You may remember some time ago, I wrote a post about the Danish culture of Hygge, a concept centred around celebrating the little things in life, most often associated with staying cosy during the long, winter months and enjoying time with friends and family, but also getting out into the fresh air in the summertime and having picnics or a simple glass of wine in the garden with a good book.
Well, it seems that the Scandinavians have got it right again with the Swedish culture known as ‘Fika’. According to Wikipedia, Fika is:
” a concept in Swedish culture with the basic meaning “to have coffee”, often accompanied with pastries or sandwiches”.
Sounds pretty spot on to me! However, you may be thinking “So what? Everyone can enjoy a cup of coffee”, but there’s much more to it than that. For the Swedes, this is an opportunity to pause your day, share time with friends or colleagues, much like Hygge, but essentially it’s a moment in which to leave the stresses of work behind you, unlike here in Britain or the US, where coffee is a fuel to be taken in short bursts at your desk or on the commute. I think whether you’re at work, in the middle of studying or in between school runs, everyone could do with practising the art of Fika.
And what’s Fika without the right equipment?! It seems many of the homeware retailers out there are embracing the trend, too; Oliver Bonas has dedicated a small collection of tableware entirely to Fika, and you can find an ever-growing number of Fika inspired cups, mugs and teapots in many stores across the country.
Here’s my pick of everything you need to take a little pause in your everyday life and embrace this longstanding Swedish tradition…
1 Sagaform ‘Blossom’ Teapot // £43.99 // Wayfair
2 Fika hot chocolate mug in grey // £8 // Oliver Bonas
3 Fika mug in pink // £6 // Oliver Bonas
4 Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones // £12.08 // Amazon
5 HEMTRAKT Cotton Napkins (set of 4) // £4.25 // Ikea
6 Barista & Co Cocoa Shaker in copper // £14.95 // House of Fraser
7 Spear Tray (small 20x30cm) // £49 // Ferm Living
So what are the benefits of Fika? Well, there is a valid reason why the Swedes are some of the least stressed, yet most productive people in the world. Taking a moment out for Fika a couple of times a day gives us time to reflect and mentally refresh, thus counteracting the effects of stress and making us more productive, it nurtures our creativity, encourages social interaction and friendships and (very importantly!) it’s an excuse to drink coffee from a beautiful cup and enjoy a guilt-free, stress-busting, sticky bun!! And why not?!
Image via Expensive Life
I think we can all take a leaf out of the Swedes’ book and be a little healthier in the long run.
Have a good week, everyone.
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