Apart from the obviously common Sauna, I want to introduce two favorite indulgences by the Finns – the bitter, slightly acidic, lightly roasted black coffee and the sweet, buttery, cinnamon-flavoured korvapuusti. The combination of sweet pie and bitter drink for an afternoon enjoyment reflects the Finnishness cherish for life.
(Picture by Paulig Barista Institute)
Finns love coffee. According to the International Coffee Association, each Finn consumes 12 kilograms of coffee per year, or 2 – 3 cups per day. And the beverage is enjoyed by everyone: a college student who needs to meet his assignment deadline, a worker who needs a boost to kick-start his day, an elder who wants something to savor with her cake in the evening. In Finland, all people in working life are blessed with two legal 10-minute coffee breaks. And with a lunch break, it is understandable that 3 cups of coffee every day is normal for the Finns. The reasons for Finnish affinity for coffee remain inexplicable. Some people attribute their love to sentimental connections, as coffee appears in all sorts of celebrations or ceremonies: when a baby is born, Finns drink coffee; when a student enter College or graduate , Finns drink coffee; when people marry; Finns drink coffee; when one gets a promotion, Finns drink coffee. Coffee is attached to Finnish daily routine and significant memories.
To accompany their love for the dark caffeine drink, the Finns accompany a cup of coffee with a sweet buns. They have special term for this: pullakahvit. Usually, the bun is a korvapuusti – a pastry of flour, sugar and butter, cinnamon, and a dash of cardamom, sprinkled with large crystal of nib sugar on top. Co-founder and baker of artisan bakery Helsinki Homemade, Klaus Ittonen added “The special ingredients of the korvaapuusti is love…. The korvapuusti needs to be made with love in order to get it right. It sounds a bit silly but that’s the way it is”. Pullakahvit, coffee and bun, every afternoon is the Finnish highlight of the day. “An enjoyment that brings back memories from people’s childhoods… Good coffee paired with a homemade korvapuusti makes the world a better place” Ittonen shares his passion for this Finnishness.