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Coffee imports rise to slake Finland's thirst for black brew

Coffee imports into Finland rose 13 percent last year to satisfy unwavering demand for the brew, according to new data released Friday.

Latte macchiatoja pöydällä.
Finland won't be giving up its coffee habit anytime soon, if new consumption data are anything to go by. Image: AOP

Finland imported 11 million kilograms of roasted coffee in 2018, mainly via the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany, according to the Finnish Food and Drink Industries Federation (ETL).

Imports of raw coffee from countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Honduras dropped by nine percent, but remained at a solid 61 million kilograms.

The food industry lobby group said that Finnish residents showed no sign of losing their appetite for coffee, downing the equivalent of nearly 10 kilograms per person in 2018. That figure that remained virtually steady compared to 2017, when people drank the equivalent of 9.6 kilograms a head.

"It's great to see how ample coffee consumption has become a defining characteristic of Finnishness in the eyes of foreigners. Coffee does play an important role in people's social interactions, after all. A cup of coffee during a break with a colleague is also an important part of keeping up with a hectic working life," said ETL coffee and brewery spokesperson Marleena Tanhuanpää.

Light roast still preferred

At the same time that imports of roasted coffee increased in Finland, exports of locally-roasted coffee – mainly to the Baltic states – fell by 15 percent compared to 2017, down to 7.6 million kilograms.

ETL noted that while dark-roasted coffee accounted for nearly a quarter of the beverage consumed in Finland, the national favourite continues to be the light-roasted, so-called blonde variety. More people are also opting for certified fair trade brews when they settle down for a cuppa, the organisation added.

"Filter coffee is by far the overwhelming favourite in Finland. Different coffee-making methods as well as new kinds of drinks and cold brews have enriched our coffee culture and introduced variety,” Tanhuanpää added.

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