We lost a solid amount of time today (that we did not have to lose) catching up on one of our favorite blogs, Scandinavia’s essential-but-infrequently-updated Nordic Coffee Culture. Of particular clock-stealing interest was this feature on Icelandic coffee history, from our friend Tumi Ferrer:
Some examples of superstitions related to coffee are quite interesting. In early 20th century, if you drank your coffee with milk or cream and sugar, you had to put the sugar before the cream; if you had done it the other way around you wouldn’t get married for at least seven years! Drinking the coffee piping hot made you ugly, whereas when enjoyed at a colder temperature it made you pretty. Sediment left in the cup after drinking was a good omen.
Accidentally serving guests coffee in an unmatched cup and saucer (called þrælapar in Icelandic or “slave couple”) means the guest will have an affair or remarry; if you refill the cup before you’ve finished from it the first time you’ll get a bad mother-in-law.
Some habits still make sense. It was considered rude – and still is in my opinion – to fill the cup to the rim. It was also common to see coffee drinkers pour a little bit of black coffee from the cup on to the saucer to let it cool faster.
What’s the deal with Scandinavians and the whole “sex penalty” drinking traditions thing? Then we clicked on the closing link, which took us to this charming little coffee tour of Reykjavik.