Maybe it’s because I’m also addicted to it,
but Coffee, it’s in the book so often!!
I know It’s something typical Swedish/Scandinavien to drink a lot. But that often as well?
Maybe Swedish people can give an useful/interesting/personal answer on this!
Posted by Linda in Holland , 4 October 2009
44 comments on “Coffee”
It seems that every scene in the third book begins with someone getting coffee, even more so than the previous installments. A few times it seemed slightly annoying, but it became sort of a joke in my mind. Perhaps a count of all the times each character had a coffee in the series should be made. And is it just me, or did Kalle Blomkvist suddenly stop getting caffee lattes somewhere along the line?
Posted by LoLukoke
as Blomkivist seemed to be stiegg you seem to be referring to coffees as short relationships with people as if he did not have long journeys. He had a long one with Eva and I don't know much about the real steigg. I look forward to reading the book Eva wrote about the two of them. You seem to imply he had other women but maybe I am misinterpreting coffee with people.
Just be thankful Larsson doesn’t mention which brand of coffee every time, the way he does for computers, hi-fi, and home furnishings.
Probably Starbucks just didn’t wire him enough cash (and doesn’t fit with the whole counter-culture intellectualist theme of the book).
Posted by Chris in Copenhagen
yes, I was also suprise by the importance the caffe latte was in this story. During one year I was in Sweden I don’t remimber the people drinking to much the coff!!!
Posted by Martha in Pittsburgh
I guess it was to illustrate that a lot of the people who had to get a cup of coffee were working a lot and needed to keep themselves going. I’m thinking of Blomkvist himself and the police.
I have nearly finished the second book and suddenly realised that this coffee thing is either an ongoing joke or a medically dangerous obsession on the author’s part. Coffee seems to be mentioned about every three pages. Chris is also right about computers – Larsson sees the choice of computer as saying a lot about a character in the way older authors do with cars or watches. Several times he says the computer is noticed to be second-hand – how can you tell how many owners a computer has had?
Posted by Charles in London
It says he smokes a lot as well and probably drinks coffee whilst he is writing to kill boredom and being alone whilst writing? writing is a lonely occupation.
I am from Sweden… I drink 4-5 coups of coffee a day – it’s very normal
Posted by Ankan in Stockholm
P.S. Remember Larsson wrote much of the books at *night* after he came home from a grueling work day on the magazine Expo. So for sure it must have been slightly on his mind to write *something* about coffee, when working at this hour!
Posted by Chris from sallysfriends.net in Copenhagen
I was fond of how much coffee the characters drank. It was so mental, I caught myself drinking along with them to stay up and read.
Posted by Scissorsiren in Houston
Actullay its the parts where they go grocery shopping that attracted my attention!!!
Every time it goes like: and he got milk and cheese and wot not, i find myself wanting milk and cheese as well!!!
Posted by Salander fanatic in Salander Ville
The same here! I got addicted to coffee while reading the books! I even bought myself a cafetiere! And I don’t even like coffee!!!!
Posted by Eva Scott-Hacker in Fleetwood – UK
What about sandwiches? It seems that Blomkist lives on coffee and sandwiches! Does he ever eat a decent meal?
Posted by Bigtime Larsson fan in Nicosia
Hi, I am venezuelan, live in germany and my girlfriend is swedish… Trust me, the coffee culture is true.
Posted by Luis in Köln
I have tried Salander’s toast with marmalade & cheese (I used Jarlsberg cheese)(which I found in Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest) & washed down with black coffee. Yum yum…
Posted by Vanessa Wasp in Sydney
Our Scandinavian Lit Group has just left our apartment after discussing Dragon Tattoo. We are all senior citizens. We made two pots of coffee: decaf and high-test. Guess which pot was empty. Scandinavians drink coffee.
Posted by Moo in Maryland USA
THank god for the internet. I thought I was the only one who was fascinated with the extreme coffee documentation in Larsson’s novels. Highly suggestible, I’ve been downing coffee and sandwiches throughout both books and want to know if the motif was intentional or as my wife insists, it’s just a Swedish thing.
Posted by Steve in Washington, DC
I just want to say that I already saw the coffee obsession in the first book. I am a coffee lover/drinker just as many brazilian are, but I actually thought of the time he dedicated to write about the “coffee break” a little unusual, as the characters all seemed too found of the beverage, and would drink/stop for/ make it almost as if an automatic brain circuit was activated. Maybe in Sweden people drink a lot of coffee, but I am sure it is like many other places. What was odd was the recurring citation of the black drink… I actually thought of it as comic relief everytime it came back. Too bad there won’t be other authors like him to put coffee in such a pedestal.
Posted by Giuliano Sandri in São Paulo – Brazil
I also noticed the ubiquitous coffee and sandwiches, about halfway through the first one…a sandwich lover myself, thinking of trying one of Blomkvist’s more arcane concoctions…liver sausage anyone? Currently doing a sandwich/coffee count while reading the second novel. ha ha
Posted by Michael Hayes in Toronto, Canada
………”Blomkvist poured two strong coffee’s from the desktop thermos desktop”……..
I’m having nightmares about a world drowning in caffe latte!
Posted by Mervio in Mansfield, UK
has anyone counted the number of times coffee is mentioned?
Posted by gr8 in Santa Barbara
He always has sandwiches (plural). I rarely eat more than one at a time. Do Swedes eat tiny little sandwiches, or does he have a big appetite? And what about all those Billy’s Pan Pizzas?
Posted by JC in RI, USA
wow, only on the internet can there be awsome discussions about larssons obssesion with coffee and sanwiches (plural, ahh too much sandwich!!!) on i side note after reading around half of the second book i have discoverd billys pan pizza to be not a bad substitute for (dare i say it) real food
Posted by benwasheare
I was furious when Blomkvist woke up in the middle of the night and decided to make himself a cup of coffee. What was he thinking!
Posted by J Spears in London
I’m from Botswana in Africa. I’ve read all 3 books and immediately noticed that coffee is mentioned an unusual amount of times. I wished that i could download an electronic version of the books and do a word-count.It seems people survive on sandwiches, coffee and billy’s pan pizza. The characters also sleep for ages, despite all the caffeine and unhealthy food they have!
Posted by KR in Gaborone, Botswana ,
I am swedish and I’ve read all the books three times. I haven’t thought of the amount of coffee consumed in the books until I found this fascinating discussion.
I actually think the average swedish coffee consumation is very well described. I can assure you that we do drink lots of coffee. Many people in sweden start the day with one or several cups of coffee at home or at work (or both).
Everybody in every workplace (well should be, I suppose there are exceptions) is entitled to coffeebrakes twice a day.
Going to a meeting it is common to bring a cup of coffee or to have someone bring a thermos and cups. Some prefer tea, but they are outnumbered by far…
If you have lunch in a lunch restaurant a cup of coffee after the meal is included almost everywhere.
If you in a coffee place buy a cup of brewed coffee almost always is a refill included in the price. We even have a word for that second cup: “påtår”. One cup just isn’t enough…
I think people from America would find our brewed coffee strong but compared to an italian espresso it is weak.
So if you ever go to Sweden and visit a swede at home or at work be prepared to be offered a cup of coffee:)
Posted by MA in Umeå, Sweden
“Coffee and Sandwiches”. Any parody of the Millennium would have to be awash with them! It could just be down to the editing or it could have been a private joke. I certainly began to find it very amusing.
Posted by Christian in Hacker Republic
Lol, funny thread about the suspicious intake of coffee from the citizens of the world. actually: ” The Nordic countries consume the most coffee per capita, with Finland typically occupying the top spot with a per-capita consumption in excess of 10 kg per year, closely followed by Norway, Sweden and Denmark. ” when Stieg writes about “having a cup of coffee” it’s a code word and something every swede recognizes as ” let’s have a break, a cup of coffee, enjoy it and then move forward” like kyle in twin peaks :). coffee culture is the thing up here, as it’s functioning as both a pick-me-up, comfort for the soul and an excuse for the “fika” which is a word for “having a break, a nice gathering of people and have something nice to eat and drink” which almost always include coffee. also we have a cold climate and drink a lot of hot drinks. I think we regard the small cup as comfort food, and the coffee break as a safe haven in a lutherian society ( with not many siestas). anyway we like it almost as much as milk ( grownups here drink a lot of milk, not just kids). were weird like that
Posted by Coffee in Sthlm
it’s like the rooibos tea in the “ladies detective bureau”..
Posted by Coffee in Sthlm
“rolls royce of coffee machines” I never even knew such a thing existed or that you could have one installed for an extortionate price!!
Posted by Edan in Sherborne
o and isn’t the food specific thing so the reader can become associated with these very pedantic people. food is such a personal preference and influenced by a lifestyle whether we’re on the go or health freaks i think the food specifics are to relate you to the charactar and learn more about them
Posted by Edan in Sherborne
I think Swedes lead the world in coffee consumption. But a $30,000 coffee machine? Really?
Posted by Kat in Decatur AL
As a Norwegian-American and coffeeholic, I noticed with amusement that almost every time two or more people got together to talk about anything, coffee was present. When Mikael first meets Lisbeth in Tattoo to confront her on her intrusion (and also to ask for her help) he first asks her if she has any coffee and his tone is unmistakable. It showed her lack of social manners that he had been in her home for more than ten seconds and she had not offered it.
Go to http://tinyurl.com/9ort87
Coffee consumption by country: Sweden is fourth. Norway is first!
Posted by Nansi in USA
I am pleased to find this site and particularly this thread on coffee. I found the presence of coffee interesting. I figured it to be a Swedish thing, and, of course, had to find out the per capita consumption, which is right up there! I love coffee, so much so, that I will come home from work late, make coffee, (high test, black, no sugar) have a piece chocolate with it, and then go right to sleep. Amazes people. Relaxes me. The one thing about these books, it has made me read about the culture of Sweden, and I appreciate that as much as the story and its message(s).
Posted by celtica98 in Rhode Island, USA
I, too, noticed the amount of coffee consumption among the characters. Every time I read that someone woke up in the middle of the night and had a cup of coffee, I would go back to read the time they woke up, thinking it would say 5 am… 6 am…, but it was always 2 am… 3 am, or somewhere in the very early morning. And then they went right back to sleep. I think it’s funny. I’m a coffee lover myself so I get it, but I have never woke up in the middle of the night, had a cup of coffee, then went back to bed. It must be a Swede thing. And it’s always coffee and sandwiches. I shouldn’t knock it til I’ve tried it, but still… it seems a little odd to me. The only sandwich I have ever had while drinking coffee is a breakfast sandwich… eggs, cheese, etc. Whoever would have thought that the talk of coffee and sandwiches could be so interesting! Haha
Posted by Cortney in Bear, DE
True, Swedes really love their coffee! But one thing I really miss when I go to Sweden is Starbucks, I don’t think there’s one in the whole country! I like to drink my coffee on the go, the North American way, and it’s not possible over there. Hopefully they’ll open a few Starbucks there soon, although it’s a slim chance, since Swedes are very particular about their coffee. Oh, and my husband, (North American, Italian descent) sometimes gets up in the middle of the night to make himself a coffee.
I noticed all of the coffee drinking in the first book and told my husband about it, and as I was reading, I would say to him, “they are drinking coffee again!”. Of course, I drank coffee and ate cheese sandwiches a lot while reading the books! We even went to IKEA and bought some Swedish coffee.
Posted by Kirsten in Potland, OR, USA
Can anybody tell the barnt of the Salander’s coffe machine, please ?
Posted by Gina in Paris
The coffee machine in the second book is a Jura Impressa X7. I have heard of the Jura Brand but don’t know if this is a real model.
Posted by Annie B in Melbourne
Another reason to love this series! Book, coffee, a coffee machine and some Ikea: Perfection
Posted by AliceXJane in Manila
But! I can think of at least one time when the Blomkvist character is supposedly self-aware, and it made me laugh at the author’s implication. I seem to remember a passage in the first book in which Blomkvist goes to the farmhouse outside the small town, looking for shop hinted at via sticker in the Harriet Vanger pictures. At this stage, I too had thought, “wow, this Larsson spends a lot of time writing about getting coffee.” But then – forgive me if I’m off on some details – there’s a sentence in which Blomkvist notices and is amused/shocked by how much coffee he’d been offered and drank. It was a welcome moment to me, as it suggested Larsson knew what he was writing and the value of the words. It also made me want to get coffee, and make a sandwich. Of course, I read the rest of the books, too. Very happy to have done so!
Posted by Pete in Iowa, USA
To MA in Sweden, really? ? You read each book three times? You need to get out more often and find yourself a real mystery thriller.
Posted by kp in Columbus
A Jura in the book but I glimpsed a Gaggia in the film !!!
Posted by Rongie in Brantome, France
We Swedes indeed drink a lot of coffee. And it is high quality strong Arabica in big cups. Not the small Italian espresso etc. Working abroad I am surprised how bad coffee quality is served in most countries. An average is 3-4 cups per day per citizen, but since that statistics includes children, elderly, sick, tea drinkers and so on, the real number is probably the double for the average population. It can be like this: Morning: One strong cup to wake up as soon as you rise for your working day. Arrival to work: Another strong cup to start up the working day Fika: Which is Swedish for coffee brake and a third cup Lunch: A normal lunch always includes a cup of coffee Fika: Afternoon coffee brake Dinner: Is not complete without a cup of coffee. Evening coffee not to forget...