Café de Lisboa


The Café de Lisboa | Coffee in Portugal | Coffee in Lisbon | Bica and Cimbalino | The illustrator of the label

The Café de Lisboa
Four speciality coffees combine in the Café de Lisboa to create a wonderful tastily, aromatic and balanced coffee. The various flavours blend to create a unique taste experience and result in a fresh coffee in the French Press or mocha pot. As an espresso, it comes out of the portafilter machine velvety and creamy. 

The blend
Café de Lisboa is a blend of four different specialty coffees from:
• Brazil (Santos, 40%)
• India (Monsooned Malabar, 20%)
• Ethiopia (Limu, 20%)
• India (Robusta, 20%)

The roast degrees range between City+, these are the Monsooned Malabar and the Ethiopian coffee, and Full City, which are the Brazilian Santos and the Indian Robusta coffees. 

Coffee in Portugal
The history of coffee in Portugal begins in the 18th century, when it was first introduced to the former colony of Brazil under the Portuguese King João V. From Brazil, coffee then reached the other former Portuguese colonies of São Tomé & Príncipe and Cape Verde. In Angola, coffee was introduced somewhat earlier by Portuguese missionaries, and coffee came to Timor via Java by the Dutch. Because of all these relationships, Portugal was at the forefront of the then emerging coffee industry. 

Coffee in Lisbon
The 18th century also saw the emergence of the first public cafés in Lisbon, inspired by the 17th century French tertulias (a kind of literary salon), which became places for cultural and artistic activity. Among others, the Martinho da Arcada (inaugurated in 1782 by the Marquis of Pombal), the Café Tavares (opened in 1784), both of which still exist today, or the Botequim Parras. At the beginning of the 19th century, the famous Marrare Cafés opened, founded by António Marrare, an Italian of Sicilian origin. 

Martinho da Arcada

The Café A Brasileira
In 1905, the café A Brasileira was founded in the centre of Lisbon, in Chiado, by Adriano Telles, a Portuguese married to the daughter of one of the largest coffee producers in the Brazilian region of Minas Gerais. A Brasileira developed into one of the most popular cafés in Lisbon at the time and was the venue for numerous intellectual, artistic and literary gatherings. Renowned writers and artists such as Fernando Pessoa or Almada Negreiros found the inspiration for their ideas here. 

Bica and Cimbalino
The café A Brasileira is also said to have originated the name Bica, an acronym for "beba isto com açúcar" (= drink this with sugar). This was an advertising incentive at the time to make the somewhat bitter coffee more palatable to the critical Lisbon clientele. 

When Italian espresso machines arrived in Portuguese cafés in the mid-20th century, the term cimbalino coined itself in Porto for an espresso, a variation of the Italian brand for professional espresso machines La Cimbali.

The illustrator of the label

Hauke Vagt

Hauke Vagt, the wonderful illustrator of our label, has lived in Lisbon for over 20 years, illustrating and portraying the streets, life and people of the capital from the "land on the edge". He says of himself that he is proudly in love with this city. In his mind, Lisbon is the end point of a journey, his journey, a place where he wanted to stay. 

Most important to him are the welcoming and very friendly people who always give him the feeling of being at home. Thus the motifs of his drawings are equally amiable, humorous and sympathetically hitting the mark. They show us bouncing and strolling trams, guitar-playing sardines, thieving street cats or passionate Fado singers. His world-renowned "Porta 6" wine labels portray the soul of the city with his unmistakable style. 

We are delighted to be able to use one of his beautiful portraits of the Graça district for our Café de Lisboa. 

You can find out more about Hauke Vagt in this interview:

And here you can go to his great website with many of his works: