Coffee and tea|
Brazil is recognized world-wide for its high-quality strong coffee. Cafezinho (little coffee) is a small cup of sweetened coffee which is usually served for free after meals in restaurants (just ask politely). Essentially it's just a shot of espresso. Café is so popular that it can name meals (just like rice does in China, Japan and Korea): breakfast in Brazil is called café da manhã (morning coffee), while café com pão (coffee with bread) is a light afternoon meal. This afternoon meal can also be called café da tarde (afternoon coffee). Mate is an infusion, similar to tea, that is very high in caffeine. A toasted version, often served chilled, is consumed all around the country, while Chimarrão, the heated, bitter equivalent of mate, can be found in the south, and is highly appreciated by the gaúchos. Tererê is a cold version of Chimarrão common in Mato Grosso.
If you're on the beach on a hot day, nothing beats coconut water, or água de coco - but be careful how you pronounce the word coco (hint: stress the first o as you would in the word orange, otherwise it will sound to them like you are ordering poo!).
If you want a Coca-Cola in Brazil, ask for coca, as "cola" means "glue", in Portuguese (but if you say "Coca-cola", everybody will understand).
Guaraná is a carbonated soft drink made from a berry (the guaraná) native to the Amazon area. The major brands are Antarctica, Kuat and Brahma.
Fruit juices are very popular in Brazil. There are fruit juice bars at nearly every corner. Açai (made of a fruit from the Amazon) is absolutely delicious and very nutritious on top of that. It is normally served cold and has a consistency of soft ice. Don't let the crazy purple color stop you from eating it! Maracuja (passion fruit) Caju (cashew) and Manga (mango) are also great juice experiences. Don't be afraid to try what you see on the menu. Brazilians have great taste when it comes to mixing juices. Be aware that orange juice in Brazil is called suco de laranja, which can confuse Spanish speakers who aren't careful.
Back to: Eating & Drinking in Brazil