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Lets drink “Café”!

Portuguese people really love to drink coffee and they do it like no one else!

In a cooled cup (chávena fria) in summer, or in a heated cup by boiling water (chávena escaldada), drinking coffee (tomar café) is so much more than the obvious act of drinking something!

It is in fact, a social and cultural act that promotes socialization and conversation among people, joining friends to spend some time together or it may simply mean that we are going for a walk down the street “to see what’s going on”.


The “café” (expresso) taken black or with a little sugar, is served in a small cup, and we drink it usually in the morning (to awaken!) or after meals (lunch and dinner).  Because it is an exciting drink, it may cause insomnia in some people, who therefore prefer to replace it with the variant without caffeine – descafeinado.

Don’t feel lost in Portuguese land when it comes to ask for a coffee!
I will give you some precious tips that will certainly help you to enjoy this delicious drink!

1. CAFÉ (black coffee/ expresso) – a small cup of black coffee with or without sugar.
You can ask: Café normal/ regular coffee; Café Curto: short coffee (more concentrated) or Café Cheio: long coffee (slightly fuller cup). (In the North: Café or Cimbalino; in the South: Bica)

2. DESCAFEINADO: a regular coffee without caffeine. The flavor is slightly different, because it is a bit weak.

3. CARIOCA – weaker coffee, because it takes more water.

4. PINGO/ Café Pingado – coffee with a drop of cold milk.
(in the North: Pingo (“drop”); South: Garoto (“small boy”!!)

5. ITALIANA – very short/ strong coffee.

6. DUPLO (double) – two normal coffees in a larger cup.

7. CAFÉ COM CHEIRINHO (Coffee with a taste) – coffee with a few drops of an alcoholic drink like “firewater” (digestive).

8. ICE COFFEE / Café com gelo (coffee with ice) – regular coffee served with a glass full of ice. Once prepared in the cup and mixed with a packet of sugar, the hot coffee goes directly to the glass of ice. (summer refreshment).


For breakfast, it is common to drink:

1. Galão – glass of milk with coffee.

2. Meia de leite – same as  “Galão” but served in large cup.
(They are usually taken with a toast with butter).


Special Tip: a black coffee (Café) with a beautiful “Pastel de Nata” with cinnamon.
You will love it any time of day!


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