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Cooper
18-01-04, 10:39
I am offering this new thread as I know that Finland is one of the very few countries that are keen on tea and coffee.

Every time I come to Finland I enjoy the coffee in nearly every cafe or restaurant (which is impossible in many other countries where the coffee is bad and the tea is commonplace).

Of course, we know about the centuries-old tea ceremonies in China but it is too far from us in distance and culture, do you agree?

:)

June Pelo
18-01-04, 18:04
I'm attaching some interesting comments about coffee.

June

Cooper
18-01-04, 19:42
Dear June,

Thank you for the post and for the interesting attachment.
You are always so prompt with answers and help!
Thank you very much!

By the way, when I stayed a month in Michigan (Detroit, Ann Arbor, Port Austin) I could not find a single place to have a cup of decent coffee. Is it so bad all over the USA or only there?
Or am I too demanding?

Sincerely,



:)

kpaavola
19-01-04, 15:01
It seems there are coffee "stores"/cafes on every corner in the larger cities. Whether it's "good" coffee or not is another story.

Gourmet and flavored coffees seem to have become very popular in recent years. I know I can't start my day without a cup or two or three...

Cooper
19-01-04, 16:22
Thanks for the lead,

I also like coffee in the morning. Probably, everyone does.
Do you have instant coffee or regular one?

What brands do yoy prefer (let me guess - "Maxwell House", am I right?)

Here in Russia the people prefer the instant coffee. Probably the most popular brands are those of the "Nescafe" line.

If I drink instant - I prefer "Alta Rica" from "Nescafe".

But usually I bring some real good coffee from Finland and make it the old traditional way. Probably, more sugar than usual and some salt and peppers.

:)

kpaavola
19-01-04, 17:04
Salt and peppers??? I've never heard of that. Sugar and cream are the usual additions here, based on taste.

Personally, I don't like instant coffee. I prefer Folgers but my wife likes Starbucks. I don't like flavored coffees either but that seems to becoming a popular trend.

Growing up, I remember at our friends camp, they boiled water and poured it into cups through a small strainer containing coffee grounds. My parents used a percolater, then later used a modern coffee maker. Today there are hundreds of models to choose. Always in search of the "perfect cup". :rolleyes:

Tracy Boeldt
19-01-04, 19:30
I cannot be without my "Bunn" coffee maker--it is the best! It makes your coffee in about 5 seconds, since the water is already hot in the reservoir. I can't do a thing unless I've had my first cup of "joe"! My husband & I prefer "Maxwell House" and I have to have my "Coffee mate--French Vanilla" creamer!
Tracy

June Pelo
19-01-04, 20:06
I remember as a child visiting relatives, that they cooked coffee in a big enamel coffee pot where they put the coffee in first, added the water and then they put egg shell in - don't know if they also used any of the egg. They claimed that way made the best coffee, and it was the way most of our Swedish-speaking relatives made their coffee. Some people added a pinch of salt to the coffee pot but I don't recall why.

A few years ago SAS botched up our flight schedule in Stockholm so they gave us a handful of coupons to use and we used them for all the Swedish coffee we could find and brought it all home.

When I lived in Wash., D.C. my Swedish Lutheran church always held a Luciafest in Dec. which was attended by many people from the city. One of the newspaper reporters wrote about it and he mentioned that he always showed up because the Swedes made the best coffee in town.

June

Karen Norwillo
19-01-04, 20:33
June, I, too, remember my grandmother adding eggshells to the coffee she brewed on her old wood-burning stove. I think I remember my Mom telling me it was supposed to cut the bitterness. I don't remember salt or pepper being added. Karen

kpaavola
19-01-04, 22:40
They say adding salt will also take the bitterness out of the coffee, if sprinkled on the grounds. I've never noticed a difference though.

Margaret Rader
19-01-04, 23:16
People in the Pacific Northwest are wired on coffee much of the time. A lot of people drink espresso drinks. There are espresso stands on corners everywhere, even in hardware store's parking lots. Lots of people are spending quite a bit on coffee, especially cafe lattes on their way to work in the morning. Some of the coffee is very good. Starbucks was born in Seattle.
In my opinion, flavored coffee is not actually coffee, but lots of people like it.
Most people I know buy beans and grind their own coffee before using an electric drip coffee maker (like Braun). The coffee we like, and that you can get in the best coffee shops, is much stronger than the usual restaurant brew.
I've wondered if the coffee craze in Seattle owes anything to the Swede and Finn heritage.

Margaret Holm Rader

June Pelo
20-01-04, 00:53
I've noticed that the coffee served by relatives in Finland tastes like mine - but I have one relative there who likes coffee so dark and strong I think it would curl hair. He said his whole family likes strong black coffee.

Another thing I've noticed is the small coffee cups used in Finland - two of them would equal one of our coffee mugs. When relatives from Finland visit me, they don't want their coffee served in a big mug and they don't want it served with the meal. Over there water or milk was served during the meal, and coffee was served later. When I take them to a restaurant here they turn their cup over so the waiter won't pour coffee in while they are eating.

Last weekend when I visited my cousin from Finland who now lives here, she served bread, cold cuts and cheese for breakfast - the same as they do in Finland. They make an open sandwich, which they eat with a knife and fork. We took some relatives out for lunch and had sandwiches, but they wouldn't pick them up to eat like we do - they ate them with a knife and fork. One elderly cousin from Finland asked if we would take her to eat at MacDonald's and then she proceded to use her knife and fork to eat her hamburger. She wanted to have her picture taken there so she could show her family in Finland that she had eaten a MacDonald's hamburger!

June

Gita Wiklund
20-01-04, 10:13
Interesting June. Here in Sweden it is known that people from Norrland (northern part of S) prefer eating hamburgers etc with knife and fork. Maybe it´s the same in Finland. I believe that most people in Helsinki for instance don´t demand knife and fork for this kind of food. Am I right?

When I was in the US, I met only one american who made decent coffee (black in color). Everywhere else the coffee tasted more like water than anything else. I think that if you can see through to the bottom of the mug it´s not coffe - it´s just colored water.
When I visited a family in England, they were shocked to find out that I add one tablespoon of coffee per cup - while they just add one teaspoon. Most swedes and finns prefer strong coffee.

As for drinking coffee to a meal, it depend on what meal we are talkning about. Coffee is often served together with the breakfast meal, but we never serve coffee to lunch or dinner, only after the meal is eaten. When we eat dinner on a restaurant it´s common to have wine, beer or water with the meal. I was surprised when I was in England at a chinese restaurant and ordered beer to the meal, to hear that they never drink beer to a meal. Is it the same in the US?

kpaavola
20-01-04, 14:21
Hi Gita,
Some of the Chinese restaurants here do serve beer, but not all. They even serve a Chinese brand of beer, Tsing Tao, or something like that. I think they might have to have a beer & wine/liquor license to sell it though, which may be why not all do. I've never seen someone have coffee in a Chinese restaurant, though.

"I think that if you can see through to the bottom of the mug it´s not coffe - it´s just colored water" This is exactly the saying my father used! :)

Hasse
20-01-04, 16:02
Originally posted by kpaavola
"I think that if you can see through to the bottom of the mug it´s not coffe - it´s just colored water" This is exactly the saying my father used! :)

We have a saying about the "colored water" - roughly translated:

"If this is tea I'd like coffee tomorrow, but if this is coffee I'd like tea tomorrow"

syrene
20-01-04, 16:47
We don't like any flavored coffees either, but stock up on coffee from Finland and/or Sweden any chance we get. Don was told he shouldn't have any caffeinated beverages so he went to decaf. however I have to make his coffee with two tablespoons to each cup water or its not strong enough!
When we were in China, with his Baptist family tree bunch, the chinese served beer with both lunch and dinner. Wonderful meals by the way. The tea you paid extra for. Needless to say the little old lady aunt who had arranged for the group trip was outraged. She had been born in China and raised on tea, and never drank spirits.
:)
Syrene

Claire
20-01-04, 18:12
I've read June's information about coffee with great interest. I remember my Swede-Finn grandparents loved coffee. I don't remember ever seeing tea or drinking tea in their house. The coffee was always fresh and hot. My grandfather would sometimes pour it out into his saucer and sip his coffee from the saucer while holding a sugar cube in his mouth. I'm sure my grandmother made coffee at least 3 times a day! No surprise that I am a coffee addict now.

Cooper
20-01-04, 18:31
Speaking about tea today: I heard it from a friend of mine in Finland that there is a very special kind of brew (or, rather, it is a herbal hot drink) called "mate". Probably I am not correct in spelling. Then you will correct me.

This is a drink made of herbs that grow in the South America (Argentina, Paraguay) and it is famous for its ability to heal the headache, fatigue and depression.

I tried several kinds of this drink (in fact, they are mixtures of herbs), some do really have a refreshing effect.

:)

sune
20-01-04, 18:36
The secret in the coffee we drink here in Finland is in the roasting of the beans. You can get the equivalent i Sweden but nowhere else. And personally I can't stand espresso.

As to Cooper's question about instant cooffee: We do not consider instant coffee coffee in Finland. It is a sore excuse for coffee.

Before the days of percolators and coffee machines the coffee was brewed in a pot. You measured the water in cups into the pot and measured two teaspoons of coffee for each cup and two for the pot. Then you waited until the coffee boiled and took it off the stove. Then you had to pour one cup of coffee and put it back again to clear the pipe of the pot from coffee grind.

Then you put peaces of eggshells into the coffe to help i clear. You had to wait a few minutes for the coffee grind to settle and then you could drink it.

In the Larsmo archipelago north of Jakobstad it was common for the locals to use sea water for cofee, it contains very little salt (abt. 0,4 percent I think). However they got used to the salty flavor, so they uset to add a little salt when they had coffe made from normal drinking water. I have heard that they put salt in the coffee in Lapland too. If you're not used to it it tastes like I-do-not-care-to-say-what.

By the way you can't get a decent cup of tea in a cafe in Finland. All you get is a cup of hot water and a tea bag. I believe the Russians are far ahead of us as tea is concerned.

Sune

Cooper
20-01-04, 18:49
Dear Sune,

Thanks for the lead.
You are certainly right about the hot water and the tea-bag in a cafe. It is not only in finland that you get this in a small cafe.

To make real tea is a long (sorry, rather a long) story, with pre-heating the pot, putting a certain amount of tea in it, adding some hot water, etc. I do not speak about technicalities like what the temperature of the water should be or how long you have to wait till you pour the pot full, or how much tea is to be put for a cup.

This can be made either at home or at a very good cafe or even restaurant.

I do not dare say that the Russians are far ahead in this direction as there are Russians and Russians, as there are Finns and Finns.
Do you agree?

sune
20-01-04, 19:00
I certainly agree. There are all kinds of people in every nation. Every place has got it's fair share.

But there are cultural differences. In Russia you have generally a better sense of tea than we have in Finland. After all, you invented the samovar.

An even if we have a certain "cofee culture" in Finland you can none the less get a brew that is not fit for drinking. It is widely suspected that some of the cofee you get att road stops comes directly by a pipe line from an oil refinery.

Sune

Cooper
20-01-04, 19:08
Dear Sune,

I can not argue your point about the "tea-culture" as when I am in Finland I always prefer to drink coffee. (Just like in Turkey).

But I notice that many new ideas about tea or tea-kind drinks i received from my friends in Finland.

Am I right that the name Borge stans for Porvoo, too?

:)

vernlindquist
20-01-04, 20:14
As a kid growing up in a neighborhood of Swedish-Finns who were my grandparents' friends, I was taught how to drink coffee by one of the older couples, Victor and Ida Frost. They had a small cup on the shelf in their dining room just for me. Gramma Frost would spoon the cream off the glass bottle of milk and then fill my cup about half full of cream. Then Grampa Frost taught me to hold the sugar cube between my teeth and draw the coffee through it. It was always a special treat to have coffee and some of her braided cardamon coffee bread. What a special memory.

June Pelo
20-01-04, 22:32
As a child I remember watching my elders drinking coffee. Sugar was either in cubes or oblong - if it was oblong, there was a little clipper type of tool they used to cut the oblong sugar into a smaller piece. They poured some coffee into the saucer (saucers were deeper than what we have now) and then they sipped the coffee through the sugar cube. I used to think that was the greatest thing to do and hoped I could do that when I grew up.

I have my Aunt Ruth's little copper coffee pot in which she cooked her coffee when she lived in Finland. I'll attached a picture showing the same type of pot, along with the box of sugar cubes, cup and saucer. I also have cups and saucers just like those in the picture. Notice the napkin which was usually tucked into the handle of the cup. My relatives still serve coffee this way.

June

Cooper
21-01-04, 18:40
Dear June,

Thanks for the picture! It is great that many of the traditions survive.
When I was in Helsinki last summer I bought the same antique copper pot.
But we make coffee in much smaller "turkish pots".
You also have them, probably.
I will have to find a picture and send you, too.

:)

Gwenda
22-01-04, 00:16
Having just read all 24 messages about tea and coffee, eggshells and salt and pepper I`ve been racking my brain trying to think of something intelligent to add. Sorry, but I am all out of intelligence at 11.07 pm. I prefer tea though myself (Australian/British tradition and all that). Have disliked coffee ever since I gave up smoking 18 years ago and my taste buds returned! However, just lately have started to enjoy it again (coffee I mean, not the smoking!). Right now though, I am desperate for a hot chocolate because coffee will keep me awake.

June Pelo
22-01-04, 00:47
I was reminded of something my father told me about growing up in Finland in the early 1900s. He lived on a farm and they got their sugar from a peddlar who drove a horse and wagon around the farms, selling coffee, sugar, trinkets and cloth. He said the sugar came in the form of a large cone and they scraped the sugar off as they needed it. When I visited Topelius' home in Nykarleby, they had a sugar cone on display so I was able to get an idea what it looked like.

Someone just asked me about using egg in the coffee so I checked my Swedish cookbook and it said the Scandinavians preferred using the steeped method for cooking coffee. They put the coffee grounds and cold water into a pot, adding 1 teaspoon of slightly beaten egg for each 2 tablespoons of coffee used. Bring very slowly to boiling, stirring now and then. Remove from heat and pour 1/4 c. cold water down the spout to settle the grounds. Strain coffee into a server. I remember seeing relatives adding the egg along with egg shell into a big blue enamel coffee pot and then pouring water down the spout when the coffee was cooked. I wonder if anyone makes coffee this way now? I had several cousins who were considered gourmet cooks and they swore that was the only way to make good coffee - even on picnics they made it that way. My relatives in Finland use Mr. Coffee to make their coffee. No one used a coffee pot on the stove. I have my old percolator but haven't used it for years.

June

sune
22-01-04, 09:11
Originally posted by Cooper
Am I right that the name Borge stans for Porvoo, too?

Yes, Cooper, Borgå is the Swedish and original name for Porvoo. I means "the river by the castle", because there was an old castle or fort here before the town was built.

Sune

Hasse
22-01-04, 09:21
It is interesting to read about different ways to make coffee, with or without eggshells, in the traditional coffee pot, traditions etc., etc.

I would argue that most of us people in Finland today are making our coffee more or less the same way. The method could be described as "press the idiot button" and let the machine do it. All our friends use and have used these coffee brewers for years and I seldom see anyone cooking their coffee in the pot. In shops even the pile of different coffee grinded types indicate that "for filter" -type coffees sell more than "for pot".

I believe this has to do with the lack of time we all experience nowadays. In the morning coffee is a must in most homes - and we perhaps use one single minute to make the coffee, ie. measure the coffee, pour fresh water and press the button. The rest of the morning to-do's follow a tight - minute-by-minute schedule. Making the morning coffee has to be a quick procedure in todays homes.

My mother often says that the pot coffee is better, but for some reason she always makes the coffee the "filter" -way. Maybe filter coffee isn't that much worse after all?

In our family we also have a capuccino/espresso machine - of the type measure the coffee, pour the water ....eh.... sounds familiar - yes - and press the button. But it takes too much time...so it is seldom used.

The kids seem to enjoy the "flavoured coffees" you can buy in the new coffee shops. Even our youngest who doesn't drink coffee at home tend to sit over a latté in these coffee shops with her firends.

Traveling has taught us that there are more nice coffee types to enjoy that "our" traditional Paulig -roasted Finnish style coffee filter-or-pot. French "mélange" mixed milk/dark roasted coffee tastes good in Paris, far better than their "café noir" which imho is a real eye-opener in the mornings. Subsequently I myself often enjoy a large cup of "café au lait", milk coffee when in a coffee shop in Helsingfors.

The instant coffee jars are found in many homes, but they are used as the last resort if you run out of real coffee. Usually the "better before" stamp on these jars are dated in the last milennium - maybe this is why coffee sometimes tastes oli refinery as Sune wrote...

Cooper
22-01-04, 16:15
Originally posted by Gwenda
Having just read all 24 messages about tea and coffee, eggshells and salt and pepper I`ve been racking my brain trying to think of something intelligent to add. Sorry, but I am all out of intelligence at 11.07 pm. I prefer tea though myself (Australian/British tradition and all that). Have disliked coffee ever since I gave up smoking 18 years ago and my taste buds returned! However, just lately have started to enjoy it again (coffee I mean, not the smoking!). Right now though, I am desperate for a hot chocolate because coffee will keep me awake.

Chocolate is probably somewhat different, though of course, tasty and not too often offered. Am I right?

:)

Cooper
22-01-04, 16:18
Originally posted by sune
Yes, Cooper, Borgå is the Swedish and original name for Porvoo. I means "the river by the castle", because there was an old castle or fort here before the town was built.

Sune

I try to come to Porvoo every time I come to Finalnd. A beautiful city, obviously favoured by tourists. I adore its antique shops!

:)

Cooper
22-01-04, 16:20
...They put the coffee grounds and cold water into a pot, adding 1 teaspoon of slightly beaten egg for each 2 tablespoons of coffee used. Bring very slowly to boiling, stirring now and then. Remove from heat and pour 1/4 c. cold water down the spout to settle the grounds. Strain coffee into a server...
Thanks for the new coffee recipe, June!

:)

Cooper
22-01-04, 16:27
I promised to attach a picture of a "turkish pot".
Probably it is what Hasse called a jar.

The only one picture I could find is the following.

:)

Gwenda
22-01-04, 23:55
Never offered, when visiting, as far as I am aware, but I usually only drink it at night at home - low calorie variety of course! The normal calorie version is a tasty, filling and warming alternative to tea and coffee, served in some cafes and sandwich bars, but I am not often tempted.

Gwenda

Cooper
23-01-04, 16:16
Dear Gwenda,

Of course, there are lots of tasty things to try besides coffee and tea. Chocolate is one of them, cocoa is also very popular with us.
Though I have to admit that the mixes like "Nesquick", "Cocoa-mix" and the like prevail now.

As I have already mentioned, my Finnish friends introduced to me the new drink called "mate". It is called "Herbal Mate", "Yerbal Mate" or "Mate Tea".

I like it and it really seems to be invigorative though somewhat unusual in taste. Have you heard of it?

:)

Gwenda
23-01-04, 16:54
No, haven`t heard of your Herbal and Yerbal mates. We do have something called "Coffee Mate" here which is a powdered milk for coffee. We have Nesquik and Ovaltine though. I bet this one is a new one for you though - Milo! That`s an Australian drink, like Ovaltine. Australians seem to like it, but it is an acquired taste. I am not overly keen on it myself.

Gita Wiklund
23-01-04, 17:37
Hi Cooper,

I drink yerba mate. I was introudeced to it by a finnish friend, that lives here in Sweden. She convinced me to drink it instead of coffee. It´s better than coffee in many ways, one gets relaxed still it seems to bring new energy. My stomach likes it better too.
One of my sisters bought me Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) a tea from Africa made from leafs of the red bush Rooibos in South Africa. It´s comparable in taste and effect.

Gita

June Pelo
23-01-04, 21:38
This town is the hub of Swedish-Finnish life. Its links with pre-Independence Finnish nationalism are strong. Swedish King Magnus Eriksson gave it a Royal Charter in 1346. The Diet of Porvoo (1809) convened there to transfer Finland from Swedish to Russian hands. The student, Eugen Schauman, who assassinated the hated Russian Governor General Bobrikov in 1904, is buried in the town's graveyard. The town was the birthplace of the Swedish-Finn painter Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905), one of the earliest and most successful of Finland's painters. Finland's national poet, the Swedish-speaking and writing Johan Ludwig Runeberg (1804-1877) taught there for 20 years. The opening words of his Swedish-language Fänrik Ståls Sägner (Tales of Ensign Stål) became Finland's national anthem Vårt Land (Maamme in Finnish).

June

Cooper
24-01-04, 07:41
Originally posted by Gwenda
No, haven`t heard of your Herbal and Yerbal mates. We do have something called "Coffee Mate" here which is a powdered milk for coffee. We have Nesquik and Ovaltine though. I bet this one is a new one for you though - Milo! That`s an Australian drink, like Ovaltine. Australians seem to like it, but it is an acquired taste. I am not overly keen on it myself.

Probably, you should try the Mate variants.
When you read Gita's entry you will see that I am not the only one who heard about Mate and tried it.

And, certainly, I have never heard about Milo. From what you say I would not consider it too attractive for trying.

:)

Cooper
24-01-04, 07:46
Originally posted by Gita Wiklund
Hi Cooper,

I drink yerba mate. I was introudeced to it by a finnish friend, that lives here in Sweden. She convinced me to drink it instead of coffee. It´s better than coffee in many ways, one gets relaxed still it seems to bring new energy. My stomach likes it better too.
One of my sisters bought me Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) a tea from Africa made from leafs of the red bush Rooibos in South Africa. It´s comparable in taste and effect.

Gita

Dear Gita,

I also drink Rooibus from time to time. And I also like it.

Probably I am not right to call them all "herbal drinks". For example, I like "Carcade", the "Red Tea" from Egypt. I am also not sure whether it is a hearbal or a leaf one. Sorry, certainly it is made of petals of some kind of rose. It is also said to be very good for health.

:)

Cooper
24-01-04, 07:53
Originally posted by June Pelo
This town is the hub of Swedish-Finnish life. Its links with pre-Independence Finnish nationalism are strong. Swedish King Magnus Eriksson gave it a Royal Charter in 1346. The Diet of Porvoo (1809) convened there to transfer Finland from Swedish to Russian hands. The student, Eugen Schauman, who assassinated the hated Russian Governor General Bobrikov in 1904, is buried in the town's graveyard. The town was the birthplace of the Swedish-Finn painter Albert Edelfelt (1854-1905), one of the earliest and most successful of Finland's painters. Finland's national poet, the Swedish-speaking and writing Johan Ludwig Runeberg (1804-1877) taught there for 20 years. The opening words of his Swedish-language Fänrik Ståls Sägner (Tales of Ensign Stål) became Finland's national anthem Vårt Land (Maamme in Finnish).

June

Dear June,

You do seem to know everything about Finnish and Swedish culture (and what not?)!

Thank you for the information. I offered a new thread lately. Why not talk about Porvoo? It is really worth talking about, is it not?

Gita Wiklund
24-01-04, 12:33
I found an internetsite that offers facts about Yerba Mate. Follow this link:

http://www.noborders.net/mate/

Gita

sune
24-01-04, 12:50
Originally posted by June Pelo
The student, Eugen Schauman, who assassinated the hated Russian Governor General Bobrikov in 1904, is buried in the town's graveyard.

Every Indenpendence day (December 6th) people still light candles on Eugen Schauman's tomb

By modern standards the assassination was a terrorist deed. there was another conspiracy to kill Bobrikov, but Schauman beat them to it. He acted alone.
At that time there was an underground movement that strove ultimately to set Finland free. Forum member K-G Olin has written a good book on the subject "Graftonaffären (http://www.multi.fi/~olimex/html/grafton.html)".

Sune

Cooper
24-01-04, 15:25
Originally posted by Gita Wiklund
I found an internetsite that offers facts about Yerba Mate. Follow this link:

http://www.noborders.net/mate/

Gita

Thanks for the interesting link, Gita!

I believe it will be intersting for all the members.
Mate seems to be really helpful in many ways1

:)

Cooper
24-01-04, 15:27
Originally posted by sune
Every Indenpendence day (December 6th) people still light candles on Eugen Schauman's tomb...

Thanks, Sune,

It is all very interesting!

:)