Not the Swedish Coffee House Mafia on Spotify you were expecting
How would you react if our dear beloved Queen would one day declare it illegal to drink coffee? Well, rest assured it will never happen in Great Britain, but it did happen in 1746 in Sweden when King Gustav III banned coffee believing it to be dangerous for the health of Swedes everywhere.
Gustav III strongly believed that drinking coffee would shorten people’s lives so as the ultimate ruler of all Sweden he banned it for all but two twins. The two twins in question were guinea pigs in a test to prove this theory right. One twin would only drink coffee all day everyday and the sibling would only drink tea.
Sadly, for King Gustav III he died before either of the twins did kind of disproving this assertions. Just for clarity sake the tea drinker died first at the age of 83.
Today Sweden along with neighbouring Finland are among the biggest consumers of coffee in the world and they make a big deal about drinking it. You might have heard Fika mentioned a few times, maybe on TV or and are wondering, what is ‘fika’?
Fika is essentially a coffee break, the concept has the basic meaning “to have coffee” and is often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches. In some ways you could say it’s a bit like afternoon tea, but with more of an emphasis on the coffee break with friends, colleagues or family.
Unlike afternoon tea, Fika is a social institution that is commonplace in workplaces across Sweden, with at least one break being made for Fika during a normal working day.