Hello, I have learned that serving coffee is very important in Finnish custom.

Hello, I have learned that serving coffee is very important in Finnish custom.

Hello, I have learned that serving coffee is very important in Finnish custom. Could you let me know more about the history and number of coffee shop Finland? Finland’s favorite pastries to serve with coffee and tea? And what is the consumption global and of each pastries per year/inhabitant? Thanks


This question has been asked before. This answer is found in the iGS-archive:

Coffee came to Sweden in 1685 when a small amount of it was marked as medicine in the customs of Gothenburg (Finland was a part of Sweden until 1809. Main outlines of Finnish history http://virtual.finland.fi/netcomm/news/showar...NWSAID=25909). In the 17th century Finns got to know coffee when in attendance of the court of Sweden, but truly the coffee came to Finland in the 1720's.

At first coffee was festive drink for the gentry, gentleman farmers and other "better folk". In 1750's coffee was consumed approximately in 116 households in Finland.

Little by little the coffee consumption increased among the gentry and in 1773 opened the first café in Finland. Ten years later there was four cafés in Turku, which was the capital of Finland since 1827.

When coffee consumption increased the government took a negative view to it, and in 1756-1792 the Sweden-Finland enacted three laws against coffee drinking, but the laws were always strucked down.

Despite of the many injunctions the coffee drinking continued and coffee was smuggled from Europe. Eventually the last coffee drinking injunction was strucked down in 1802. However the government set high import taxes and determined large luxury tax for coffee drinking.

In 1830's coffee pot boiled in almost every cottage in West-Finland, by the middle of the 19th century coffee drinking had spread in other parts of the country and in 1870's even in North- and East-Finland. Little by little had coffee become almost essential stimulant and was drunk in nearly every cottage.

In the turn of the 19th and 20th century it was quite common that coffee was drunk three times a day. When coffee drinking became common, people begun to stir milk or cream into it, sugar was used already earlier.

In the archipelago and in North-Finland it was earlier usual to drink coffee with salt, or make coffee in sea water. Like that people drank less coffee than they otherwise would have done.

Coffee consumption in Finland has varied a lot. In 1871-1875 it was only 1,8 kg per capita in year, in 1921-1925 it had arisen to 4,4 kg, in 1929 it was 5 kg but in 1932 only 3,9 kg because of the Great Depression. Economic boom increased also the coffee consumption and in 1939 it was already 6,9 kg per capita in year. After the WW II coffee consumption returned fast to the previous level and ever since the coffee consumption in Finland has increased.

In 2004 coffee consumption per capita in Finland was 11,2 kg (source of information Statistics Finland http://www.stat.fi/index_en.html and Finnish book Kupillinen kahvia? by Mikael Andersson, ISBN 952-91-8950-8).

Coffee has a salient status in the Finnish life and in the hearts of the Finns, what can be seen in the prolific amount of sayings and old wives' tales, e.g. >>One makes very strong coffee and sprinkles the forehead and neck with it and headache disappears, and it never hurts to take some [coffee] inwardly.>>

>>Kaffi on hyvää aamulla ja pitkin päivää.>> (freely translated: Coffee is good in the morning and throughout the day.)

>>Kahvi ei köyhänkään suuta pilloo.>> (freely translated: The mouth of the poor people would not get spoiled by coffee.)

Virtual Finland http://virtual.finland.fi/ (-> People -> Way of life -> The gastronomy of Finland) tells:

>>"It's time for a cup of coffee" is a remark you hear often in Finland. There are cafés everywhere, and that includes libraries, theatres and hairdresser's salons. Afternoon coffee is often accompanied by pulla buns, Danish pastries or cake. The "coffee party" is still part of most Finns' lives. Savoury snacks, salads, sandwiches, "sandwich cake" and pasties are served along with the sweet cake or tart. On festive occasions the final touch is provided by coffee and a glass of one of Finland's exquisite berry liqueurs.>>

Virtual Finland -> People -> Way of life -> Customs and manners -> How to survive winter in Fianland - and enjoy it:

>>Coffee gets Finns moving on cold, dark winter mornings. It provides strength to last the day and even sends people to sleep, believe it or not. More coffee per person is drunk in Finland than anywhere else in the world. The statistics for 2004 show that coffee consumption per capita in Finland was 11.99 kg, which is approximately 3.8 cups of coffee a day. In the same year, coffee consumption was 4.26 kg per person in the USA, 2.43 kg in the UK, 8.06 kg in Sweden and 3.36 kg in Japan.

The coffee that most Finns drink is light-roasted and slightly more bitter than coffee drunk in continental Europe. Coffee is quite coarsely ground and normally prepared with a coffee percolator and is made slightly stronger than it is in America at least. Add a few lumps of sugar and a dash of milk, or cream. Many people also like to drink their coffee black.

Serving coffee is a very important Finnish custom. The table is set with beautiful coffee cups and laden with pastries, cakes, biscuits and, at times, open sandwiches. Most family celebrations, special occasions at the workplace, receptions for sports personalities and visits by friends are marked with coffee and the aforementioned goodies. In days gone by, the lady of the house was proud of her assortment of at least seven different types of delicacy. The invitation to the congregation to drink coffee in the parish hall after church services is such an important institution that it is jokingly referred to as the third sacrament of the Finnish Lutheran Church.

Finns drink coffee anywhere and everywhere; at home, at work, visiting friends, entertaining friends, doing the shopping, at the filling station, mowing the grass, hunting, shooting and fishing - any excuse will do to get their hands on that coffee cup. There isn't a vast café culture on the scale of Vienna or Paris but some towns, in particular Helsinki of course, do boast some locally venerated coffee houses. The most respected ones in Helsinki are Café Engel opposite the Lutheran cathedral, Café Ekberg, Café Succès, known for serving the world’s largest ‘korvapuusti’ cinnamon buns, Café Ursula by the sea in Kaivopuisto park, and the Tamminiementie café near the Urho Kekkonen Museum. A fairly recent addition to the urban scene are American-style coffee chains that have quickly attracted a broad clientele.

Other hot drinks, tea, cocoa, hot blackcurrant juice and ‘glögi’, a Nordic version of mulled wine, are also popular with Finns in the winter.>>

Some other links relating to this subject:

Finns are Globally Top Coffee Drinkers http://www.finfood.fi/finfood/finnfoo1.nsf/15...OpenDocument

http://www.robertscoffee.com/ (A gourmet coffee roasting company that was founded by Robert Paulig in the Katajanokka district of Helsinki in 1987.)

Sweet buns and Coffee: an inseparable pair http://www.vaasan.com/public/en/05_news/01_ar...s_coffee.jsp (The Vaasan & Vaasan Group is one of the largest bakery business in Finland)

Finnish meals and customs http://www.food-links.com/countries/finland/f...-customs.php

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