Fika is not just a chance for physical refreshment, but also the opportunity to chat and connect with colleagues, friends, and even strangers. Of course, throughout the year, fika is going on indoors and providing its great benefits. In the autumn and winter, however, the Swedes have an extra twist to add: braving the cold for fireside fika.
Outdoor fika may sound brave at best and bonkers at worst, but truthfully there’s some magic to it. The tradition involves brewing coffee on an open fire, often using fresh water from a nearby stream and coarsely ground coffee. Some stir the pot as it warms, others leave their brew to it.
Then there are traditional cups, perfectly shaped to have fingers curled round while you look out into nature. Interestingly, it’s the northern parts of Sweden that are most committed to this practice – Swedish Lapland being a big fan.
If there are children or non-coffee drinkers around, a couple of sausages might be cooked over the coffee fire too. If not, there’ll be plates of cake or cheese and meats to snack on to keep your energy up.
Not ready to head out to the woods and make a fire for your daily brew? There’s plenty to be said for simply taking your steaming cup of coffee outside to the garden and breathing in some nature.