Portico: Coffee the Portuguese Way

Portico: Coffee the Portuguese Way

The Portuguese are rather fussy about their coffee, which they normally order with the help of a long sentence, replete with specifications.

There’s café normal (a regular shot of espresso), curto (a small shot), italiana (a micro shot), cheio (full to the brim), abatanado (an Americano - one shot of coffee, double the water), duplo (a double shot) and carioca (using the same coffee grounds again).

Other preferences include the cold cup, or hot cup, or small cup or large cup. And let’s not forget the pingado (regular espresso with a splash of cold milk), garoto (regular espresso with milk foam), galão (espresso with hot milk, served in a tall glass), meia de leite (50/50 coffee and hot milk in a large cup), and café com cheirinho (espresso spiked with strong booze, normally aguardente).

To complicate matters further, there are also regional variations. In Lisbon, a regular espresso is called a bica, which alludes to the taps that featured on old coffee machines. In Porto, it’s called a cimbalino, which references the classic Italian coffee machines used to make it (La Cimbali). If you ask for a garoto in the capital, make sure you change the name to pingado when you’re in Northern Portugal’s largest city.

The Portuguese pride themselves on their coffee consumption, with 40% of the population drinking two cups a day. Big coffee drinkers or not, this beverage has always been an important part of people’s social lives in Portugal, as well as the inspiration for cafés, where many key events in our political and social history have occurred.

Portico, 23 de novembro de 2022

Conheça melhor o café português aqui .