How to Brew Brazilian Coffee

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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.

Filtration

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

Step 1: Set up the straining vessel.

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.

Step 2: Bring the water and sugar to a boil.

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.

Step 3: Stir in the ground coffee.

Stir in 1 heaping tablespoon of finely ground coffee per 1 cup of water. Remove the saucepan from the stove.

Step 4: Strain and serve.

Pour the coffee through the cloth strainer and into the vessel. Pour the coffee into demitasse cups and serve immediately.

Tip

  • 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.

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