Sunday, January 22, 2012

Learning the latte

Finland scores high in the coffee consumption per capita, only Luxembourg consumes more coffee than us. The weirdest thing is that in general we prefer really light and bitter roasts that corrode stomach - and yet many people drink several cups a day. Some even smuggle Finnish bitter roast to other side of the globe to comfort and to scorch in the home sickness.

Coffee has a ceremonial role in our culture. On working days two o'clock is a usual coffee break time, in the same way that British have their biological clock ringing for tea (or was it gin) at five o'clock. Coffee is essential part of both celebration and sorrow: it's impossible to imagine a wedding or a funeral without coffee. I'm pretty sure many are having "election coffee" today after they have given their vote.

Finnish coffee culture is not stuck, it's adapting along the time. Darker roasts and "special coffees" (i.e. european style coffee selection) are becoming more and more popular. My generation drinks coffee from a mug. In my parents' generation everybody owns a set of small coffee cups, a dozen at least. And my grandmother's generation may even drink the coffee from a plate, zipping through a sugar cube, which is cool but a bit hard core.

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