Tuesday, October 11, 2016

in sweden we call it fika

Fika apparently loosely translates to 'indule in coffee and chat at leisure.' 

A simple but vital part of everyday life. It's a noun or it's a verb. It's "about slowing down." It's about carving out time. It's about Arabica kaffe and bulles. It's about catching up with old friends or getting to know new ones. It's about enjoying Sweden summers. It's even "built into many employee contracts."
I'm into it.

I leisurely* started my day of leisure at Johan and Nystrom where I leisurely wandered around taking pictures of other guests being leisurely and obsessing over the floating tables and bench step seating.
And then I leisurely took my Aeropress to the back and poured a cup to leisurely sip and enjoy and soak up the leisure and day before going along my leisurely way. (In the comfy pants I got at a Copenhagen street market for like $5, by the way. How badly did I want to throw that in? Very badly.)

Got the coffee, needed the sugar, so I headed to Gildas Rum for a spiced nut pie at the border of a leisure park in Nytorget (which incidentally was where the other Urban Deli location was) where there were limited people watching opportunities because it was still early and quiet.
Honestly, do you need any other meals after starting off the day with what was essentially a prism of nut paste and cardamom? Not complaining, just want more.

Maybe it was just that nothing can top the coffee I had at Johan and Nystrom or maybe it's that I reverted back to my American ways and ordered a latte to go at Mellqvist Kaffebar, but it just didn't ink deep into my memories and cravings the way that Aeropress (of a variety of coffee I didn't even notice) did.
But I did still manage to leisurely enjoy my latte while stumbling upon and through yet another amazing urban park. Contemplating moving to Stockholm and having kids just to bring them here.

It's all about the  chokladboll (and kanelbulle) in Scandinavia, and I finally had the golf ball sized no-bake oat and chocolate mass of yum rolled in coconut at Lilla Kafferosteriet for my last leisurely fika in Sweden. My favorite thing about Swedish coffee shops is how much hidden space they have. You'd walk in like "Oh cute, tight and cozy." And then you'd leisurely take your coffee to look for a spot to sit and scan Instagram on your phone, thinking "Here's good. Wait there's another room. Oh there's more. Ooh, another room. Gah, a back patio! Oh that's a bee. It's all up in my space. Back inside. Oh, stairs? More rooms!" I mean, obviously not every shop had all these things. But you get it.
I knew I was doing something right when I used to get to work early just to spend an hour sipping on my coffee, browsing the interwebs, and eating something sweet before facing the day. Let's call it a life detox. But in Sweden, they call it fika.

*leisure [LEH-shure]

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