A break and a little gossip with friends or colleagues is good, that’s a well-known fact. The Swedes have made this popular tradition an institution: the fika is an integral part of social life there. Find out more about the Scandinavian coffee break.
Swedish coffee break: Fika
The good old coffee gossip is still de rigueur in Germany, but it takes time. The visitor is invited for a specific date, cake or cake is provided and the coffee drinking often lasts for several hours. The Swedes show that things can be more spontaneous and informal. At the fika, the local coffee break, you meet up with friends, family or colleagues at short notice. The importance of fika for social life is greater than that of the coffee party in this country: many Swedes maintain the custom every day in order to consciously maintain contacts. At a fika with colleagues, you can talk about your work in a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere in the office; the fika with friends can also take place in a café for a longer period of time. Either way: Hot drinks and pastries taste much better in good company.
How to create a typical Swedish fika
Coffee, tea or, more rarely, other drinks are standard at the fika, and there is also a sweet snack. A typical fika pastry is cinnamon rolls – for the big group you can use our recipe for cinnamon roll cake and bake the treat yourself. Of course, other pleasures are also possible. Swedish cinnamon biscuits, for example, sweeten the break during the Advent season, and fruity-fresh fruit cakes are ideal in summer. Just enjoy what you like! If you don’t have a sweet tooth and prefer something hearty, you can find inspiration in our Swedish recipes.
The office fika: rules in Germany
While the fika is enshrined in many employment contracts in Sweden, you should not overdo it in German offices. Hardly any employer will have anything against a chat or two at the coffee machine in the kitchen, nor against embellishing official meetings with coffee and biscuits. But if you chat with another colleague every two hours, you’re overshooting the mark. According to labor law, if you work six to nine hours, you have to take a half-hour break. Anything beyond that is a matter of individual agreement. Once these things have been clarified, nothing stands in the way of a fika like in Sweden. And private meetings are always possible anyway. Try it out and make a spontaneous appointment for a coffee gossip!