Mrs Clarke likes an Americano with cold milk on the side. Mr Clarke is partial to a flat white. However our coffee is taken we are all coffee addicts here at Mr & Mrs Clarke estate agency.
We often have meeting in a coffee shop, we meet people and enjoy the buzz of sitting in beautiful surroundings talking to nice people over a cup. Here are a few things you might not have known about our favourite hot beverage…
The Neapolitan custom of Caffé Sospeso brings a community minded meaning to two cups a day, it also brings a little smile to my face to think that good will still exists.
Something unusual sometimes happens to coffee orders in Naples. Instead of the standard request for un caffè, it often becomes due—customer’s order two coffees instead of one. They drink the first and request the other as a Caffè Sospeso, a suspended coffee that remains in limbo as a pending order, waiting to be claimed by other coffee drinkers who may not be able to afford a cup of their own.
We loved lots of things about our trip to Sweden – lovely people, beautiful interiors, stunning countryside. But one thing that we could not get enough of was fika. Fi-what!? Fika! You fools. The Swedish coffee and cake break.
What does it mean? Swedes prefer not to translate the word fika. They don’t want it to lose significance and become a mere coffee break. It is one of the first words you will learn when visiting Sweden, right after tack (thank you) and hej (hello).
Fika is much more than having a coffee. It is a social phenomenon, a legitimate reason to set aside a moment for quality time. Fika can happen at any time, morning as well as evening. It can be savoured at home, at work or in a café. It can be with colleagues, family, friends, or someone you are trying to get to know. It is a tradition observed frequently, preferably several times a day.
We have made fika part of our everyday routine and we are much happier.
Coffee was first imported into Finland from Russia via Sweden during the 1700s. Since then, it’s consumption has been steadily woven into the national fabric. While the brewed beverage was initially reserved for the upper echelons of society, it soon became a commodity accessible to the majority. Coffee has taken on a multitude of uses over the course of Finnish history; utilised as a medicine, a prop for fortune telling, drunk at marriages, and employed as a means of sustaining the Lutheran work ethic of the country’s population. Today, Finland is the only country in the world where the collective employment agreements that stipulate minimum wages and working hours also state that a worker must be allowed a coffee break in an edition to a lunch break.
We don’t get to go to Naples or Helsinki very often, but luckily the areas we operate in have a buzzing cafe culture to keep me caffeine fuelled.