One of the things I was excited about as I read up in preparation for my trip to Sweden last fall was the coffee. More than one American blogger had referred to it as "black crack" and I quickly learned that was pretty darned accurate.
Coffee figures heavily into the pace of the Swedish day. I noticed that most of the coffee shops weren't open particularly early, which leads me to presume that Swedes make their own coffee before work.
I bypassed the instant Nescafe at our apartment in favor of brewing the Gevalia coffee in a French press. It was black as night no matter how much extra hot water I added, but it tasted wonderful. Despite the fact that it is labled as "medium roast" (mellanrost), it rivaled any espresso roast I have ever seen for darkness. When it comes to coffee in Sweden, "medium" is relative.
The coffee break or fika is enshrined in Swedish culture and we were only too happy to take part as often as possible. When you're traveling with an elderly person, coffee breaks are a great excuse to sit down for a while and get recharged. Fika generally involves a pastry or other snack, and I'll never turn that down.
I found myself creating quite the coffee photo gallery during the trip. Mouse over any photo to see its description.
Once I got used to the strong coffee, which didn't take long, I was happy to drink it as often as I could throughout the trip.
The downside was that all American coffee tasted thin and weak to me when I got back. It took a couple of weeks for that impression to subside so I could once again enjoy the available coffee options back in the United States.
It took a bit longer and a few extra pounds for me to disassociate coffee and pastries. I do care a great deal for those cinnamon cardamom rolls.