One of the things I love about Patti Smith’s book M Train is the insight into her everyday life. How she loves a local coffee and a TV crime drama. At the Greenwich Village coffee shop, Smith has a favourite corner table and admits to experiencing a ‘petulant possessiveness’ whenever it’s taken. I have a favourite window seat at my local coffee shop and though I’ve huffed and rolled my eyes when it’s occupied, I’ve never resorted to waiting it out in the bathroom. On the days when I’m working from home and have a deadline, I like to carve out enough time for a local coffee. It doesn’t take very long but both my brain and my back appreciate a 15-minute break and I get a cup of proper coffee (no matter what I do, the stuff I make at home is dreadful), and can return to my computer refreshed and caffeinated. Turns out I’ve been practising the Swedish art of fika (pronounced feeka) without even realising it. I just thought I was having a coffee and a cake. There’s a fika book by Anna Brones and Johanna Kinvall on the art of the Swedish coffee break, available HERE.
In the book, the authors explain Fika as:
‘Functioning as both a verb and a noun, the concept of fika is simple. It is the moment that you take a break, often with a cup of coffee, but alternatively with tea, and find a baked good to pair with it. You can do it alone, you can do it with friends. You can do it at home, in a park or at work. But the essential thing is that you do it, that you make time to take a break: that’s what fika is all about.’