Bica (coffee)

A Bica coffee by Delta Cafés
Type Beverage
Place of origin Portugal
Main ingredients Light roast coffee beans, water
Cookbook: Bica  Media: Bica

Bica is one term used in certain areas of Portugal for a "café" (coffee in Portuguese) that is similar to espresso,[1] but longer than its Italian counterpart and a little bit smoother in taste, due to Portuguese roasting being slightly lighter than the Italian one.

In almost all regions in Portugal it is simply called 'um café' (a coffee in Portuguese) and always served in a Demitasse cup.

The name bica originates from the way the coffee flows, falling from the espresso machine to the cup on the tray,[2] an analogy with a water spring or fountain, both can also be called bica in Portuguese.


The A Brasileira coffeehouse was opened by Adriano Telles on 19 November 1905 at No.122 (an old shirt shop), to sell "genuine Brazilian coffee" from the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, a product generally unappreciated in homes of Lisboetas of that period. In order to promote his product, Telles offered each shopper who bought a kilogram of ground coffee (for 720 réis) a free cup of coffee. It was the first shop to sell the "bica", a small cup of strong coffee, similar to espresso, with fresh goat milk from nearby farms.[3]

There's a belief among many (Lisbon) locals that states "Bica" as an acronym for "Beba isto com açúcar", which literally means "Drink this with sugar".

Outside Portugal

Following mass immigration post-World War II, Bica coffee is now served in Montreal.[4]

See also


  2. Neves, Orlando (2001). Dicionário da origem das palavras. Lisbon: Lisboa Editorial Notícias. ISBN 9724611876.
  3. "Portugal's Coffee: A Sumptuous and Delectible Treat". Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  4. "Cafe Bica". Retrieved 2015-02-11.
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