Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Coffeebreak Named Fika

It is said that Swedes are particularly fond of their "fika-stunder" - which means coffee-breaks, fika being an old slang-word for coffee. But the coffee in case of this coffee-break can be any kind of beverage. So popular that many work-places have even institutionalized these coffee-breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon...

Oh yes, it is just as stupid as it sounds, you actually get paid for just drinking coffee and beware if you're an employee who actually want to WORK at work and prefer other ways of socializing with colleagues than in the fika-room...

But except for those kind of institutionalized events for the simple minded, it is rather a nice cultural (?) thing in Sweden, to have a pleasant chat and a "fika" ever so often.

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This caffe latte is served at Wayne's coffee, Barkarby outlet. Apart from having a heart to it it's made by one of the semi-finalists of the Swedish 2007 Barista cup. My opinion of it was that I've had far better lattes as well as far worse - I wouldn't go out of my way to have it, semi-finalistic or not.

Now over to a couple of other encounters of the coffee kind I've had as lately - some time ago some very fika-hungry Stockholmians more or less stumbled over a little café in the southern parts of town. My first impression was that its interior was very clinically "decorated" - or rather without decorations or any kind of welcoming feeling to it. But one doesn't want to be too prejudiced, especially not when hungry like a wolf, the food and drink might be the best ever...

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The simple bagel was quite tasty, so was the tramezzini with tuna - but hey even the way the food is served is clinical, and on paper-plates... And then we have the coffee, the latte, and it was just awful! I've no idea how long ago it was since they cleaned the coffee-machine or what kind of horrible brand they used for coffee, it tasted like industrial window-cleanser (not that I've tasted that *promise* but I know the smell...).

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And the name of the place where you shouldn't have your coffee, or expect a cosy environment for fika, well it's Café Neo...

Today we enjoyed a fantastic pre-Summer day in Stockholm, blue skies, sun shining and mild breezes. Of course it was an absolute must to have a fika outdoors! Since we'd never actually sat down for a fika at the Muffin bakery (in a part of town that's called Kungsholmen/King's islet) we thought that was a good idea. And since their muffins are suppose to be of the functional-food kind one might perhaps be eating them with a good conscience...?

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Albeit the latte was of a very nice kind, the muffins we choose promised far more than they could deliver. A muffin with the popular - and yummy - Swedish milk chocolate Marabou usually never fails as far as tastiness go. This one did. Just dry and boring. The one with blueberries and cheesecake I opted for was just too sweet and equally dry.

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Since both the company and the weather was outstanding I didn't much care for the fika itself being such an unsavoury experience - but I sure won't visit again.

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And there are so many places all over town, all over Sweden that serve far better fika. And fika with muffins. Like Chez Pia to mention but one. A place that also promise a secluded garden, a cosy homely environment and ample opportunity for cuddles with the four legged staff.


Anne said...

Oh, but at least the muffins looked good! And hey, it's season for Zetas tradgard soon! :)

Pia K said...

Ah, but the best looking (and tastiest) muffin was from my own oven...;)

Funderade starkt på Zetas idag faktiskt, men tyckte det kunde vara kuligare att köra något nytt...:) Men absolut att ta en tur dit framöver!

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