Most of you dedicated Swedish blog readers will probably have read about or heard of the Swedish “fika”. Swedes love to have their 3 o’clock fika-time or go out to cafés and such. But still, the culture of sitting in cafés is really very different from a lot of other countries in Europe. It is quite seldom, if ever, that people go from café to café and drink coffee and sit and talk for hours.
One of the reasons for this might be that it is very expensive to go to cafés in Sweden. One cup of coffee can, depending on the place, cost you about 20:- if not much much more. That is what you will have to pay at least for just black coffee. Anything more special than that, ie. esspresso, latte, mocca etc. will be closer to 35:- or more. Therefore it isn’t such a great environment to casually, and on a daily basis, stroll from place to place.
Yet another reason contributing to the fact is most likely the climate. Sweden hardly has “outdoor seating” climate all year round, so the sitting outside just chit chatting with friends isn’t really the same.
If we were to consider a more of an emotional/cultural factor is that Swedes are more introverted than a lot of other types of people. It is not uncommon that people might walk past an acquaintance without saying hello if the person is surrounded by friends unknown to the other person. I just think it takes quite a lot more for most Swedes to loosen up and start talking to strangers. I can guess that most Swedes would hardly ever just join the party sitting at a café if they happened to be walking past.
I’m sure that there are a lot of other reasons as well contributing to a different café culture, please feel free to share if you think of any more!