Swedish Fika: How do you take coffee in Sweden?

Oatly isn't the only way Sweden is changing how we drink coffee. Swedish fika or "coffee breaks" are a huge part of the country's culture and way of life.


Oatly is a Swedish company which produces oat based food products in almost 30 countries across Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.

It took years of thorough research but the Oatly team finally discovered that oats are the, “...best source ingredient in terms of nutrition, taste and sustainability.” It’s led to products such as their Oat Drink Barista Edition which is ideal for making your morning cup of coffee.

It’s not overly sweet or heavy and perfect for both baristas or those looking to enjoy a cappuccino straight from their kitchen. And if you’re not a coffee drinker it’s equally delicious on granola or for baking. 


The Swedish Company Taking over the Plant-based Milk World

So clearly Oatly knows what they're doing when it comes to making plant-based milk and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. Coffee culture in Sweden is huge. Naturally, they would need something to pair it with. 

Sweden may not be the country we typically associate with coffee. Which is a surprise seeing as a 2017 article published in The Telegraph named Sweden as the 6th largest coffee consuming nation in the world, with a total consumption of 8.2 kg per capita. 

button to buy product Oatly

Clearly, Swedish coffee breaks or fika (pronounced Fee-kah) are an important part of the country’s culture.

“The word fika was first coined in the 19th century. In modern Swedish, ‘kaffe’ means coffee, but in those days the word was ‘kaffi’,” said Jozef Brodala, “Fika came from reversing the syllables and slightly altering the word. In very old Swedish, it also used to mean ‘to strive’, so some have argued that the idea of ‘having a fika’ comes from taking a break from striving for something.”

Try translating it in english and fika is often described as a “coffee break” or “coffee and cake break” but it’s nothing like the typical coffee date we experience in North America. 

It’s a concept, a state of mind. You could even describe it as an attitude. More importantly it’s a part of Swedish culture that many people agree is an essential part of everyday life.

So what is Swedish Fika exactly? Let’s break it down:

Think of how you typically get your coffee. Maybe you made it at home and drank it on your way to work. Or did you pick up a latte from your local coffee shop in a single use cup?

This wouldn’t be considered fika

Fika means making time to sit with friends or family.  It means sharing a cup of coffee (or tea) alongside co-workers and enjoying something small to eat such as kanelbulle (cinnamon rolls). It’s not done with a travel mug on your way to work, or at your desk as you continue to check emails. 

The major difference? The intention. Are you drinking coffee for an energy boost? Or are you using it as an opportunity to take a break, relax and catch up with those around you. It’s about connecting not just keeping you awake. 

You don't have to plan to Fika. In the same way we ask friends out to coffee, you might get a text that says “do you want to fika?” 

However, many companies in Sweden designated a time specifically for fika. You will often see people’s work calendars with fika penciled in at the same time every week and sometimes every day.

Oatly Milk can be purchased in store or online!

Single: $ 4.75

Case of 12: $ 54

Shipping: If your delivery address is in Greater Montreal, choose "Milk and Plant Delivery in Montreal". We will deliver it directly to your address for $10 flat within 24 hours. We encourage you to mix and match milk and other products.

Pick-up in store: It is possible to pick up in store by choosing ''Store Pickup'' when you checkout. You can stop by at our café 1800 McGill College Avenue in Downtown Montréal.

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