In America, coffee is perhaps the biggest tool in a student's bag of tricks to prepare for early morning classes and late-night last-minute homework excursions.
However, nearly 5,000 miles away on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, there is a country that has literally transformed the act of drinking coffee into something of a borderline religious discipline.
But who? Think blue, yellow, and long winters.
If you guessed Sweden, then you'd be right!
In Sweden, drinking coffee is far more important and community oriented to everyday life than here in America. Swedes have even given the practice a name: Fika (pronounced fee-kah}. The word's basic meaning is, "to have coffee," but there is much more to fika than just simply coffee.
For example, normally, fika is done with another person or a group of family or friends. Likewise, it can be held with a stranger as a way to get acquainted with someone new. Many Swedes also like to enjoy a sweet food with their coffee and a few common selections are cinnamon buns, cookies, croissants, or some other sort of pastry.
A fika can be done at home, in a cafe, or even at work! The entire point of fika is to take a break from your day and socialize with your fellow humans about personal life, current events, or anything else for that matter.
Although coffee is enjoyed across the globe, the wonder people of Sweden has found perhaps the best way to unify the delicious drink with their daily lives.
In Sweden, fika is a ubiquitous time for everyone. With so much chaos in everyday life, maybe it's time for Americans to take a page out of the Swedish playbook and sit down, pour a cup of coffee, and enjoy the pleasure of another's company.