Between Brexit and the growing discontent in other member states, it’s safe to say the European Union has seen better days. But perhaps one of the better examples of European unity in Brussels is not at the EU, but at a small Scandinavian-inspired coffee shop, called Fika.
Fika, famously, is the word for the coffee and cake break that is a daily tradition in Sweden and other Nordic countries. But one need not be in Scandinavia to appreciate a daily coffee ritual, or, as it turns out, minimalist café design. The interior at Fika is simple but elegant, with all of the natural light that Instagramers long for.
The coffee at Fika when I visited was roasted by Copenhagen-based April Coffee. In my biased American opinion, sometimes there’s a thin line between Scandnavian-light and underdeveloped, but I found my cup of autodrip, a Tanzania brewed on a Marco Bru, to be sweet and fruity. Soft berry notes made for a fruit-forward cup that still paired well with my chocolate and chia seed pastry. My espresso was dense and rich, with a moderate acidy and nice sweetness.
Certainly, Belgium has a long coffee history of its own, but this small consulate of Scandinavian coffee culture is not to be missed when in the Belgian capital. And yes, you do need a piece of cake to go with that.
Fika is located at Rue de la Paix 17, 1050 Ixelles, Belgium