If you travel to Sweden you may find yourself part of a delightful cultural practice known as “Fika.” This tradition involves gathering with family or friends to enjoy chatting and catching up over coffee and a tasty treat.
You can bring the delightful practice of “fika” into your home with some of the best Swedish coffee brands available.
Everything You Need to Know About Swedish Coffee
Is coffee popular in Sweden?
Yes! Sweden, like many Scandinavian countries, has a strong coffee culture. People in Sweden consume coffee at some of the highest rates in the world.
According to The Local, the average person in Sweden consumes 3.2 cups per day. By comparison coffee drinkers in the United States only consume on average of 1.87 cups per day.
What does fika mean?
You may see the word “fika” on the packaging and may be confused about its meaning. Coffee in Sweden is called, “fika” and the word not only refers to the beverage but to the culture surrounding it.
According to the Scandinavian Standard, the term means, “coffee and cake break.” Fika is a time when friends or family gather to enjoy a cup of coffee alongside a sweet.
The ritual is so ingrained in day-to-day life in Sweden that many companies have a compulsive fika each day.
What makes Swedish coffee unique?
Swedish coffee is usually made from Arabica beans, which contain less caffeine than the Robusta beans that are popular in North America.
Despite the coffee beans having less caffeine, Swedish coffee is much stronger in flavor than typical brewed coffee in the United States. It is more comparable in terms of boldness and flavor with espresso.
How do I choose the best Swedish coffee for fika (or for any coffee break)?
To get the most authentic-tasting brew, look for brands that use 100% Arabica coffee beans. People in Sweden choose their coffee based in part on the flavors of their snacks during their fika.
Look for coffees that have complimentary flavors to what you are eating, for example, if you are having a fruit or berry tart, you may want a coffee with chocolate undertones.
How is Swedish coffee prepared?
People in Sweden use many of the same methods that coffee drinkers around the globe do. However one of the more popular methods is, “kokkaffe” which translates to, “boiled coffee”.
As the name implies, coarsely ground coffee and water are added to a pan. The water is boiled and the brew is steeped. The mixture is then strained into a cup or thermos to remove the grounds.
Other preparation methods include using a standard drip coffee maker and a ratio of one tablespoon of coffee to 8 oz of water.
What does Swedish coffee taste like?
Swedish coffee is bolder than a traditional cup, but it is very smooth and aromatic. Many coffees in Sweden have caramel undertones and even some citrus notes.
Many people in Sweden do not add sugar to their coffee, they prefer to simply add a splash of milk to allow the flavors of the coffee to shine through.
What is Swedish egg coffee? Can I make it at home?
Egg coffee is a unique Swedish coffee preparation and you can make it at home! The process involves crushing an egg, shell, and all, into a cup or mug and adding coffee grounds to it to create a slurry.
Boiling water is then added and the mixture steeps for 5 minutes. Finally, cold water is added before finally filtering the coffee.
Though the flavor is not for everyone, the result is an extremely smooth and creamy drink, without the need for milk.
If you want to try it at home, this video gives step-by-step instructions for preparing it yourself as well as an overview of what to expect it to taste like:
Can I use a Swedish brand coffee in any type of coffee maker?
Yes! While Swedish coffee is often prepared using the boiled coffee method or the egg method, coffee from Sweden is wonderful to use in your drip coffee maker, percolator, French Press, or using the pour-over method.
Regardless of how you normally prepare your morning brew, using coffee from Sweden will produce a smoother, stronger coffee flavor.
Where does Sweden import its coffee from?
Swedish coffee is roasted and packaged in Sweden, but the beans themselves come from all over the globe. The majority of the coffee beans imported to Sweden come from Brazil, followed by Honduras and Peru.
According to the OEC, coffee is also imported from European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands.
What is the average cost of Swedish coffee?
The cost will vary depending on the brand, quality of the bean, shipping costs, and country of export. In general, Swedish coffee costs between $14 and $60 for pre-ground coffee imported from Sweden.
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for Swedish Coffee Brands
|Gevalia House Blend||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
|Zoega Skanerost||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
|Lofbergs Kharisma||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
|Arvid Nordquist Amigas||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
|Gevalia Majestic Roast Bold||CHECK CURRENT PRICESee Customer Reviews|
The Best Swedish Coffee Brands To Try
If you are looking to add the tradition of “fika” to your day, or just want a smooth cup of coffee, the following are the best Swedish coffee brands.
1. Gevalia House Blend Medium Roast
- This coffee works just as well to make a cold brew as it does for hot coffee.
- They use a specialty roasting process to lock in flavor.
- The bag has special tabs to seal in freshness.
- The aroma may be more mellow than desired.
- It may be too finely ground for some tastes
Gevalia has been producing coffee since 1853 and is one of the best-known Swedish brands. This coffee is made from hand-picked beans from Kenya and the flavors are intense and slightly acidic.
This coffee uses 100% Arabica beans and slowly roasts them before using a snap cooling method to get the most flavor. The bag is resealable to help ensure freshness and the coffee is Kosher Certified and Keto friendly.
2. Zoega Skanerost
- It requires no milk or additives since it is so flavourful.
- There is no bitter aftertaste.
- It is ideal for drip coffee makers but can be used with any preparation style.
- There is no citrus flavor for those that prefer chocolate or caramel undertones
- It must be stored in a cool, dry place
- It has a lower caffeine percentage than other dark roasts
Zoega has been roasting coffee since 1886 and is extremely popular in Sweden. This rich, dark coffee contains low acidity and despite its bold flavor is low in caffeine.
It is extremely smooth and it is made from 100% Arabica beans. The coffee beans are sourced from both Kenya and Central America. This coffee is pre-ground and designed with a coffee filter in mind.
Those who prefer drinking their coffee black will particularly enjoy this brand.
3. Lofbergs Kharisma Dark Roast
- It is made from a highly regarded coffee house in Sweden
- This coffee is finely ground, in a European-style blend, which can be used in any coffee maker.
- Using milk or cream will enhance the flavors.
- It stays fresh for long periods when stored properly.
- The availability can vary.
- It must be stored in the original package, not a coffee canister.
This brand was established in 1906 and is committed to being environmentally friendly and obtaining sustainability certificates.
This particular roast has a strong and pleasant aroma and smooth texture. The robust flavor includes notes of hazelnuts and is made from 100% Arabica beans sourced from all over the world.
If you love a strong but traditional-tasting coffee, you will enjoy this particular blend.
4. Arvid Nordquist Amigas
- It is certified fair trade coffee.
- It has an excellent aroma while brewing.
- The beans are organically farmed.
- The use of whole beans allows you to grind to whatever size you need for your coffee maker.
- It has a short shelf life of 20 days.
- The bag it comes in is not resealable
This family-run brand was started in 1884 and is made from 100% Arabica beans. Dark chocolate and vibrant fruit flavors make up the taste, while the texture is extremely smooth.
The beans themselves are grown at high altitudes which is what gives the coffee such a rich and complex flavor. This coffee is versatile, adding sweetener intensifies the chocolate notes while drinking it black will produce more citrus flavors.
This coffee would complement many different foods and would be great as an afternoon treat.
5. Gevalia Majestic Roast Bold Dark Round
- It is available in both pre-ground bags and in K-Cups.
- During roasting the beans are snap cooled for extra flavor.
- The flavor is still bold without the harsh taste of the traditional dark roast.
- You may need to grind it more finely depending on your coffee maker.
- It is not available in decaf.
Like other coffees from this brand, this coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans. This coffee is the ideal dessert coffee, it is smooth and has no bitterness to it. Sweeteners such as sugar will bring out chocolatey sweet notes and the aroma is strong and pleasant.
This coffee can be easily brewed in your drip coffee maker and served at the end of a dinner party, or just as easily prepared for your consumption in a French Press.
A Final Choice for Fika
While all of these coffees would be a delightful addition to your afternoon break, if you are looking for a traditional Swedish coffee that is strong, smooth, flavourful, and versatile, Arvid Nordquist Amiga is the best option.
The whole beans allow you to customize the grind size, and the flavors can be tweaked to compliment your personal preference or even the foods you are eating.
The company is mission-driven and sustainable, so you can also feel good about the product while consuming it. The coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans and you can use the traditional boiled coffee method, or your personal favorite to prepare it.
The taste is exactly what coffee drinkers expect from a Swedish coffee brand, while still being pleasing to those who may prefer American or other European brands.
These are the Swedish coffee brands and products I turn to when trying to recreate fika in my home, and now you can as well. So, boil some water, grab a sweet treat, and get ready to start a new and lovely tradition.