In Sweden we really like this thing we call "fika". This is something we probably have done for as long as we had coffee in the country. I think coffee came to Sweden in around 1673. Maybe we had something similar even earlier when the Vikings drank their mead.

I don't know any word for it in English but when I look it up I get the translations "coffee break", "tea time" and "drink coffee". Those translations are partly true but in reality it includes some more parts like:

Finding a cosy place to be at

This is mostly of personal preference but I would choose a smaller place on a side street. Not too much people so you always can find a seat when you go there. Dark interior with sparse but strategic lighting. Soft and comfortable couches that you can sink into and relax every muscle in your body. Others might like to stay at home by the kitchen table or sit outside in the snowy forest around a crackling fire. Sometimes we have to search for a while and visit several fik until we find a vacant table at a place that we like.

An adequate supply of hot non-alcoholic beverages

The minimum needed for a Swede is regular hot black coffee but a selection of different types of coffee, tea and chocolate is something most people appreciate. Beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages does not qualify for a fika.

Good selection of snacks

Snacks are not crucial but it is something that most prefer. At least we need a cinnamon bun and a selection of small sweet cookies. If we are lucky there will be a selection of berry pies and cream cakes. It is also common with muffins and sandwiches.

Time to relax

Fika is not something you do in ten minutes. It takes at least an hour unless it is a snabbfika (fast fika) just to increase your blood sugar level. It is common that you sit and talk and drink several cups of coffee or tea for several hours.

Nice company to talk to

This is almost as important as the beverages. Bring a random friend and talk about everything and nothing. It is not the same to fika by yourself.

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