What’s the big deal anyway? I mean, its only coffee after all. I drink my coffee pretty mild. Black coffee just doesn’t do it for me. Living in Sweden makes me a coffee expert, or so they tell me; at least if you look at what countries consume the most coffee. So apparently I should be good at this.
Actually us Swedes come in on sixth place. Our neighbours in Finland are the heaviest coffee drinkers. They drink the most coffee per capita on the planet. Kind of surprising, I would have thought we would be higher up. Perhaps that’s the real secret behind there so-called “sizu?” If you don’t know what sizu is I’ll tell you, but not this time, it’ll be another post! Anyway we love coffee in Scandinavia, we have five Scandinavian countries in the top six. The Dutch drink more than us and come in on fifth place. So, why do we love our coffee so much? If you ask me we don’t even make it all that well, so why do we love a drink that we don’t actually even make all that well?
We’ve done our own thing with it is one answer. I love traveling; I just can’t get enough of exploring new places and cultures. I’ve had the opportunity to visit some cool and fascinating places; and therefor had a cup or two here and there. And I must say that (drum roll) Italy has the greatest coffee on earth. I have never been to another country where you can pop into any old café and have a cup of coffee that just tastes amazing. I experienced that in Italy. But they have an altogether different coffee culture then we do; they’ll have an espresso in the middle of the night. If I would have an espresso at midnight I would forget how to fall asleep. But it does taste good.
What do the Italians do that the rest of the world doesn’t? One answer might be how they roast their beans. Italian coffee beans are apparently roasted to the point where they start to caramelize. And already there it sounds tasty… So perhaps that is the secret. “Mmm, caramelize…” as Homer Simpson would say.
Scandinavians are looked upon by the “rest of the world” as hard working people. Ambitious and disciplined. Being a semi-Scandinavian myself there might be some truth to that, but it’s not the whole truth. It’s in many ways a lonely place! And dark and cold during the winter! So we need all we can get to wake us up during those pitch-black mornings throughout the winter. It’s also a social thing. It is pretty cosy going out for a cup of coffee.
So what does the rest of the top 20 list look like? Well, the Italians are no higher than 13th. And USA is not even on the list. Brazil is 16th and Canada round up the top ten. UK isn’t either on the list – not that surprising though, have you even had a memorable cup of coffee in London? And company doesn’t count! It’s the same nonsense all-over the place; Nero, Costa, you name it; they all serve the same tasting coffee-machine crap. So how do we solve the bad coffee problem? We all move to Italy.