Coffee enjoys the status of a national drink in the Nordic culture, so much so that Finland, with 10.35 yearly kilograms per capita (2017), and an average of 12 cups per day (2015) is now home to the heaviest drinkers in the world. The Danes drink on average 9.4 cups each day (2015), whereas in Sweden 50 percent of consumers (2017) drink coffee in the morning, and many office workers rely on coffee to stay awake during the day — the ‘social interaction’ connected to coffee breaks being also considered as a positive ‘side effect’. At home, preparation with a drip coffee maker (we suggest both an excellent machine from the Danish-Swiss kitchenware manufacturer Bodum, and the great moka coffee machine by Bialetti) is the favourite by Norwegians and Danes (2016), whereas many Swedes combine their coffee with a bun or a piece of chocolate.

Among the main coffee brands in Scandinavia there are Merrild (originally from Denmark, now very popular in Iceland), Evergood Kaffe (Norway), Paulig (Finland), Gevalia and Löfberg (Sweden).

When it comes to coffee, all the Nordic countries are heavily dependent on trading partners as they do not grow it: Brazil was the largest supplier of coffee imports to Sweden in 2016 (890.8 million Swedish kroner); Finland imported more than 3,700 metric tons of coffee from the Netherlands (2016); Iceland imported the equivalent of 2.3 billion Icelandic krónur of coffee and coffee substitutes in 2015; green coffee imports to Norway (2015) amounted to 3,052 metric tons (the volume of roast and ground coffee being only 130 metric tons).

Looking at retail, sales figures for Finland amount to roughly 46,000 metric tons of roasted coffee (2015); Denmark sold 288 million Danish kroner of organic coffee in retail shops (2017), wheres the annual Danish household expenditure of 1,015.7 kroner (2016). The average retail price of domestic coffee in Icelandic retail stores was 1,822 krónur per kilogram (2016), whereas imported coffee was much cheaper (1,374 Icelandic krónur per kilogram). The average retail price of a kilogram of Gevalia coffee in Sweden was 65 Swedish kronor (2017).

Each of the Nordic countries has its own chain of coffee shops: Sweden-based Espresso house, the largest chain in the Nordics, operated over 190 stores in Sweden and was also well established in Norway, Denmark and Finland. Other coffee-serving chains are the Norwegian Kaffebrenneriet, Icelandic Te & Kaffi, the worldwide operating Joe & The Juice from Denmark and Robert’s Coffee from Finland. Scandinavia also has a strong presence of independent coffee shops, and 69 Starbucks stores scattered over Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland (2018). No wonder that, for example, when Norwegians were asked about their favorite locations for drinking a cappuccino or caffè latte, half of respondents indicated that it was in a restaurant, café or coffee shop (2016).