May 18, 2024

What better way to punctuate my visit to Cabo da Roca than with a celebratory cortado where the land ends and the sea begins?  I learned something here, too, to squirrel away for when I get to Lisbon:  in the capital a short, black espresso is referred to as a bica.  It’s an acronym for Bebe isto com açucarâ or “drink this with sugar.” Hence when you order a bica it comes with an obligatory packet of sugar.  And if that wasn’t enough inside info, I also discovered that un cortado is technically Spanish – even though everyone seems to know exactly what I mean when I order one.  In Portuguese coffee culture an espresso with a dab of milk has many names, depending on where you are: a garota, a cimbalino, a pingo.  In Lisbon, however, the grammatically correct order would be for a cafe pingado.  I’m just grateful I don’t drink decaf.

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