Coffee is one of the favorite drinks of the Portuguese people and it’s the ideal excuse for a meeting, a reunion or a date. It is engrained in the Portuguese Culture and it’s part of the daily routine of a large majority.
It’s a common belief that “BICA” was born in Chiado’s Brasileira. At that time and due to it’s bitter flavor and intensity, the drink was not an all time favorite amongst clients and, as a solution, a sign was put in place with the following expression: “Beba Isto Com Açucar” (Drink This With Sugar) – B.I.C.A.
Another version of the story is that Coee was put inside bags and poured through a water tap (BICA) to a coee pot and then directly served to costumers. But, by using this process, coee ended up cooling down far too quick which led to losing its flavor and costumers began to complain about its quality as well. As a solution, they began to pour the coee directly from the “BICA”, or the bag, that is. With an even more intense flavor and scent, costumers began to request that their coee was brought directly from the bica on a cup, hence the term “BICA”.
When it opened to the public, on November 19th 1905, Brasileira became a reference establishment for the most iconic and distinguished members of Lisbon’s Society.With products imported directly from Brasil, coee would gather Doctors, Lawyers and artists including Fernando Pessoa and Almada Negreiros.