2017-03-12 Coffee

So, coffee is normally a differentiator of culture. And it is here too. Coffee is verbally taken and not drunk and it is indeed taken quickly and not in longer sessions.

Maybe it is a southern culture kind of thing more than particularly Portuguese but the tendency here is definitely to go for short coffees and to having them while standing at a bar counter, as a more or less quick on the go or just stopping-by variant.

In Sweden, and the Nordic countries as a whole, coffee is a social drink, it is served in big cups and refill is common during the long sessions sitting in comfy sofas and lounge chairs, chatting with friends. Having coffee is an activity on it’s own, something you set aside the time for, and enjoy. You invite people to your home for a coffee, you meet up for a coffee, because it is not something you do like a short interval or in between other things, no, it is an activity on its own. In the workplace it is reason to leave your desk and take a break. Sure, you’ll probably still be talking with your colleagues and maybe even about work related things, but still it is a break from the standard task and routine, and in addition, it is an acknowledged and legitimate reason to take a break. And it is just the very few, heavy industrial employers that don’t offer at least basic work coffee for free.

Here, in the work place coffee is paid for in a majority of the cases, and for example in a car repair shop you see the employees getting their coffees in the same pay vending machine as the customers.

I have here not yet been invited anywhere for a coffee, it doesn’t even seem to be a normal offering for a meeting. After lunch or after dinner, yes, coffee will likely be offered and served, but not free standing, and I get the feeling that it is more of a digestif variant than a drink or moment on its own. I have been to birthday parties, both for kids and for adults, where cake comes without coffee. Coffee simply does not seem to be a social drink that is shared among friends.

And yet, when in an international chain type coffee house, Starbucks or the like, people sit for a longer time. Here as well. What is that about? Could this again be a matter of economical situation? Where coffee in the Nordic hemisphere as well as in international chains is a pretty expensive product, that needs to be indulged and cherished, whereas the local cheaper variants are a simple physical injection?

4 thoughts on “2017-03-12 Coffee

  1. Jag har ju till och med själv tillsammans med dig, vid 12 års ålder blivit spådd i sump, oavsett om jag drack kaffet eller inte så blev det minsann rätt!

  2. I länder på Balkan ,när kvinnor dricker kaffe ,följer efter det ” viktigaste” dvs man ” läser” en persons framtid i kaffe sumpen som är kvar efter drickandet. Om man tror på det ???!!! Det leder till många skratt och gemenskap i alla fall .

  3. Starbuck is huge in China even though the Chineese are primarly tee drinkers. One major reason Starbuck has become so successful in China is that Starbucks has created a meeting point for students. Parents in China are ok that there precious son or daughter goes to Starbucks since no alkohol is server. Hence it has become a political correct place to gather for students and teenagers to meet up with the opposite gender.

    Starbucks founder has famously said “you cannot look in the rear windows when you enter a new market” and since then he and his company has had a big impact on the Chineese culture

So, what's your thoughts?