The search for perfect coffee

Some people are happy with any coffee-like beverage as long as it’s hot and wakes them up; others strive for perfection. Founder of Academia do Café Sandra Azevedo belongs to the latter category. Passionate about beans & brewing, she doesn’t rest until great coffee is available everywhere in Portugal. Because this isn’t yet the case, she claims. Especially not in the Algarve…

See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine October 2016

In 2011, the Portuguese Sandra Azevedo set up Academia do Café, a company specialised in courses, workshops, lectures and events – all about coffee. The courses are for professionals (like roasters, baristas, coffee shops, and restaurants), but also for ‘normal’ coffee drinkers. Sandra knows what she’s talking about: she’s a member of AICC (Associação Industrial e Comercial do Café) and a SCAE (Speciality Coffee Association of Europe) authorised trainer. Knowing everything about roasting, brewing and barista skills, she’s been educating people about coffee since 2000. While drinking a cup of supermarket-bought brew (shame on us!), Enjoy the Algarve asks her four quick questions.


1. What was your personal motivation for setting up Academia do Café?
“Here in Portugal, specialty coffee is still taking baby steps; a few specialty coffee shops are appearing, but there’s still a long way to go. One of my motivations was creating awareness and improving the knowledge about coffee. Because specialty coffee means knowing all about the producing country, region, farm, variety, process, and flavour profile.”


2What should be improved coffee-wise in Portugal?
“So many things! In Portugal, commercial and low quality coffee is consumed daily. Consumers still drink coffee according to price and not quality. More specialty coffee shops are needed. Also, their locations should be spread throughout the country in order to reach more people.”


3. What will the coffee future of Portugal look like?
“The future is to follow the countries that are ahead of us in terms of coffee culture. Like them, we should offer different places and spaces, which are well decorated and serve good quality coffee.”


4. So, what’s the secret to a perfect cup of coffee?
“A good quality coffee, perfectly roasted is fundamental. Besides this, and depending on the way we choose to brew it (espresso, filter, etc), correct grinding and dosing, right quality water and a skilled barista are also extremely important. To be honest, I’ve never had a good cup of coffee in the Algarve. But I hope that in the future this will be different.”



See the original article in Enjoy the Algarve – magazine October 2016


Posted in Features, Food.