What does the word Fika mean in Swedish and what does it mean?

Calm, unhurried, comfortable life is at the heart of Swedish life. But that doesn’t mean that Swedes are slow or don’t like to work. Swedes work hard and appreciate productivity, but every job needs a little pause to relax and regain energy before the next push comes to shove.

It’s a word that could be considered untranslatable, but it’s important. Fika is a cup of coffee with something sweet and tasty in it. Fika is a coffee break in the middle of a busy day.

Coffee on the go or in the street has nothing to do with Fika. Fika is about relaxation, about enjoying a chat with your colleagues on distracted topics or a quiet ‘chat’ in a cosy armchair in private.

Fika is all about light coffee brewed in a drip coffee maker and in a cup. Most importantly, it doesn’t have to be espresso.

History of the word

Coffee was brought to Sweden many centuries ago. And immediately the drink became popular among ordinary people. That’s why modern-day fica is drunk unseasoned. After all, in ancient times Swedish farmers tried to stretch their coffee reserves.

The word ‘fika’ also traces its origins back to ancient times: it is a syllable-turned-Kaffe, the name given to coffee by Swedish traders.