Swedish Fika

October 15, 2014 by Amanda Willis

Sit back, relax and enjoy a fika.

When Ashley and I were teenagers, our mother took us to Sweden to visit and meet her family. She had lived there for a few years and spent most of her summers there as a child, it is where our grandparents are originally from, so it was important to our mom to show us where she came from and to learn about our heritage. We were absolutely stunned by the gorgeous landscapes of the small island she came from.

Kalven, Sweden - Sisters Soiree

View from our family’s home in Sweden

Though my mom is an only child, she had many, many, cousins for us to see. We met generations upon generations and were greeted with the utmost hospitality where ever we went. Each day our family presented us traditional Swedish fare and spirits and by the end of the meal we were speaking Sw-inglish, and making new memories. To this day, Ashely and I reminisce our trip to Sweden and can’t wait to go back!

Through out our journey in Sweden, we noticed that no matter who we met, whether it be family, friend or so on, they would ask us to join them for coffee. “Coffee?” I thought, “These people sure love their coffee, mom.” She explained to us that it is a tradition in Sweden to take coffee breaks, or fika.

Sisters Soiree; Swedish Fika

Fika is defined as taking a break from your day to have coffee accompanied by something sweet such as a cinnamon bun or cookie. Swedes consider coffee to be a part of their culture, but the fika is more than just a caffeine push. It is a social event, a chance to take a break from work or the housework and catch up with an old friend or family member. An idea more Americans should get behind! Our mother told us, that when she was a child she can remember the whole town closing for an hour after lunch for workers to enjoy fika as well.

It didn’t take long before Ashley and I were hooked on fika too (Sweden has the best cinnamon buns, ever!) And even in our busy schedule, we try to find time to sit down with our coffee and sweets to relax and catch up, rather than a drive-thru grande latte as we are running through our day.Even though we live under the same roof, there are days when we don’t see each other due to our schedules.

This past week some of our Swedish family came to us this time! And even though we wanted to greet them with an American meal, we were reminded how important it was to fika and enjoy one another’s company as we do not get the chance to see each other often.

So as we are racing through the weeks, always trying to get to the weekends, remember to fika and relax!


Swedish Fika; Swedish Fika

Swedish Fika; Swedish Fika

Swedish Fika; Swedish Fika

Remember the very funny commercials for Gevalia introducing Fika to America? Watch it here!


9b.Gevalia Commercial Johan – FIKA from Lucialopezspinola on Vimeo.

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