Fika (pronounced fee-ka); old Swedish term, for which there is no English equivalent, but roughly refers to making time for friends and colleagues with coffee and goodies.
It is also the name of a new coffee roast from Lofbergs, but more about that in a moment.
This week, we are highlighting the range of Scandinavian coffee we offer at EnjoyBettterCoffee.com. No mention of coffee from countries such as Norway, Denmark, and Sweden would be worth its weight in beans without the mention of hygge and fika, key parts of life in the Nordic countries. We aren’t talking about a coffee break, but an extended break, twice a day, with special baked items to make it all cozy and comfortable. And, it’s the law in Sweden that companies give employees two Fikas per day. It is considered socially unacceptable for employees to skip these gatherings.
These Scandinavian cultural norms, which put a premium on cozy and warm feelings as key parts of interactions with friends and co-workers, could be a big part of why the Nordic countries consistently place in the top 10 Happiest Countries, per the annual World Happiness Report. For 2018, the report deemed Finland to be the overall happiest country in the world. Following in order are Norway, Denmark, Iceland, with Sweden jumping to 9th place, up from 10 last year. You may already know that the report is based on values assigned to six variables that contribute to well-being: income; healthy life expectancy; social support; freedom; trust, and generosity. Data is pooled from Gallup World Poll surveys to calculate the happy ratings. (The U.S.A. comes in at 18th.)
Are there other reasons for this regional contentment? Frigid weather and long winters may bring communities together in support of each other. (Think of the effort behind a barn-raising where everyone helps the farmer in need.) These countries also offer social programs, affordable higher education and healthcare, and have a high GDP. A Finnish researcher speculates that Finns are quietly satisfied with life conditions, and unwilling to compare what they have against others, comparison being the “thief of joy” (according to Teddy Roosevelt).
Please use coupon code: NORDIC15
*Discount valid from 6/3/2018 through 11:59PM ET on 6/5/2018 at www.EnjoyBetterCoffee.com with 15% off no minimum order required on Arvid Nordquist, Lofbergs and Paulig coffees. Offer not redeemable for cash. Not valid with other coupons or discounts, special sale or case sale products. Questions? Call us at 800.582.6617 Mon-Fri 9AM-5PM ET.
Check out our roast reviews to help you decide among these comforting coffees.
Lofbergs, one of the largest coffee roasters in the Nordic countries, is based in Sweden. We offer two exemplary roasts, both new to us: Lofbergs Swedish Fika Medium Roast Ground Coffee and Lofbergs Swedish Fika Dark Roast Ground Coffee. Fika Medium Roast is a light roast (3 of 5) of Arabica beans with a balanced taste and aroma. Fika Dark Roast is rated 4 of 5, made of 100% Arabica beans, including about 1/3 of beans certified by the Rainforest Alliance (an international sustainability organization we have written about here before). These two special roasts alone make this deal special!
Arvid Nordquist opened a small shop in Stockholm, Sweden in 1884. Today the Arvid Nordquist brand is a leader in premium coffee, food and wine products. We offer three roasts: Medium roast, Extra Dark roast, and Classic Gran Dia, all prime examples of Swedish coffee roasting. In addition, all three are UTZ Certified and CO2 Compensated (read more about these organizations on the product page). The Medium roast is balanced, with chocolate and spice notes. Extra Dark is full-bodied, and intense, with just the right amount of bitterness. Classic Gran Dia is a medium to dark roast, full-bodied, with nut and floral notes, and a nice finish.
Our last Nordic brand is Paulig, from Finland, who roasts and packages their coffee out of their facilities in Helsinki. We offer three roasts. Juhla Mokka ground coffee is light-roasted, rich, balanced and intense blend of beans from South America and Africa. Presidentti ground coffee is a light roast (1 of 5) from a blend of beans grown in Africa, and delivers a strong and rich coffee. Juhla Mokka Dark Roast ground coffee is a medium roast coffee with chocolate and baked pastry notes. This coffee works with most preparation methods, including drip, French press and moka pot. All three of these coffees are perfect examples of Finnish coffee and well worth a try.
We get it directly from the region, for the Nordic market, so you are getting the real deal, just as a native would buy.
Coffee In The News
Queen of Specialty Coffee Passes at 96
It shouldn’t be surprising that a central figure in coffee history, a legend in the coffee industry, and the person credited with originating the term “specialty coffee,” was from Norway. Erna Knutsen died in June, just short of her 97th birthday. Knutsen emigrated to the United Sates in 1927, a couple years after her father arrived alone to work in the shipyards while saving to send for his family. Erna, her mom and two sisters would move to New York, where her parents eventually had four more children.
Erna went on to work as a secretary for a Wall Street firm. Eventually, she joined a coffee, tea and spice trading house in San Francisco. There, she was one of the first women ever to sell green coffee. Legend has it that during the 1970’s, she was able to convince an Indonesian man who was driving to New York city with very special coffee beans to open, roast and cup (taste) the coffee. Ten years on, she bought her own trading house and renamed it Knutsen Coffees, Ltd. (She would later recount that being disallowed from the cupping room because she was a woman actually made buying the company all the sweeter, especially when she fired the men who excluded her.)
As always, enjoy better coffee and thanks from the EnjoyBetterCoffee Team!