Posted in Kafevend Blog

Happiness is a cup of coffee

In just a little over six weeks it'll be the shortest day here in the northern hemisphere. So, as the weather gets colder and the nights continue to draw in, what can we do to lighten our mood and stay awake? Well there's always caffeine...

Does coffee equal happiness?

We may feel we see precious little daylight during the British winter, but of course there are places far worse off than us, Scandinavia for example; while London receives around seven and a half hours of sunlight on the shortest day, in Oslo and Helsinki it's a mere five and a half. What do people there do to stay awake in all that darkness? They drink coffee! Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark come in at the top of the charts for most coffee consumed per capita, with Finland at the apex. What might come as more of a surprise is that Denmark, Norway and Finland all feature in the top five of the world's happiest countries for 2016. Could there be a direct correlation between the amount of coffee imbibed and levels of contentment? Doubtless there could be more relevant factors, but for the purposes of a tea and coffee based blog it would be lovely to think so! Let's see if we can get some top coffee tips from Scandinavia...

A light roast or an egg?

If you want to enjoy a Finnish inspired coffee forget dark roasted; Finns tend to opt for a very light roast. However, you might want to think about getting a good water filter first. Finland boasts extremely high quality soft tap water. The nation's love affair with the coffee bean means that they won't accept second best either. The ability of a dark roast to disguise flavour defects just isn't needed here.

It's a similar story in Sweden- good quality tap water and an insistence on top arabica beans, although typically the beans are medium roast. Another essential component of coffee culture in Sweden is the 'fika' (pronounced feeka). This is a basically a coffee break accompanied by something sweet like a bun or a cake. Cinnamon buns are a popular choice and it'll be possible to recreate the experience fairly easily the next time you feel a visit to Ikea coming on!

Coffee in Denmark conjures up thoughts of Danish pastries and indeed bakeries there offer a mouthwatering choice of pastries, which are all individually named, but known collectively as wienerbrød, which translates as Vienna bread.  Yes, it turns out the nation's penchant for pastry was first engendered by Viennese bakers during the mid 1800s, but here in the UK and in the USA  Denmark is given the credit for this delicious invention!

And if we can drag our minds away from the thought of all those delicious accompaniments, it's worth noting that a popular Scandinavian addition to the coffee itself is an egg. Odd though the idea sounds, proponents of egg coffee cite its smoothness and clarity as features that have them going back for more. Check out this simple egg coffee recipe if you fancy trying some for yourself.

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