Here are 3 Finnish things I’m grateful for: non-nonsense coffee, electric kettles, and the lack of door knobs. You heard me. No door knobs.
Finns drink more coffee per capita than anyone else in the world. You might think this means they’re on the cutting edge of exotic coffee drinks, but it’s quite the opposite. When you walk into most cafes in Central Finland you will find dozens of delicious baked goods and one kind of coffee. Yes, there are places where you can get cappuccinos, espressos, mochas, cold brews and all of that. They are the exception. Almost no one gets coffee to go. You sit down, drink it from a proper cup, and enjoy it. There is one size, but you can pay for refills when you order. If you don’t want caffeine, drink herbal tea or water.
This isn’t specifically a Finnish thing, but a general European thing. Rather than microwaving a cup of water, or heating a regular kettle on the stovetop, everyone has an electric kettle. Fill it with water, click it into a base that’s plugged in, and switch it on. In about a minute you have hot water for tea, to make coffee in a press, or for any other purpose you come up with. It doesn’t whistle, and when the water it hot it automatically shuts off. Mine is stainless steel, so the water stays hot for about an hour. Fast, easy, and a small footprint on my limited counter space.
No Door Knobs
I’m sure they exist somewhere, but in six years I haven’t seen a single doorknob. Doors have handles that you wrap your fingers around and twist down. This makes them accessible to everyone, and a lot easier to open the door when your hands are full. The entrance doors to buildings just have push- and pull-handles, but a lot of those are currently being retrofitted due to COVID-19. They’re equipping the bars with a large plastic hook that you can put your forearm into and pull the door open, so you don’t need to touch anything with your hands. My favorite thing, though, is that apartment doors have no handle at all. There’s just a keyhole. You put your key in, turn it, and pull the door open with it. My appreciation for the keys here is the subject for a whole other post.