Finland is the Largest Consumer of Coffee
According to Coffee Tasting Club, each person in Finland consumes an average of 12 (26 lbs) of coffee per year, which is more than twice that of other European countries. As the largest consumer of coffee in the world, Finland views coffee not just as an indulgence, but an essential part of culture.
But how did coffee come to be in Finland? The cold climate is not ideal for growing coffee, but it made its way into Finland during the early 1700s. People loved it, convinced it could cure ailments like headaches, depression and heart disease and therefore selling it in pharmacies. It was even considered a means of fortune telling in Finnish folklore. If the bubble formed on the coffee's froth moved towards the drinker, he or she would find themselves more money. If it moved away from the drinker, it was a sign that they would soon lose money.
The first coffee drinkers were upper class, as it became part of a social image. Once the price of coffee came down in the 19th century, it became more accessible to everyone and was drinking daily instead of just holidays and special occasions.
Today, coffee is still drank daily, even multiple times a day. Many coffee-related customs still hold true, like always serving coffee to guests as an expression of hospitality. Coffee is not only important socially, but in the workplace, too. Finland is also the only country where coffee breaks are required at work. It provides a boost of energy and moment of ritual to keep hard-working Finns happy and focused.
Though all types of coffee are enjoyed in Finland, it is known for the lightest roasts in the world and is usually taken black. This is because the quality of water is so good that it actually enhances the flavor of the coffee. While many countries serve coffee in a glass, Finland is keen to drinking the brew in mugs and cups. Many families will have a special set for guests and special occasions.