Most of us know what a coffee break is. (Just guessing.) But if you have never heard of, or experienced fika (fee-ka), the Swedish coffee break, you are in for a real treat! Allow me to introduce to you this longtime, beloved Swedish tradition, which, by the way, is likely to become your new best friend. 😉
But first, let me tell you what fika is not. Fika is not grabbing a coffee and donut on the run. It is not eating a bag of oreo’s dipped in milk at your desk. It’s not a quick pick me up in the Starbucks drive-through when you can’t keep your eyes open. No, my friends, fika is much more than that!
The literal translation for fika would be “a coffee and cake break.” But if you are only having coffee and cake, you are most definitely not having Fika. That’s for sure. It’s more than a coffee break…it’s an art. A mindset. A lifestyle.
Fika is something to be held near and dear to the heart. It’s to be shared day and night with friends, family, colleagues, or alone. It is a time to stop, take a deep breath, eat a sweet pastry and sip something yummy. And while it can be done alone, it’s a great social event as Swede’s love to fika together. It’s a time to pause and enjoy the important things, like family, friends, love, and life! It’s about savoring not just the sweets, but the moment.
And while there are no official rules as to what qualifies for a tasty fika treat, it often includes a homemade pastry (like the famous Swedish cinnamon bun) and a quality cup of coffee or tea. It can be either a noun, as in “Friday Morning Fika,” or a verb, as in “Let’s fika!” It is mandatory in many Swedish offices and right about now I’m wishing someone would make it mandatory in my home. 🙂 If only we could be forced to slow down and smell the coffee, not just devour it. But no, my friends, we must see the beauty in it and choose it for ourselves because we know it’s good. There is always joy to be found in the journey and we must take the time to find it!
Together, let’s choose to remember the balance of work and rest and join the Swedes in noticing and celebrating God’s gifts in everyday life.