Saturday, June 30, 2012

Our arrival in Gothenburg began on a rainy late afternoon. We had time to enjoy a cappuccino and take a quick look around Da Matteo in Victoriapassagen before heading to the hostel in the pouring rain. 

To our surprise, we awoke early the next morning to the sun a shinin' and the birds a chirpin'. We embarked on our cafe hunt with a trip to the neighborhood Haga, where we found a plentiful amount of cafes awaiting documentation. 


We then made our way to the center of the city where we visited Bar Centro, which is an Italian inspired cafe and then to Mauritz Kaffe, the oldest cafe in the city.

Bar Centro

Mauritz Kaffe

Over to the Majorna we went to find Two Little Birds Cafe, a hand crafted coffee shop that specializes in organic coffee and baked goods. 

Two Little Birds Cafe

We finished up our short trip with a visit to the other Da Matteo cafe and their roastery and bakery across the street. 

Da Matteo

It was a busy and exciting trip to Gothenburg, and very necessary to our documentation and analysis of Nordic Cafe Culture, as cafes are prized places of gathering in this city. Thank you to our lovely tour guides (Louise and Erik) and to the many cafe owners we had the good fortune to interview. 

Monday, June 25, 2012


Today, Sam and I went to Pärlans; a swing-era inspired confectionary shop and cafe in Södermalm, Stockholm, to find out the true meaning of a 'fika.' For those Non-Swedish folk who are unfamiliar with the term, read along while we explain to you what the lovely ladies at Pärlan had to say about the tradition and an addition called the 'Fika Horn.'

Our visit began with a wonderful cup of coffee paired with one of their beautifully wrapped, and incredibly delicious caramels.  Sandra, an employee since the shop's beginnings led us through the history of the shop, its somewhat unintentional function as a cafe, and the necessities of a fika station in every Swedish work place.
"Fika in the workplace," Sandra explained, "usually occurs in the morning and afternoon, and can last around 10-20 minutes. I had a job a few years ago at a government office, and initially, was somewhat reluctant to take the position due to my worries that office work could be quite boring. To my surprise, it was one of the most fun jobs I have had. What made it such a great workplace was this thing they called the 'fika horn.' Anytime anyone was taking a fika, and wanted company he/she would honk the horn, and whoever could take a break would join for a cup of coffee. This, of course, brought the office much closer together and increased communication because although some of the talk during fika was personal, it all gravitated to conversations about work and the projects people were involved in."

After our fika with the owner of Pärlans, we got a tour of their confectionary, and were lucky enough to sample as many caramels as our much caffeinated hearts desired.

Lisa, the owner was so kind to give us one of their recipes, so you can give it a try!
Caramels with bourbon vanilla and sea salt
250 g Sugar     
170 g Glucose syrup   
80 gram Salted butter   
200 ml Heavy cream   
1 teaspoon Sea salt  
1 Bourbon vanilla pod  

Heat the cream and the butter in a small saucepan with the vanilla and sea salt until the butter has melted. Keep warm while you cook the syrup.
In a medium, heavy duty saucepan heat the glucose with the sugar, and cook, stirring gently, to make sure the sugar melts smoothly. Cook until the syrup reaches 175ºC and turns golden.
Remove the saucepan with the syrup from the heat and gently stir in the warm cream and butter mixture.
Put the saucepan back on medium heat and cook the mixture to 124ºC.
Pour the mixture into a pan lined with buttered foil and wait a few minutes, then sprinkle sea salt on top. Let the caramel set in room temperature for at least 6 hours. Once set, slice the bar of caramel with a knife into squares or rectangles.

Tack to the wonderful ladies and gentleman at Pärlans!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Drop Coffee

Corey and I enjoyed our first barista-brewed cup of coffee in Stockholm from the one and only Drop Coffee in Södermalm, and it was mycket bra. We sipped on our Ethioia Korchoha pour-over while getting to know Oskar Alvérus, one of the very sweet and caring owners.  Drop’s pour-over bar is the main focus, as each single cup of coffee is brewed to order, using only single-origin beans, which they roast themselves.  The wonders of gravity do the work as water gently pours over the filter allowing water to seep through the ground coffee, absorbing its oils and essences, before passing through the bottom of the filter, into a carafe and finally, into our cups. We drank every last drop.
Thanks, Drop coffee, for a good fika. XOsam

Monday, June 18, 2012

Coffee over Stockholm

If you ever find yourselves with a free evening at your disposal, on the northern side of the island Södermalm  in Stockholm, around 10pm in the summer months when the sun is still setting....then head to the top of a small street called Yttersta Tvärgränd with a cup of something warm.

soon enough,

Saturday, June 16, 2012

In Scandinavia at last!

After a few too many travel woes, we have made it safely to Stockholm and our friend Jennifer's apartment in Mariatorget on Södermalm.

Today we rest, and tomorrow we begin with a trip to Drop Coffee.


all the love,