By the 18th century, coffee had become an everyday drink for the masses. The prestigious beverage that was once only reserved for holidays was being consumed daily. As coffee spread through rural Finland, people began consuming it thrice per day. In the early 19th century, coffee was an expensive imported beverage consumed by the aristocracy, but it has been incorporated into all social classes.
In 1919, Finland enacted alcohol prohibition, as one of the first acts after independence from the Russian Empire. Four previous attempts to institute prohibition in the early 20th century had failed due to opposition from the tsar. Now alcohol was banned, coffee became the best substitute and coffee culture become a mainstay of Finnish society.
According to the International Coffee Association, each Finn consumes 12 kilograms, or 608 litres of coffee per year, that means almost one of every 100 coffee beans in the world is imported to Finland. Coffee is typically consumed all day long and coffee breaks are required by most workers unions, the average price of a home-brewed cup of coffee being less then 6 cents. The same formula was used in Italy and Britain, the cost is over 10 cents for each cup.
Finnish coffee is often made from light-roasted beans and tastes a bit acidic. Yet tastes have expanded, and nowadays Finnish producers and the country’s booming café culture cater to all preferences, offering a spectrum from light to dark. The companies who lead the Finnish coffee market due to its long history, are also the most well-known and trusted coffee brands: Juhla Mokka, Kulta Katriina and Paulig.
Finns are heavy coffee drinkers. The number of people who did not drink coffee is very small and the average daily consumption is much higher than in any other country. The most popular type of coffee consumed in Finland today is filtered coffee. The usual size of a coffee cup is about 150 ml and it is customary to make coffee relatively strong. Finnish men drink more coffee than women in all age groups between 25 and 64 years. Coffee is so much a part of Finnish culture that if a coffee prohibition were
enacted today the economy might never recover from it.