How to Fika Like a Swede

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  1. Ask a friend out for a cup of coffee
  2. Stroll into a nearby cafe
  3. Order favourite coffee and get a pastry to go alongside. Choose from the assortment of confectionery – we recommend the kanelbullar (cinnamon bun), kardemummabullar (cardamom bun) or kladkakka (a sticky chewy yummy Swedish cake), or the chokladbollar (chocolate ball).
  4. Settle in a cosy corner in the cafe
  5. Have a good conversation over your equally good cup of coffee and cake
  6. Fika away!

Fika /ˈfiːka/ essentially means ‘taking some time out for coffee and a sweet treat’. The Swedes take their fika seriously as it gives them the opportunity to meet and hang with their friends and colleagues. The word fika originated from the 19th century word kaffi (coffee). Subsequently they switched the syllables’ positions and deleted an f.

Language Change Lesson #1:

ka-ffi -> ffi-ka -> fi-ka ☕️ 🍰

(thanks for indulging in my linguistic geekery)

Prior to our trip, I read The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Brones & Kindvall, and a smattering of other books that talk about this hyped coffee break culture. I think it’s great to celebrate taking breaks, it’s like getting frequent mind hugs. I immediately fell in love with the laidback, all about dat slow livin Swedish lyfe, and it was one of the things I wanted to experience in the fika motherland. I guess it doesn’t take much for me to fall in love — sometimes all it takes is a cup of good coffee, a sinful cinnamon bun… and a beautiful afternoon of honest conversations.

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