The Native: Coffee

2011-09-22. Published in Life in Gothenburg
by Sarah

As you might have realised by now – fika is somewhat of a holy activity in Sweden. If you meet your friends for fika at some café, you might feel confused about the menue. Where is the difference between all the coffee drinks and what in the world is the bryggkaffe? Let me guide you through the coffee menue (as an experienced barista)...

Caffe Latte
Double espresso and warm milk, only a hint of foam

One third Espresso, one third warm milk and one third foam

Latte Macchiato
A lot of warm milk, foam and a single espresso

Espresso Macchiato
Espresso coffee with a little bit of foamed milk

Café au lait
Filter coffee with warm milk and some foam

Regular black filter coffee

Chai Latte
Tea with spices likes cinnamon and cardamom – some cafes use only tea and milk, others use syrup and milk which makes it a lot sweeter

Varm Choklad
Hot chocolate – often you get some whipped cream on top and sometimes even marshmallows

(Iced coffee) Mostly this drink is like Caffe Latte with a lot of ice cubes, sometimes you can even find some blended coffee drinks a la frapuccino

And then the question is, of course, STOR eller LITEN (big or small cup)...


Sweden is one of the countries with the highest coffee consumption in the world. Most Swedes prefer the regular black filter coffee (bryggkaffe) but Caffe Latte is getting more and more popular, especially if you go to a café. Starbucks has (so far) only one coffee shop at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. In 2012 Starbucks will open cafes at the train stations in Gothenburg and Malmö. So, all the “big cities” will get their own Starbucks. Sweden has also its own national coffee house chain which is called Espresso House. You can find several Espresso Houses in the city center and in some shopping malls. And, of course, in many other Swedish towns, too. A brand that has taken over Gothenburg is Le Pain Francais or as many of Gothenburg’s inhabitants call it “Franska baggariet” (the French bakery). They offer a range of coffee drinks but are more famous for their filled baguettes and sweet cake creations. Don’t miss their macarones and other French pastery.


Swedish Coffee Facts

  • Swedes drink about 8 liters coffee per capita a year

  • Sweden ranks number 6 in countries with highest coffee consumption per capita

  • Swedish grandparents might find it strange that you add milk to your coffee as they are used to drink it black

  • Try some Swedish style coffee drinking: Take a sugar bite in your mouth and then drink your black coffee


/Sarah, team, 2011