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Nordic vs. North American Coffee Routines

For many places in the world, drinking coffee is a lifestyle. Here, we explore the traditions around a cup of joe—from fika, hygge, and more.

Wake up, brush your teeth, and brew a cup of coffee or pick one up at the local café. Does this routine sound familiar? For a majority of people in the world, coffee is more than just a drink—it’s a lifestyle. Although I live in New York City where coffee is considered a necessity, I have never really gotten into the habit of having it daily. I am, however, familiar with the relationship between coffee and Americans: sipped on-the-go and used to get a caffeine dose to make it through the day. As part of Beauty and Well-Being’s Scandinavian theme this month, we’ve explored how coffee is enjoyed in the Nordic region; specifically Sweden and Denmark.

In Sweden, fika (pronounced “fee-ka”) means to take a break. Coffee is usually associated with this moment which is the norm for Swedes. They use this time to enjoy a warm drink and maybe have a sweet dessert, chit-chat with friends, read a book, or just break away from electronics and unplug.

Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) originated from Denmark and celebrates all things cozy. Think: enjoying coffee alongside a burning fireplace and snuggling up in a blanket. It can be enjoyed solo or with others to appreciate companionship and having heart-to-heart conversations.

Overall, the location of Nordic regions typically has less daylight and these rituals serve as a helpful way to destress and boost happiness. No matter where in the world you are, you can implement these concepts to your way of life and adjust to your preference. There are no rules, except to relax and be mindful of the moment to experience the benefits.

Read on for tips on how to create a calming atmosphere while you have coffee to get the most out of every sip.

Drink One Cup of Coffee Per Day

There’s no right serving size when it comes to coffee, but many Americans drink several cups a day to stay awake. Although the temporary high may help you speed up your projects, caffeine overdose may cause an energy crash later on. Instead, try drinking one cup per day. This might just change your mental perspective to savor the smaller serving.

Coffee-wise, try a blend like the Kharisma Dark Roast by Löfbergs. Founded in 1906, the family-owned brand is one of the biggest coffee roasters in the Nordic region. This blend is infused 100% Arabica coffee from Brazil, Colombia, Central America, East Africa, and Southeast Asia. Dark and intense with a hint of hazelnuts, this flavorful brew has a rich aroma with cocoa notes that linger in the aftertaste.

Enjoy the Moment

It can be easy to get caught up in the everyday hustle and bustle, but self-care is essential to well-being. Taking a coffee break is a chance to unwind and slow down. Then, you can move forward with productivity.

This OHOM Self-Heating Ceramic Mug is an upgrade from paper cups and ordinary mugs. How? It keeps your drink warm so you don’t have to worry about finishing your drink fast before it gets cold. Made with fine ceramic, it’s compatible with the circular charger that comes with a power adapter and power cord. Just pour hot coffee (or your drink of choice) into the mug and place it on the charger, which uses advanced electromagnetic energy. When the soft glowing red light is on, you can tell the drink is keeping warm. To seal in the heat, put on the lid that comes with the set. Plus, you can even use the charger for your phone—just make sure you wait for it to cool down if you placed a drink on it before.

Get Comfy

There’s nothing more hygge than getting comfy. Many Danes value taking a moment every day to truly relax. This can range from lighting a candle, meditating, or taking a nap. The first step to reaching a state of comfort is dressing the part.

This Dagsmejan Stay Warm Nattwarm Sleep Tech Long Sleeve Top and Pants provide ultimate cozy vibes. They are made from a luxe blend of Tencel, fine merino wool, and lyocell from eucalyptus. Wearing the set feels lightweight and breathable, yet warm. It feels like you’re wrapped up in a soft hug! The classic style is versatile enough to pass as leisurewear or worn for its intended purpose: sleep. Being too cold while sleeping can cause muscles to tense and disrupt sleep. Fortunately, this material helps your body relax. Founded by Catarina Dahlin and Andreas Lenzhofer, Dagsmejan’s mission is to create comfortable clothes that help people achieve better sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

While walking around at home, keep your feet nice and toasty with a pair of Birkenstock Zermatt Premium Suede Leather slippers. Made with genuine shearling lining and a natural leather sole, you’ll feel comfy while walking from the kitchen to your living room—or wherever you’re lounging around in. What’s more, the footbed is made of cork, which provides a stable cushioning and is sustainable, too.

Create a Designated Coffee Spot

If you’re looking to enjoy fika or hygge at home, it can do wonders to dedicate a special spot for it. Doing so can allow your mind to adjust to break mode and separate your work life from your personal one. The Levity Scandinavian Lounge Chair easily transforms any part of your home into a coffee break ready spot. Made with a solid wood frame, the mid-century aesthetic of the piece is stylish and easy to maintain. The cover is stain-resistant and machine-washable so you can rest assured to fully enjoy the moment. To complement the chair and for an extra layer of coziness, add the Nordic Knots Classic Wool Blanket, inspired by Scandinavian patterns.

Try Journaling

There are countless benefits to journaling. In addition to keeping your thoughts organized, it can allow you to relieve stress, reflect on memories, set goals, improve memory, and inspire creativity. Many Americans rush through the day working non-stop. Swedes and Danes, on the other hand, are known to take breaks (and also have more vacation days). Having time off can allow for activities like journaling, which, overall can boost well-being. While enjoying your coffee, try writing down your thoughts in the kikki.K My Daily Thoughts Journal: Inspiration. Inside, you’ll find simple prompts to fill out. Track what made you happy, what you learned, what you’re grateful for, and more, every day.

Wendy Sy

Wendy Sy is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writer based in New York City. In addition to her editorial website, Style Meets Story, her work has been featured in Allure, Avenue Magazine, InStyle, and more. When she’s not brainstorming ideas for upcoming articles, you can find her spending countless hours searching for lost treasures at vintage shops. Photo by Sophie Elgort.

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