Surprisingly, or not, the Nordic countries are the top coffee consumers in the world. Finland graces the top of the list by consuming close to 13 kg of coffee annually, per capita. The Swedes follow close behind with the average Swede consuming 11 kg per year. Comparing to our fellow Americans, who consume about 5 kgs of coffee annually per capita, it is safe to say that the Nordics are quite hooked on caffeine.
Top Coffee Consuming Nations in the world
Source: International Coffee Organization
Coffee was first introduced to Scandinavia during the 1600s but didn’t gain popularity in Sweden until the 1700s. However, once the spark had been ignited, the Swede’s love for coffee knew no limits. In fact, coffee became so popular that the Swedish government grew increasingly worried about the high import volume and ultimately, Swedish money ending up in foreign countries.
To solve the problem, the Swedish government decided that it would be a good idea to simply forbid the Swedes from drinking coffee. In 1756 the ban was made effective, and anyone who was caught drinking coffee could expect a hefty fine.
The ban was later on overturned and re-instated another three times until the government legalized coffee for good in 1823.
Could that be why the Swedes are such big coffee drinkers? We never know when the next ban might around the corner.
This article was originally published on September 29, 2019