The Swedish fika

photo by Nathan Dumlao
photo by Nathan Dumlao

The Swedish fika

by Emma Bareihs
Stripes Europe

On my first trip to Sweden, great family friends took us around Stockholm, showing us their favorite spots in the city. Among the stops, from the palace through the old town, was a small coffee shop in which our friend told us we’d have a "fika." So, we ordered a coffee and a treat.

Like myself, most Americans view coffee as a refuel to wake us up or get us through the afternoon slumps. Coffee is so much more than that to the Swedes. A fika is a coffee break. The key word is: break. Fikas are not about taking a to go cup on your way out the door, but rather sitting down with coffee, or tea, and a small bite to eat and taking a rest in the middle of your day.

Instead of rushing into the daily routine, a fika focuses on reflection and peace. Whether it’s with friends, by yourself, in the park, on a bus or in your home, fikas are a pause on real life to enjoy a delicious taste.

You don’t have to be in Sweden to fika! Incorporate a moment to indulge in a fika whenever you have the chance.

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