Like many Americans, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with coffee. This has been mostly media driven. Is it good for you? Is it bad for you? Do I drink too much? Are the people you have given it up better off? (Because those people will spend 15 minutes describing how they are so much better off all while chugging multiple cans of Pepsi.) Yes, Starbucks was an incredibly successful business, but there was always a guilty pleasure element.

Here in Brazil, there is no question. Tudo bem (it’s all good). There’s no second guessing coffee. There’s no eyebrow raising as you go for that third serving. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a place to buy a cup. Brazilians drink coffee at breakfast, after lunch and often after dinner. Much like the Brazilians and bread, another consumable that Americans torture themselves over, the drink is simply a staple of life.

I love that about Brazil. Now, somebody go get me a damn cup.

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22 Responses to Coffee

  1. So much coffee! I really don’t know how they sleep after all that caffeine, but of course sometimes a cup is about 1/8 of what Americans drink!

  2. Sarah says:

    I love it too. You’d probably get arrested for giving a preschooler coffee outside of Brazil. But I’ve seen it so many times, I’m not even surprised anymore. (I guess it’s mostly milk, but even so…)

  3. nina says:

    I see many 13/14 year olds in Brazil drinking glass(es) of coffee in glass. I really don’t think coffee is a good idea when you are growing. And I have been told by stomach doctors and ER doctors to either reduce greatly my intake of coffee or give it up all together. Even my gyno told me too, but did say he would have a hard time giving it up too.

    • My mother always told me that drinking coffee would stunt my growth too. I also heard it contributes to ulcers – which may be what you have if your doctor is recommending a reduction. But so does orange juice! Who knows what it right! I guess everything in moderation.

  4. nuvofelt says:

    But black coffee after a meal (within 30 mins) apparently aids digestion.

    I agree, who knows what is right – but I could do with a cup right now, LOL

  5. Ray says:

    The Scientic community goes back and forth on the subject of coffee being good or bad.
    The last we have heard is that the oils in coffee prevent Altzeimers from developing and several other benefits.
    Regarding the fact that Brazilians drink a lot of coffee including give it to children is totally cultural.
    My brothers and I grew up with coffee and milk in the baby bottle and we are just fine. My grandma drinks coffee just before going to bed and sleeps like a baby.
    Gil drinks about 4 large cups of strong coffee with milk per day and he has no trouble sleeping.
    I think you just get used to all the cafeine after a while and it doesn’t bother.
    I am too sensitive to cafeine, and avoid it at all costs.
    It is delicious though and the habit of drinking lots of coffee just seems to be growing for Americans.
    We are addicted to Dunkin Donuts coffee in the Northeast and Starbucks is sin around here.


    • Do you know why coffee is given to babies here? There must be some benefit to it, it can’t be because they want to keep the babies awake! Right?
      It’s funny because it seems like when the economy is good, Starbucks is busy. When the economy is bad, Dunkin Donuts is busy. That’s not an official economic analysis, but just an observation I had when living in NYC. Though, regardless, Dunkin Donuts coffee IS good!

  6. Anna says:

    I dont drink coffee so I cant comment on that.
    But Dunkin Donuts chocolate milk is MUCH better than Starbucks chocolate milk in my opinion…

  7. Ray says:

    Dear B.A.B.,

    I really don’t know why Brazilians give coffee to babies, if I had to guess, I would say it’s cultural. We love coffee, so we start the young ones early with coffee diluted in milk, in the baby bottle. We were usually given that in the morning when we woke up. Later, as bigger children we were given coffee before bed too, right after dinner. It was comforting and soothing and we never had any trouble sleeping. Well, we were given wine with water, sugar and a lot of ice too, usually on Sunday dinners, but that is probably a very Paulista thing to do, because of our Italian background. 🙂
    Dunkin Donuts coffee versus Starbucks in New England is like Yankees vrs Redsocks, yeah, it’s that bad, but I have to say, Dunkin Donuts coffee is sooo good it’s frigging adictive 😉


  8. Jana says:

    Ive never been a coffee person, was scared I might need it too much if I started every morning. But now its hard not to accept at work around 3pm when everyone does it and now its my thing. I do love the excuse of getting a cookie on my place though =)

  9. Alex says:

    Ah, coffee!

    The only coffee that I like is the really strong small servings of espresso with lots of sugar but only a little cream. A cafezinho would be great for me right about now…….

    I’m more of a tea person…blasphemy, I KNOW!

  10. Eli says:

    I’m a Brazilian living in the US and I miss so much my lovely, very black and strong Brazilian coffee, which you can find in each corner of my city, São Paulo and in any place in Brazil. To me, Brazilian coffee is a treasure (and cheap). There is an article wrote by a cardiologist from the University of São Paulo that talks about the benefits of coffee; my husband ask me about giving me a necklace in my birthday, but I wanted 20 boxes of Brazilian coffee instead, a wonderful gift! About Vila Madalena… oh, God! I miss the vegetarian restaurants, I miss all vegetables and fruits: banana-prata, sweet passion-fruit, goiaba… my father’s vegetarian garden! I use to cook everyday, including my own whole bread, pão de queijo (cheese bread), and pizza. God, what about the Brazilian pizza, also in each corner, so fresh (including the dough!), soooooo fresh and tasting (muzzarella tastes as muzzarella!)? São Paulo, my city that doesn’t never sleep, wait for me soon!

    • I’m with you! I wouldn’t trade the coffee for a necklace. And the pizza… don’t tell my NYC or Chicago friends, but the pizza here is better than I’ve ever had, even in Italy. Where are you in the U.S.?

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