Portugal > All About Coffee

Like all other Latin countries Portugal is no exception when it comes to drinking coffee. The strength of the coffee drunk is much stronger than normally used in some countries, such as England. The Portuguese enjoy their coffee and most people start their daily routine with a coffee on their way to work. Addicts are known to average up to 18 "Bicas" a day! The different coffee grains used within Portugal are mainly from Angola and Brazil and brought in by seven major importing companies that act as distributors. The coffee is normally freshly ground when needed during the day and be warned that sometimes this noisy machine action can be quite deafening to the ears.

To assist you in your travels through Portugal below is given a description of the various ways of ordering a coffee to your liking ."Measure" refers to one filling from the electric Coffee Grinder. "Pass" refers to the one controlled amount of water that is passed through the ground coffee beans in the removable container in the Coffee Machine.

  Black coffee
Small black coffee - served in a small cup using one Measure and one Pass of water, and is called either a Bica, Expresso, or just, Café.

Small black coffee with less water - one Measure and half a Pass of water, and is called an Italiana or Bica Curto.

Weaker small black coffee - one Measure and two Passes of water, and is called a Bica cheia, or, Café Cheio,

Small black coffee in a cold cup - very popular in Lisbon and is a normal Bica and is called a Chávena Fria.

Small black coffee in a hot cup - also popular in Lisbon and is a normal Bica and is called a Chávena Quente.

Small black coffee from a Cimbalin Coffee Machine - it is called Cimbalino.

Small weaker coffee - half a Measure with one Pass of water, and is called a Carioca or a Bica Fraca.

Double black coffee in a cup - using two Measures and one Pass of water, and it is called a Bica Dupla

A large weaker coffee - one Measure in a tea-sized cup - it is called Abadanado or Abatanado.

A small black coffee with alcohol - this is called a Café com Cheirinho.

Cold coffee in a tumbler glass - one Measure and one Pass of water, in a glass full of ice and a slice of lemon with sugar already added. This is called a Mazagram.

A small black decaffeinated coffee - served with a small cup, hot water, sugar, and a decaffeinated coffee in a packet, and is called Café Descafeinado, or, Descafeinado Solúvel.

A small black coffee with a measure of alcohol (brandy) - using one Measure and one Pass of water, and is called Bica com Cheirinho.

  Coffee and Milk
Coffee with hot milk to add in a tea-sized cup - using one Measure and one Pass of water, and is called Café com Leite Apart, or Serviço de Café.

Coffee with some hot frothed milk in a tea-sized cup - this can also be called an Abatanado.

Batido de Café - a form of coffee milkshake, often made from a variety of ingredients. An exotic example made contain chocolate and extract of banana besides the basic coffee and cold milk.

Half coffee and half hot milk in a tea-sized cup - using one Measure and one Pass of water, and is called Meia de Leite, and sometimes Café com Leite.

A small coffee cup full of milk and a a little coffee - this is named a Garoto.

A Cappucino - a small black coffee served in a tea-sized cup usually served with whipped cream or with machine frothed milk.

More hot milk than coffee in a tumbler glass - using one Measure and one Pass of water, and is called Galão.

A small black coffee with a drop of hot milk - using one Measure and one Pass of water, and is called Bica Pingada, or sometimes just Pingo.

A small black coffee with cream and a measure of any whisky or brandy - using one Measure and one Pass of water, and is called an Irish Coffee.


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