HOW to order coffee like a local!

The Portuguese' coffee culture' is like no other. IF you take the time, you can learn to appreciate what real coffee is all about.

Most of Portuguese coffee beans come from Brazil, a former Portuguese colony, now grower of some of the best coffee beans in the world. So starting with great coffee beans gets us half way there. After that its a matter of care and service to make the normal coffee into something really special.

There are well over 18 different ways to order coffee, some of which include Bica,(expresso, served in a tiny cup), Bica Cheia (expresso with extra water), Bica Pingada (expresso with a drop of milk), cafe duplo, Double expresso...blast off!), Galão (a milky coffee served in a glass), Galão claro (very weak milky coffee), Galão claro & morno (weak coffee not too hot), capachinho (yes cappachino!), Café com leite: Large coffee cup, half coffee, half milk. Galão: served in a tall glass, half milk and half coffee topped with foam. Meia-de-Leite: Served in a cup and saucer half milk and half coffee. Americano which is a black coffee, Garoto: expresso with foam Pingado: expresso with some cold milk Carioca: very weak coffee Carioca de limão: Hot water with lemon rinde Descafeinado: decaf, can be expresso or any of the other coffees Duplo: Two normal expressos together - Blast off! Abatanado:(foamy coffee) Bica with brandy and for the woman Galão with' pasteis'(one of the fabulous Portuguese pastries, made fresh daily!

Ice coffees are also popular in the summer. If you just say 'coffee' in a coffee shop, they will bring you an expresso. So best to say the exact term as above. When is coffee time? There are many times of the day, that the Portuguese will stop for coffee. Starting the day at 8:30am, then morning coffee break at 10:30, after lunch break at 2:30pm, afternoon pick me up at 4pm, and so it goes all day. Meeting for coffee is a large part of the culture, mothers take their children, businessmen have meetings at the coffee shop, grandmothers stroll in with the grand-babies,. In a coffee shop you can see the real Portuguese life.

Of course there are many other types of coffee, but to learn them you're best to go to a coffee shop and start ordering. Everyone has their favourite coffee shop and will rarely go to another! If you go to Lisbon it is impossible to count the number of coffee shops. Other favourites with the coffee are 'torradas', delicious toast buttered on both sides, Tosta mista (cheese and ham grilled sandwich, bifana ( fried pork sandwich) and prego (fried beef sandwich). Now this is the real Portugal! Even if you go into the supermarket and buy the instant Nescafe you will find the Portuguese jar vastly superior in taste, aroma and flavour to the Nescafe you buy at home. This is a country that knows its coffee, and won't settle for anything but the best. All you have to do is order!