For the average busy American, coffee is seen, first and foremost, as fuel. Typically, it's consumed on the run (and by the double-shot venti) as a morning caffeine boost before diving into the workday. Most of us rarely get the chance to savor a cup of joe.
Perhaps it's time we adopt the Swedish approach to the coffee break, which, like so many things emanating from that bastion of Nordic utility, is both practical and lovely in its simplicity.
In Sweden, the mid-morning coffee break is called a 'fika,' and it's not just a chance to refuel, its a meditative morning ritual.
According to the book , fika is, "the moment you take a break, often with a cup of coffee, but alternatively with tea, and find a baked good to pair with it...But the essential thing is that you do it, that you make time to take a break: that's what fika is all about."
Fika, usually taken around 11 am and always with a pastry or other snack, is an opportunity to step back from your day, and take stock. Sitting down with your coffee —in a real mug, not a to-go cup! — is a ritual that forces you to pause your busy day, and truly take a moment for yourself. And isn't that something we could all afford to do more often?