Kaffekos—The Foundation of Norwegian Society
If there is one thing Norwegians can agree on, it’s coffee.
There are certain concepts society programs into our essence, often unexpectedly so. For me, it was the importance of coffee, even though I didn’t grow up in a coffee-drinking household—an abnormality in Norway.
To illustrate: Seven out of ten Norwegians drink coffee daily—nine out of ten weekly—averaging four cups a day.
You may have heard of the Swedish coffee social “fika” and the Danish concept of “hygge.” Not to be outdone, Norway merged the two into “kaffekos”—“coffee cozy”—and it’s the foundation of Norwegian society. Tradition dictates that you at least offer to put the coffee on if someone stops by—not to own a coffee maker is unheard of.
This social grace was somewhat of a conundrum in our house, as no one knew how to operate the drip maker properly. I can only assume the powdered Nescafé had expired many moons ago. Yet, neither mattered. If the coffee was offered, the social contract was fulfilled. Norwegians are sticklers for rules and nowhere was it stated that the coffee had to taste good.
I joined the coffee game at a relatively old age—in my late twenties—but have since caught up. And I, like three out of four Norwegians, find drip coffee to be an underrated pleasure. It might not be as complex as a pour-over or as simple as a Keurig, but instead, it has the quiet, understated elegance of an elder statesperson.
With that, here are some general steps on how to up your drip game to Norwegian proportions:
A food scale.
Preferably a coffee grinder—Virtuoso+ is our pick. You can always go with store-ground beans, too.
A coffee maker: We’re partial to Bonavita’s eight-cup model. (Note that it often goes on sale.)
For this example, we’ll go with eight cups:
Grind 65 grams of beans on the 18-setting. A fine grind, though not as extreme as powder coffee.
Pour water into the maker until it hits the 8-cup line. Right around 1,300 milliliters.
If you use a paper filter, you’ll want to give it a quick rinse.
Add the grounds to the filter and click the start button. Between 198°-205° F is the industry standard.
A thick, sturdy diner cup is the preferred serving vessel. It keeps the coffee warm and feels good in the hand.
“Små endringer i nordmenns kaffevaner.” Joh. Johannson Kaffe AS. johjohannsonkaffe.no/sma-endringer-i-nordmenns-kaffevaner/