Coffee Culture In Brazil

Whether you’re a casual coffee drinker or you can’t start your morning without it, chances are you’ve enjoyed a cup of Brazilian coffee at least once in your life. Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world, growing about one third of the planet's supply. Coffee culture in Brazil is uniquely its own though.

Brazilian coffee

Coffee is not strictly a morning drink in Brazil. Instead, it is enjoyed at all times throughout the day, even well into the evening! Coffee is such an integral part of Brazilian culture that it is even included in the phrase for breakfast café de manhã, or literally “morning coffee.”

The most common type of coffee you will encounter when visiting Brazil is cafezinho, which translates to “small coffee.” Cafezinho is made with ground coffee and boiling water, and it is typically served in a small cup at exceptionally hot temperatures.

Brazilian coffee is known to be slightly bitter as it is grown at lower altitudes. Because of this, cafezinho used to be primarily served sweetened, as the barista would add sugar into the boiling water at the same time as the coffee. Shifting cultural attitudes have actually led to an increase in the availability of unsweetened cafezinho. Now you have the option to add your own preferred sweetener or leave it as is.

Don’t expect a frappuccino

Drinks like iced lattes and frappuccinos are not particularly popular in Brazil. Most Brazilians prefer their coffee as simple and uncomplicated as possible. This does not mean you can’t get a little creative with your coffee though.

Milky coffee is another popular preference in Brazil. Just order a café com leite, which literally translates to coffee with milk. You can also find cappuccinos in most restaurants or cafes. In larger cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Brasília you might also find a chocolatey surprise in your cappuccino!

A symbol of hospitality

Cafezinho itself is a symbol of welcome and hospitality. Turning down an offer when visiting another person’s home is incredibly frowned upon and should be avoided at all costs. Instead, welcome the opportunity to engage in Brazil’s rich and delicious coffee culture.