How to Brew Brazilian Coffee
Make a tradition cup of Brazilian coffee -- cafezinho -- with this step-by-step tutorial.
Brazilian coffee -- cafezinho, or "little black coffee" -- is more of a coffee-making technique than a variety, but you want to use a quality Brazilian bean, finely ground, for authenticity when making your own.
Brazilian coffee is traditionally brewed using a colador, a cloth coffee filter often referred to as a "coffee sock." The mesh size of a colador make straining easier, but you can use a regular coffee filter at the expense of a little more straining time.
Brewing and Pouring
Set a cloth coffee filter in a carafe. As an alternative, set a filter basket (from a regular coffeemaker) lined with a coffee filter in the top of a carafe.
Add 1 cup of water to a stainless-steel saucepan for each cup of coffee. Add 1 to 3 heaping teaspoons of sugar to the water for each cup of coffee and bring it to a boil on the stove.
Stir in 1 heaping tablespoon of finely ground coffee per 1 cup of water. Remove the saucepan from the stove.
Pour the coffee through the cloth strainer and into the vessel. Pour the coffee into demitasse cups and serve immediately.
Set up the straining vessel.
Bring the water and sugar to a boil.
Stir in the ground coffee.
Strain and serve.
Cafezinho is always sweetened. Brazilian beans tend to have a bit more bitterness than other varieties, and the amount of coffee used for a typical cafezinho produces an intensely bitter brew, which explains the prolific use of sugar. Sugar balances bitterness, and two to three heaping spoonfuls per cup of cafezinho is the norm.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.