Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why Norwegians love coffee --- Many consider Italy to be the home of the espresso, but Norwegians are taking aim at teaching the world how to brew the best coffees in the world - putting them in the globe's top three coffee consuming nations. -- If you have ever visited a Norwegian home, chances are the first thing you have been offered is a coffee. -- "That's what we do, that's the Norwegian way of saying "welcome," says Brage Ronningen, a senior communication advisor at a company servicing Norway's oil industry. -- "I always start the day with a cup of coffee. I cannot leave home without having at least one cup, preferably a strong one. At work there are coffee machines everywhere, no more than 20 meters to the nearest one. And of course it's for free," he tells DW, while topping up our own cups. -- International statistics consistently put Norway among the world's top three coffee consuming nations. Every year, Norwegians get through nearly 10 kilos of coffee beans each. The world average is 1.3 kilos per person. --- Coffee, not alcohol -- Coffee, usually taken black and made in a stove-top kettle or percolated, has been the national drink for as long as any living Norwegian can remember. No-one seems sure exactly why this came about, but one theory with more than a hint of truth is that coffee became a substitute for alcohol during Norway's prohibition years between 1916 and 1927. -- "We had an alcohol problem," explains Alf Kramer, the founder and first President of The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe. -- "So it was decided on a governmental level to ban moonshining. And the government had to come up with an alternative, so they chose coffee. The most persuasive kind of people in Norway at that time were in the church. So the preachers said simply: 'stop drinking alcohol, start drinking coffee. Coffee; you go up, alcohol; you go down.' So it became our national beverage, and it still is," says Kramer. ---- "I think you can divide Norwegian coffee drinkers into two groups," explains Marius Graff, one of the baristas competing at the Oslo championships - "The necessity drinkers who drink coffee to get to work and get up in the morning, and the craft drinkers - the drinkers who drink coffee to enjoy the coffee." -- The last group seems to be growing, but the traditionalists who instinctively reach for their percolator or stove-top kettle when the doorbell rings are still in the majority. - More, http://www.dw.de/why-norwegians-love-coffee/a-17826779


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