 🙂

  7. Thanks for that post, I’m a coffee addict too. It’s true what you wrote about Sweden: during my visits there I probably set my personal best of coffees per day. I also talked to the Polish guy who had done some seasonal construction works there and he was a little tired of hearing his employers say every 30 minutes: “Want some coffee? Some more coffee?” 🙂

  8. I had no idea coffee was so popular in Sweden and Finland. With Americans being such rabid consumers, I’m surprised we’re not in that top spot!

    I must have coffee in the morning or at some point during the day. Its not so much for the pick-me-up, but the taste. I find the warmth very soothing and it keeps me calm. 🙂 Drink of choice: Cafe Mocha.

  9. Never knew that Sweden and Finland natives are coffee aficionados. My friend drinks Gevalia. I grind my own beans which are Blue Bali from a coffee company which imports them from Bali. I am rather attached to this brand and wonder what I will do when I run out. My nephew works there and has roasted the beans for me but they usually ship them green and you have to roast them yourself. I don’t have a roaster so I kinda depend on him to do this for me.

    1. How cool is that, to get your own! We don’t have a grinder. I know you can grind in the store, but I haven’t tried it … I think I will! They have so many more kinds of coffee that come in beans..

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