Bica is the term used in Madeira and Lisbon for a "café" (coffee in Portuguese) 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.
Bica comes from the saying "Beba Isso Com Açúcar" (Drink That With Sugar) – because when the espresso-like drink was first introduced in Lisbon, people found it very bitter. Coffee shops started to put adverts asking people to "drink the espresso with sugar", so the acronym BICA remained and paved the way for the "café" success in Portugal.
The A Brasileira was opened by Adriano Telles on 19 November 1905 at No.122 (an old shirt shop), to sell "genuine Brazilian coffee" from the State of Minas Gerais, a product generally unappreciated in homes of Lisboetas of that period. In order to promote his product, Telles offered each shopper who bought a kilogram of ground coffee (for 720 réis) a free cup of coffee. It was the first shop to sell the "bica", a small cup of strong coffee, similar to espresso.
- "Portugal's Coffee: A Sumptuous and Delectible Treat". Retrieved 2011-12-31.