Lest you think that my ability to bend Swedes to my will only works at home, witness this recent development at my office:
We have a small cafeteria that has a fresh pot of strong Swedish coffee brewing pretty much constantly from 7:30 a.m to 3 p.m. Now folks who know me understand that some type of lightener (preferably half&half) is critical to my coffee enjoyment, and folks who know Swedish coffee understand that nearly any type of lightener is compulsory. Our cafeteria has stocks individual coffee-sized servings of “mellan mjölk” (1.5% fat) for this purpose, and it’s not unusual for them to run out of it toward the end of the week. (Seeing as it’s compulsory and all.)
Fortunately, the cafeteria also stocks small cartons of both “standard mjölk” (the equivalent of whole milk in the U.S.) and “latt mjölk” (the equivalent of water with a piece of white chalk dipped in it) for folks to drink with lunch. At some point earlier this year, my favorite cafeteria lady, Annika, invited me to open a carton of whole milk at no charge when the 1.5% individual coffee-sized servings (which are free with the coffee) had been exhausted.
Given that whole milk (3% fat) is much closer to my beloved half&half (which I improvise at home by mixing mellan mjölk with cooking cream), I was delighted by her offer and very happily stashed the open carton in the cafeteria fridge to use over the next two or three days. At some point after this a colleague from production saw me going into the fridge for it and asked of he could have some. Needless to say, I was thrilled to meet a kindred-coffee-with-lots-of-whole-milk-spirit, and it wasn’t long before Annika, bless her heart, was setting aside a carton of it for the two of us to share on a regular basis.
Over the course of the next few weeks, more and more colleagues took note of the fact that my cup of coffee looked richer and more delicious than those that were lightened with the 1.5% milk, and starting last week an entire pitcher of whole milk started appearing on the counter alongside the coffee machines.
VICTORY IS MINE!!!
Now if only I could get Annika to improvise a little half&half.