Coffee in Norway

Nice! An elaborate description of coffee-drinking habits in Norway, within a forum thread on Turkish-style coffee brewing:

CoffeeGeek – Articles: How-To Article Feedback, Brewing Turkish Coffee

coffee is very much a national drink in Norway, and that would have travelled with Norwegians immigrants going to Minnesota, North Dakota, Washinton state in the US and Manitoba and Alberta in Canada.  Until Norway discovered oil in the late 70’ies, Norway was in fact a very poor country and the weak coffee was more a result of economics than of taste.  However, maybe the weak coffee instead inspired higher consumption?  All I know is that my Norwegian family are all big coffee drinkers and Norwegians seem to be awfully fond of coffee.  These days boiled traditional cofee is giving way to stronger imported types though, and Costa (Starbucks copy) is already established in Norway, so are other similar chains.

I grew up in Sweden and remember well coming to my father’s work when I was kid.  On the coffee machine on his floor, they had a board with names where the employees would make a tick at their name for every coffee they’d take.  At the end of the month, they would charge the employess their monthly consumption at approx 5 cents a cup.  My father was without comparation light years ahead of his colleagues.  The only challenger he would have to win the “coffee league” was another Norwegian employee!!!  He never beat my dad though.

I also remember going with my grandparents during my summer holidays to visit aunts and uncles in the family.  Often these visits would take place very late – you’d arrive at 10PM and leave at 1 or 2AM.  You have to understand that this far north, the sun never drops below the horizon during summer – the land of midnight sun.  Going on family visits like this was and is still called in our tounge: going for coffees.  And that’s what you’d do.  You’d talk, drink numerous cups of coffee and eat cakes, like lefsa and chocolate cakes.

Mind you, I was never allowed to taste coffee until 14 years old.  I know it used to be tradition to give coffee mixed with water or milk to kids in the old days, but so was giving them a rag soaked in vodka to suck on.  In the end, having kinds myself, I believe the latter is more realistic than the former: why would you want to give your little terrorists a kick?  Let’s sedate is probably or more logical but equally desparate reaction.  But I do have friends who started drinking coffee before they were 10.

As a coffee-drinker, I’d surely love to do coffee ethnography in Norway…