The “American glass” is a symbol of bakeries and bars and it is an icon of Brazilian design

Did you know that the “copo americano” (American glass) is very Brazilian, despite its name,? Discover 10 curiosities about this icon of our national design:

1 – The “copo americano” was invented in 1947, so it is already in its seventies!

2 – It is made by Nadir Figueiredo, a Brazilian company founded in 1912, that has an exclusive production line for this product in São Paulo. They make 400 glasses per minute there. The name “American” is due to the machines used to make it: when it was created, the machines needed to be imported from the USA. Today the production uses only national technology. 

3 – It has a secret production formula, of course. But the manufacturer says that it is made using something like a ‘drop’ of glass that is poured into the machinery and goes through stages such as modeling, freezing, annealing. The final touch is given by a blowtorch. Everything happens in fractions of seconds.

4 – The classic version holds 190 ml. But there are also versions of 45 ml (shot), 300 ml (for drinks and distilled beverages) and 450 ml (for juices, soda and milk shake).

5 – The last five years marked the introduction of the Gourmet line, that includes bowls and cups with a similar design. The line also has some kits of old items with a retro look or with a specific theme such as Happy Our, Boteco (pub) and Dose. 

6 –  The brand’s newest bet are kiosks in shopping malls to sell exclusively products of the “American” line. São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro were the first cities to receive these shopping kiosks, but the promise is to be present all over the country.

7 – The glass is exported to more than 70 countries, in four continents: Americas (South, Central and Norte), Europe, África and Asia.

8 – Its widespread use transformed it into a domestic unit of measure for recipes. But it is also used in professional kitchens.

9 – It is the ‘official’ glass to drink a “pingado” (coffee with milk) in a bakery and the favourite one to share a beer in a bar. It is also perfect to eat bean soup.

10 – Because it is such a Brazilian icon, the glass participated in an exhibition at MOMA – The Museum of Modern Art, in New York, in the United States, in 2009. During the exhibition, the glass was displayed with all the pomp alongside 75 products that represented the country. It even went on sale at the museum’s virtual store.


  • Mike Buchart says:

    Hurray for you. A good Brazilian friend gifted me two of your standard American Glasses. When he and his family visit Louisiana, we enjoy drinking beer and coffee together. Next time he’s here, we will salute Brazil! Awesome story, Mike Buchart, Baton Rouge, Louisiana Usa

Leave a comment.

Your email address will not be published.