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Bica is the name used in Portugal and Madeira for a coffee that is similar to an espresso but longer than its Italian counterpart. There as many variations such as bica curta (like an italian ristretto), bica pingada (with a hint of milk), bica cheia (long/full), bica dupla (double).

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

photo: bicadeideias

Bom dia! queria um café, por favor.

Bica café

Welcome to your virtual cup of coffee 

In Portugal many people do not have a fancy coffee machine in their house (though Nespresso is gaining popularity) but coffee is everywhere else in Portugal. Every pastry bar, café, bar, and restaurant. It is over coffee that discussions and debates take place about football, politics, love, family, philosophy, poetry, music and every other topic that jumps to mind. The coffee is very affordable and part of most peoples daily ritual.

If all this talk about coffee is making you smell the beans and run to the nearest café

or espresso machine, you are a fan(atic) like me.



What´s in name?

When I found three puppies in the street in 2007 I ran out of names. I already had a pack of street dogs at that time. One puppy was a caramel-brown colour but I already had a Caramella at home so I called him Costa. Costa from Costa Rica and coffee beans. My mind is often on coffee. The little girl was mainly white with a black patch so that was easy. I called her Patch. The third puppy ran away and hid in the scrub. But later on that same day someone called me to say they had caught the third puppy. He He had blue eyes. At first he looked a bit scary to me but that puppy grew into the most gentle giant. The problem was that a name didn’t jump to mind. So I went for a coffee in a local cafe (with the puppy in the car) and ordered an espresso. An espresso is called a bica in the Algarve. I have mine short, like a ristretto. That is called a bica curta. And there it was! A name on the coffee cup. Mocay! It’s not a brand I come across much in the Algarve. So it grabbed my attention. At that moment blue eyes was christened Mocay. He is still with me today (January 2021). The last dog from that era. I went back to that cafe a few weeks later and asked if I could buy the coffee cup. They gave it to me in exchange for a bica. Yay!

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