April 2019
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Give me your juhlamokka or die!

Give me your juhlamokka or die!

There’re two main questions I’ve been asked by my friends and other travelers/aliens in Finland about the local coffee.

One is, how can Finns drink SO MUCH coffee?
And the other (after they have tasted subj), why is Finnish coffee SO WEAK?

Try to consume 4 to 7 honest espressos a day and you’ll see, that’s what I answer to them.
(I know this does not prove anything, ‘cause I have a firsthand experience of three ristrettos in a row within a couple of hours and I’m still alive. Anyway.)

What does history tell us? The Swedes first smelled coffee beans already in 1685 and the first Stockholm coffee house was founded back in 1708. Having thus arrived in Northern Europe, coffee just needed some royal support to transit from an amusement to everyday habit. The opportunity was not long in coming. King Kaarle XII escaped to Turkey from Pultava battlefield in 1709 in a sweating rush and asked locals to bring him something to drink. He might have expected beer, but was offered strong black coffee instead. And he liked it so much that refused to abandon coffee even after his return home a few years later.

Naturally, Swedes also seduced Finns into it.

Coffee was brought to Finland on regular basis starting 1720s via Turku seaport and in three decades more than a hundred Finnish households were coffee drinkers. Before long, the whole country was on that tasty caffeine kind.

If you believed that “going dry” for Finland applied to alcohol only, you’re all wet. Haha, a joke. Coffee was banned several times in Sweden and Finland, yet without much success, and the government also tried to tax it in 1939–1942 and 1948–1954. Nothing could stop the Finns’ love for coffee. Even cappuccino or low fat milk trend did not manage to kill it.

Today, Finland consumes as much as 11,9 kg coffee per person every year, followed by people of Denmark and Belgium (see ICO Coffee Report March 2008). All other countries lag faaaar behind.

What exactly do Finns drink? Almost 95% of coffee sold in Finland is light roast. It’s a local peculiarity and preference. Experts say that raw bean quality, caffeine contents, as well as ready product flavor and storage life are best (strongest, longest) with light roast version. It is offered in homes, offices, cafes, and restaurants as “regular coffee”. What you get in local coffee houses (such as Wayne’s Coffee or Robert’s Coffee) as espressos etc. is for the most part dark roast thing.

Among popular traditional trademarks are Presidentti, Kulta Katriina and of course Juhlamokka, which seem to be partly challenged by newer Nordqvist’s Franskrost, Paulig Parisien, and Löfberg’s Lila.

And yes, modern technologies. Did you remember to moccamaster this morning?

Finnish coffee

Finnish coffee

9 comments to Give me your juhlamokka or die!

  • rafale

    is Juhlamokka any good? never tasted that

  • Locals say it’s “varma perusmaku vuodesta 1929” 🙂
    Quite good. I’d rank it higher than Presidentti.

  • Max

    Very sad thing is, that you will not find real Italian espresso™ in Finland. Yes, this kind of espresso served in very small hot caps m-m-m… No way 🙁

    I’m not the expert but IMHO Italian cofee beans beat massmarket Finnish cofee whatever it is Presidentti etc.

  • What would you say about Brazilian coffee? 😉
    It’s a knockout blow to all other coffees to my mind.

  • Max

    I would say in this way.
    Brazilian cofee that our friend bring to us and we had a chance to taste it (1 kilo, gigi) was really good. Very soft taste, but very flavour same time. The thing is that he is not planning to visit Brazil in the near future. And i do not know the way how we would import the cofee from there…
    So we have to manage with just a few alternatives: Finnish massmarket or Italian massmarket. I prefer Italian 😀

  • Well if I have to drink 5 cups daily then the choice is light and “weak” Finnish coffee. It keeps awake and is refreshing. And I do not feel guilty when adding half a cup milk into it 😀
    And when it’s a lazy Sunday morning at home then let it be Italian or Brazilian blacky black in a small cup. With cream or without. A bit cinnamon powder on top…

  • rafale

    надо попробовать вашу юхламокку )

    пользуясь случаем, поздравляю хозяйку блога с 8 марта 🙂

  • rafale

    ссылочка затерялась, вот она:


  • Thanx! 🙂
    Сорри, работа меня сожрала, нет даже времени на сайт.

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