Bica – the delicious coffee from Portugal

October 9th, 2014 got to know that Portugal Post issued a special set of stamps dedicated to country's coffee industry. The items depict the process of bica (coffee in Portuguese) making and cultivation. The stamp release consists of four stamps that were issued on the 1stof October.

Bica is the term used in Madeira and Lisbon for a "café" that is similar to espresso, but longer than its Italian counterpart and a little bit smoother in taste. This is due to the fact that Portuguese roasting is slightly lighter than the Italian one.

The first coffee beans that were produced in Brazil and other colonies in the mid-1700's were brought back to Portugal to be roasted. There the drink produced by those roasted beans became increasingly popular. By the late 1700's the first cafes were opened in Lisbon and they quickly became central meeting spots for distinctive gentlemen, authors and influential politicians and aristocrats.

For the next century, coffee became the main export of Brazil, founding many of the legendary Portuguese companies that still exist today.

Currently, there are approximately 12 leading coffee companies, and several small regional companies dotted throughout the country. As mentioned before, you can't meander down a stone street without passing at least a handful of cafes.

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