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  • Writer's pictureLisbon Dreams

Portuguese Coffee - Wins Your Heart Fast!

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

If it is not the coffee, then for sure it will be the Portuguese love for coffee that will win your heart fast!

Portuguese coffee
Portuguese Love Their Little Coffee Shot

Coffee is an important part of Portuguese daily life. You can find little cafés everywhere and you can see almost at any time of the day somebody sipping their tiny coffee-shot. When speaking of grabbing a coffee with friends, Portuguese people usually do not mean a Starbucks style cappuccino or macchiato, but instead joining for a tiny cup of espresso. It is exactly for this reason, why Starbucks took such a long time to enter the local market and is not as popular as elsewhere. It is just not that habitual here to take away your coffee..

When it comes to this tiny espresso - café (or bica) - you can ask it "cheio" (full) - meaning you want to have it fully filled - or "curto" (short) - meaning you want your cup to be half filled. And you can also ask for a double ("duplo")!

"Vamos tomar café" (let´s have coffee) is a popular Portuguese phrase to say "lets meet up for a bit". People can agree to meet after lunch or dinner to "tomar café" just to have a little informal sit-chat, either at somebody´s house or in a café nearby. You could now argue that too much coffee (caffeine) too late is not good to anybody! It is true, but Portuguese have a solution for this! To protect their important social ritual it is almost as frequent to hear people asking for a "descafeinado" (decaffeinated coffee) than for a café!

So what to do when you do not like espresso? Of course now there are plenty of new modern coffee-shops offering a wide variety of all kinds of coffee but in case you end up in more traditional setting, there is a solution for you too! Ask for a "meia de leite" (half coffee, milk) or café late kind of "galão" (served in bigger glass mixing espresso 1/4 and foamed milk 3/4). Well to tell you the truth, besides "bica", "meia de leite" and "galão" there exists many other variations of that same espresso shot! Check the image below ;)!

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Well.. whatever coffee - option you will choose, you can be sure that it is with good quality! The quality is guaranteed by the careful selection of coffee beans and the love for coffee making. Since the powerful colonial times, Portuguese are used to bring home from faraway destinations only the finest kind of coffee beans. And with all this time of course, the taste has been gradually developed, improved and refined. The Portuguese coffee roasters have even created special alliance (and brand "Portuguese Coffee - a blend of stories") to promote and spread awareness of "Portuguese Coffee" and its uniqueness, beautifully described on their website:

"Unlike other countries that insist on 100% Arabica beans, the Portuguese espresso is obtained from a blend of slow roasted Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. This particular method of roasting is less intense than others and it helps to preserve the essence of Portuguese Coffee, giving it less acidity, a stronger aroma, more body and sweetness. The result is a hazelnut - coloured and dense creamy and well-balanced coffee that lingers in one’s mouth and creates a powerful and memorable experience for those drinking it."

So to sum up, YOU should discover some great coffee and take it back to your homeland yourself! A bag of local coffee - Sical, Nicola or Delta - are all great options to appeal to your senses, trigger some precious travel memories.. AND HELP YOU TO DREAM OF YOUR NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION..

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