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Learn how to ask for a coffee in Lisbon way

Cup of coffee


For the Portuguese, coffee is a true national passion and you don’t want to play with this subject. There are several ways to order a coffee and there are names for everything, depending on how one serves and what it serves. The ‘bica’, as they say in Lisbon, can be ‘curta’/short (stronger), normal, ‘quase cheia’/nearly full or ‘cheia’/full (weaker) depending on the amount. It can be served in cold or hot cup and some people like a ‘garoto’ (with a little milk), ‘pingado’ (with a little cold milk), ‘carioca’ (weak coffee), ‘meia de leite’ (highest cup with milk), ‘descafeinado’ or ‘café com cheirinho’/coffee with ‘smell’ (with a little mulch / brandy). Legend says that the name ‘bica’ started in the café “A Brasileira”, where employees decided to put a warning to customers who did not like the bitter drink. It says: “Drink It With Sugar”.

Learn how to ask your favourite coffee in Lisbon:

Expresso – Bica
Flat white – Meia de leite
Americano – Abatanado
Ristretto – Italiana
Mini latte – Garoto
Caffee latte – Galão


How to order coffee in Portugal


Who else needs a good cup of coffee to start the day in the right mood? We know we’re not alone with this feeling! Let us know how much you love coffee and how you’ve liked your café experiences in Lisbon so far, getting in touch via Instagram  and Facebook Please tag us @tasteoflisboa or #tasteoflisboa.


Feed your curiosity on Portuguese food culture:

What do the Portuguese eat for breakfast?

How to identify the perfect Portuguese custard tart

10 pastries you should eat in Portugal (besides custard tart)

10 typical drinks from Portugal


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