Enjoy a Finnish Tradition - Coffee Break with Pulla
Discover the Coffee Culture and Traditions of Finland
The people of Finland, the Finns, lead the world in the greatest amount of coffee consumption per capita or per person. Finns consume over 12 kilograms of coffee (12.26) or 27.0 lbs of coffee yearly. The average Finn drinks 4 to 5 cups of coffee a day as Kahvi juomana.
Coffee is an integral part of the Finnish culture and customs, both in everyday consumption as part of a coffee break, fika or kaffeepause and also for special occasions like weddings.
My own coffee consumption has been influenced by having a Mother from Finland. I grew up experiencing many of the Finnish coffee traditions including that of drinking coffee black. After researching my Finnish coffee roots, I now understand my preference for basic black coffee.
As I sit here writing this lens, drinking black coffee out of my own Taika (Magic) Mug, I am wishing I had some fresh Finnish pulla (Cardamom bread) to go along with the coffee for a truly Finnish experience. Maybe I'll fix some Finn Crips with healthy toppings, or I might just have to settle for some of the Fazer chocolates that we have.
Coffee Consumption Statistics from International Coffee Organization Monthly Coffee Market Report for June 2012.
Try Some Juhla Mokka
Finnish Juhla Mokka Coffee available on Amazon
What is a Finnish Coffee Break?
Coffee is so much of the Nordic culture that people in Finland and Sweden are guaranteed coffee breaks while at work or at school, as coffee breaks being included in labor agreements.* These designated coffee breaks can make it difficult to find people at 10:00 am and 3:00 pm, when they are having their coffee breaks.
Bloggers for the Nordic Coffee Culture define a Fika as
- A light, spontaneous meal or break consisting of one or more cups of coffee accompanied by something sweet, or perhaps even a typical savoury open-faced sandwich.
A Fika is a social coffee break that one enjoys with colleagues, friends or family. The occasion can be informal during the work day, as a casual date with just friends or as an important part of weddings and funeral celebrations.
* Workers are allowed a single coffee break for a workday longer than four hours and two breaks for a workday longer than six hours.
Vote on the Finnish Coffee Break
Do you think everyone should be able to get a legislated coffee break?
Finnish Coffee (Kahvi)
What is it about Finnish Coffee?
Finnish coffee is a much lighter roasted coffee than what is typically found in other countries including the U.S and Southern and Central Europe.
According to Taija Ojaniemi, who wrote the paper Coffee As a Finnish Institution, Finnish coffee is known to be the lightest roasted coffee in the world. With a lighter roast and the Finnish water, Finnish coffee has the distinctive flavorful taste with more acidity than darker roasts.
The preference for lighter roasting may date back to the pre-war days, when coffee was not as available. A lighter roasting of the coffee beans yields a great amount of coffee, so lighter roasting was advantageous. The Paulig has been roasting coffee for Finland since 1876.
One has to wonder if Starbuck's latest Blonde Coffees are in some way patterned after Finnish Coffee.
Read more of Ojaniemi's paper on Coffee As a Finnish Institution
Finnish Coffee from Amazon
Paulig has been making coffee for Finland since 1876. The Finnish coffee is a much lighter roast than many traditional coffees one finds in the U.S.
Juhla Mokka is a favorite Finnish coffee, originally released as Juhlasekoitus or Jubilee Blend in 1929. It is a lighter roast made from South, Central and African beans.
Three pack of Paulig Juhla Mokka Finnish Coffee.
Imported ground Presidentti coffee is another coffee lightly roasted in Finland from the best coffee beans in the world. This brand has been made since 1929.
Finnish Coffee on eBay
You can also find Finnish Coffee on eBay.
Coffee Pots and Makers on Amazon
Several different methods for brewing up your own Finnish coffee from press coffee makers to drip makers.
The bloggers at the Nordic Coffee Culture Blog offer their tips for brewing better Nordic coffee, which is making sure to have 60-70 grams of coffee per liter of water. This works out to 1/2 to 2/3 cup of coffee to 4 1/4 cups.
The Chemex drip coffee carafe allows you to slowly brew coffee without the bitter taste. This method is considered to be one of the purest methods of brewing coffee and has been used for more than 40 years.
A press coffee maker with a vacuum jug lets you make the coffee and keep it warm in the same jug.
The Iittala Teema Pot from Finland is a classic way of serving brewed coffee at the table. This pot is safe to use in the Microwave.
Fika = Having coffee and food with friends
Fika with friends
Discover More about Coffee Traditions in Finland
- Finnish coffee: preserving a Scandinavian tradition
In the world of trivia, Finland is known for three things: mobile phones, saunas and coffee. The Finns are the world's most voracious coffee-drinkers.
- Coffee As a Finnish Institution | Research Paper
Coffee As a Finnish Institution byTaija Ojaniemi, Spring 2010, Finnish Institutions Research Paper. Department of Translation Studies, University of Tampere. The people of Finland are among the biggest coffee consumers in the world. Finns consume an
- Coffee Traditions: Fika, the Swedish Coffee Break | Serious Eats: Drinks
You know a country takes its coffee breaks seriously when they are virtually protected by law, and the Swedish (and Finnish) tradition of fika is just that....
- Finnish Coffee Tradition | les Observations
Finnish people drink coffee. Cappuccinos, CaffÃ© Lattes, CaffÃ© Mochas and so many other varieties are sold in Finland; but only foreigners, visitors and children drink these. A Finn does not prefer such drinks.
- The Role of Coffee in the Nordic Languages | Nordic Coffee Culture
Through asking people about their views on Nordic coffee traditions, we quickly realized that one of the defining features of a Nordic coffee culture is the social role of coffee. Social activities that revolve around the consumption of coffee range
- All About Scandinavian Coffee | Serious Eats: Drinks
Scandinavians aren't just envied for their superior licorice and textiles: it's the way they roast coffee—or maybe the way they don't roast it—that's caused a stir among palates.
- CafÃ© Culture in Helsinki | sirpasalenius
One of the relentless habits of the Finns is drinking coffee. It is not farfetched to talk about Finnish coffee culture, which manifests itself in the large number of new and old cafÃ©s in small towns and big cities as well as in the constant referen
- For the Love of Fika | Nordic Coffee Culture
While it's true that many other countries also take coffee breaks, they aren't appreciated in the same manner as they are here, nor are they mandated by law. Fika is a cultural requisite often including baked sweets, fruit or open-faced sandwiches en
- Fika (coffee break) | Wikipedia
Fika is both a Swedish verb and noun (pronounced "fee-ka") that roughly means "to drink coffee/tea/squash," usually accompanied by something sweet.
What is Pulla?
Pulla is a slightly sweet cardamom flavored Finnish yeast bread. It is known also known as nisu or as bulle or kanelbulle in Sweden. Pulla is frequently served with coffee for the Finnish coffee break, either as sliced bread (pitko) or a whole rolls.
As a yeast based recipe, baking Pulla is something that takes several hours as you wait for the yeast to rise and as you shape the dough into braided loaves (pitko), rings, mini knots or cinnamon roll-like korvapuusti pastries.
Pull can be made plain or with filled with raisins, sliced almonds, sugar and cinnamon especially for the cinnamon roll versions. Before baking the pulla is brushed with egg whites to give it a shiny appearance once done.
The smell of baking pulla is still one of my fondest Christmas memories, one that I will teach to my girls now they are old enough to help with the baking. Even though the process of baking takes several hours, it is definitely worth the time and effort and one that will be appreciated by the family, even if it isn't appreciated by your waistline.
The base recipe is similar to other yeast breads like the Hispanic Pan de Muerto, bread made for Day of the Dead or Jewish Challah made for different occasions. The main differences are in the extra spices, with pulla it is cardamom, with Pan de Muerto it is anise seed and orange zest.
Until I have a chance to get my Mom's Pulla recipe up, try the recipe for this Finnish Cardamon bread on the Melanger blog.
Finnish Cardamom Bread by Melanger Baking. Used under a Creative Commons License
Pulla (Finnish Sweet Bread) on YouTube
Watch to see how Emilie of thecookingTree bakes Pulla, a cardamon flavored Finnish Sweet Bread.
Can you smell this freshly baked Finnish Pulla Bread?
Finnish Pulla Nisu Bread on YouTube
Hancockmi shows how to make Finnish Pulla Nisu Bread or coffee tablel breads in a series of YouTube videos.
Pulla's Secret Ingredient - Cardamom on Amazon
Ground Cardamom is the secret spice ingredient in Finnish Pulla.
Grind your own fresh cardamom from the pods.
Good for grinding up small batches of herbs or spices.
Measures: 3.5 x 3.8 x 3.8 inches
These are other recipes for Finnish cardamon bread, which can also be made into buns and other fun shapes.
- Recipe for Finnish Cardamom Buns (Pulla) | The Fresh Loaf
Pulla recipe from the authors mother in law.
- How to Make Home Made Sweet Bread from Finland
Here's a pictorial Finnish pulla recipe by an expert. This quick and easy pictorial guide guarantees success in making Finnish pulla.
- Pulla :: Finnish Cardamom Bread | MÃ©langer :: to mix
I heard about a tasty cardamom flavoured bread called Pulla. Naturally, I had to research this thing called 'Pulla.' Now Pulla is made with some regularity at home. It certainly is worth the time.
- Cardamom (Recipe: Finnish pulla bread) -
This pulla recipe from the The Perfect PantryÂ® can be used in a bread machine. The recipe was passed down from a member of the Finnish American Heritage Society in Canterbury, CT, and the bread machine adaptation from Mary Ellen Harmon.
- Finnish NISU aka: Pulla | The Fresh Loaf
The recipe for Pulla Yeast Coffee Bread as it appears in "The Finnish Cookbook" by Beatrice Ojakangas.
Finnish Fika Food
Finnish Coffee Break Foods
There are many favorite foods that Finns like to eat with their coffee while on daily coffee breaks or for more formal social coffee breaks like would be found at a wedding or funeral.
Fika foods are both savory and sweet. The savory from open faced sandwiches made with rye bread and fish; the sweet from baked goods, cookies and candies.
Open faced sandwiches on rye crackers (Finn Crisp or Wasa whole grain) are a staple in my noon-time meal. In addition to Swiss cheese and cucumbers or sliced green apples, I like to add avocado, which reflects my California roots. I also add in some parsley on my open face sandwiches as a reminder of my Grandmother, who put parsley on everything.
The Scandinavian recipes that my Mom makes seem to have just the right amount of sweetness, not overly sweet the way that most American sweets are. Swedish sweets may include Ã¤ppelkaka (apple cake) and kanelbulle (cinnamon roll). Finnish sweets include pulla (sweet cardamom bread) or a korvapuusti pastry (cinnamon roll).
One thing that I really miss about Finnish Food is the ability to get great baked Finnish Sourdough Rye Bread. After writing this lens and finding a Finnish Sourdough Rye Bread recipe that shows you how to get a bread starter from Finn Crisp, I am going to give it a try. It is delicious and very filling.
Foods to Serve for a Finnish Coffee Break
Here are just some of the foods that one might find served as part of a Finnish coffee break:
- Pulla (coffee bread) or Korvapuusti pastry (cinnamon roll)
- Pannukakku (Oven Pancakes)
- Rye bread
- Finnish or Swedish crispy rye crackers
- Herring or Salmon
- Sliced cucumbers, apples, tomatoes
- Lingonberry or Cloudberry jam
- Sliced hard boiled eggs
- Cheese (the Finns make excellent Swiss cheese)
- Cookies and biscuits
- Candies (often the Finnish Fazer Brand)
Finnish Flatbread with Toppings
Try Lingonberry, Gooseberry and Cloudberry Jam
Lingonberry, Gooseberry and Cloudberry jams and preserves are all popular spreads on Finnish breads and crackers.
If you can get to a local IKEA you can buy Sylt Lingon, or Lingonberry preserves, which are delicious on Finnish breads and crackers.
More about Lingonberries
Discover what the Scandinavians have known about the Lingonberry, superfruit. This superfruit from the Northern Hemisphere is filled with all kinds of beneficial antioxidants.
Lingonberry - A Superfruit from the Northern Hemisphere
Lingonberries have long been a source of beneficial nutrition for Scandinavians and those living in the Northern Hemisphere where the lingonberries grow wild...
Finnish and Swedish Crisp Bread on Amazon
The crispbreads are made from simple ingredients: Whole Rye Flour, Yeast, Water and Salt.
Finn Crisp is a thin rye crispbread
Leksands Crispbread wedges are very convenient for making open-faced sandwiches.
Finnish Cookbook on Amazon
In researching for this page, one name kept coming up for Finnish Recipes, that of Beatrice Ojakangas. Here is her highly rated cookbook of Finnish recipes based on Finland's best-selling cookbook.
Serve Coffee with Gingerbread
Gingerbread cookies are a perfect accompaniment to Finnish Coffee.
Heart Gingerbread by nixielinks.
More on Finnish Gingerbread
Gingerbread or Piparkakut is another Finnish Favorite with coffee. The Piparkakut lens includes my Mother's recipe for Gingerbread, that is my favorite.
Piparkakut - The Best Gingerbread Recipe Ever
For me Christmas would not be Christmas without having Gingerbread cookies, but not just any gingerbread cookies, my Mom's special recipe for Piparkakut or F...
Finnish Gingerbread Houses
One of the Christmas family traditions we had when I was growing up was making a Gingerbread house. My mom always made a Gingerbread house, so I didn't thin...
Finnish Chocolate and Candy on Amazon
Finnish candies and chocolate make for delicious after coffee treats.
Fazer Marianne candies are mint flavored hard candies with chocolate fillings.
Fazermints are chocolate candies with mint fillings (just the opposite of the Marianne's)
Learn More about Panda Licorice
Panda brand is my favorite licorice from Finland. They even make one that is flavored with blueberries.
After dark chocolate, real licorice, natural Panda licorice made in Finland is one of my favorite sweet treats. Fortunately, natural licorice is one of the h...
Fazer Chocolate on eBay
Fazer Bars come in several different flavors, but I still think my favorite is the Milk Chocolate. The milk chocolate recipe is very distinctive and delicious. This is the one bar that I prefer milk to dark chocolate.
Fazer's "Blue" bar. We get these at Christmas as gifts from my Mom and I am lucky if I ever get a piece.
Finnish Coffee Cups and Serving Trays
Drink Your Coffee from Finnish Coffee Mugs
Drinking Finnish coffee from a Finnish coffee mug is an obvious way to really feel like you are taking a true Finnish Fika (coffee break).
For me, drinking coffee from a Finnish mug connects me to my heritage, my roots and my grandparents, long deceased. We have quite a collection of mugs and I've been adding more Finnish mugs from Arabia and Iittala to my collection.
I have the Teema mugs in black as part of our everyday dishes. If I had a chance to pick the colors over, I would probably choose the Turquoise Teema Mugs because they are such a soothing color.
My Taika Blue Mug has been by my side as I write this lens, working it's "Magic," although I need to remember to be taking more breaks. (Taika means 'magic' in Finnish; this is the name chosen by Finnish illustrator and artist Klaus Haapaniemi for the folk inspired Taika collection of tableware.)
Taika Blue Mug by joan!ta
Moomins on Coffee Mugs
I enjoy drinking my morning coffee with my Moomin Mugs. Moomins are the lovable critters created by Finnish author, Tove Jansson. If you don't know anything about the Moomins, I would suggest you read my Moomins lens.
Among other merchandise, the Moomins have been turned into mugs by the Finnish company Arabia. Moomin mugs can be found in some of the Finnish Specialty stores online as well as on eBay.
We own several Moomin mugs, since these are easy gifts for my Mom to bring back from her trips to Finland. She brought several back for my daughters. Needless to say I was pretty surprised to see how the Moomin mugs have become collector items, fetching hundreds of dollars (for a coffee) since many are released in limited editions.
We have one of the 2000 Moomin Millennium Mugs and some of the other older mugs, which are now being stored in a safe place.
My Favorite Iittala Taika Mug
The Iittala Taika Mug features an enchanted forest theme.
Taika means Magic. The Taika collection was designed by Finnish artist Klaus Haapaniemi.
The collection is available in blue, white and red.
Learn More about the Moomins
The Moomins is my favorite Finnish book series.
My mother is from Finland, so I grew up reading stories from Moomin Valley about critters called the Moomins and all of their friends. The Moomins are creat...
Iittala Teema Serving Set
Finnish Serving Trays on Amazon
Serve up your Finnish Coffee and treats on these trays from Finland.
The iconic Aalto pattern from Iittala has been turned into an oak serving platter.
Measures: 17 x 14 inches
Another serving tray from Iittala, this one in white from the sleek Teema collection.
Measures: 6 1/4 x 14.5 inches
Serve Your Cakes with a Finnish Cake Cutter and Server
Use a Finnish cake cutter and server to cut any of your special coffee cakes.
Magisso Cake Cutter and Server Gadget is a Unique Chef Gift
The Magisso Cake Server is on my own wish list and gift giving list as a stylish, "must have" kitchen tool for cutting cake. This innovative cake cutter fro...
Finnish Sokeri (Sugar)
Just a Spoonful or Cube of Sugar
My grandmother, who originally live in the United States as a child, liked to drink her Finnish coffee with sugar, as a sugar cube. Some would even put a sugar cube in their mouth and drink the black coffee through the sugar cube.
We visited my Mummu (Grandmother) in Finland when I was young; this may have been the first time I saw sugar cubes. Needless to say I thought that sugar cubes were fascinating.
I remember the ritual of having sugar cubes in the bowl and using special sugar tongs to get the sugar. If you were lucky, you might even just get a straight sugar cube.
Of course these were in the days when kids weren't getting tons of sugar in their food, so getting sugar cubes was a treat.
Probably because of these early memories, I still think of sugar cubes as being special. It may be a fun tradition to resurrect with my girls.
Bowl of Sugar Cubes Wall Decal available on Amazon
Add Some Sugar (Sokeri) to Your Coffee
Sugar cubes from France.
Don't forget the Sugar Tongs
Serve up the sugar in sugar bowls with sugar tongs.
These sugar cube tongs look a lot like the elegant ones that my Grandmother used.
The Extra - Whipped Cream (Kermavaahto)
Coffee Topped with Whipped Cream - A Family Tradition
My Mom tells stories of how my Grandmother, Mummu used to drink her coffee, when she had a chance. She liked her coffee a little sweet and creamy, more like a traditional cup of coffee now. Undoubtedly she would have loved the coffee bar options.
For sweetness she would the coffee through a sugar cube held in the mouth. For creaminess she would drink it with whipped cream, when cream for whipping was available. These were the days when the cream was whipped by hand rather than with electric mixers.
I ended up telling my girls about the coffee with whipped cream being a favorite of my Grandmother, which of course they had to try.
Now black coffee with whipped cream is a favorite drink of my daughters, carrying on the family tradition.
Whipped Cream by Rhett Sutphin.
Created to Showcase the Coffee Theme
To celebrate the release of the new Coffee theme lens, lensmasters were challenged to try it out on a new lens about our favorite coffee. This is my coffee themed lens.
- New Coffee Theme! | SquidooHQ powered by Squidoo
Coffee is prefect for food lenses, beverage lenses, personal interest stories like (Shaking Hands With Greatness) and any lens that you think needs a little jolt. I think it would also look great on product reviews and movies lenses.
Have you ever tried any Finnish Coffee or coffee cakes?