Cafe' Bustelo Review


Well this wasn't my first time trying Cafe' Bustelo. I read online it was the number one cuban coffee in America. All people drink it not juts spanish. But I know the spanish people rave about it. I have yet to meet a spanish person that doesn't have a brick of Bustelo in their cabinet. LOL. So I wanted to try it really bad. Well the first time my father in law made me the instant version in a regular drip coffee maker. YUCK. It was so bad couldn't even drink it. . Second time was last week. I got the regular vacum packed version. It was supposed to be the "espresso blend". I made it the authentic way with the stove top moka pot. I thought it would be good. It had a nice fine consistency so I was thinking great. This will be perfect for espresso. I really wanted to love it...
But once again I was let down. It had a really bitter taste during and after drinking. Honestly , I didn't even finish it. Which the worst thing I hate doing is wasting anything in life! But I just couldn't drink it. I personally think it has a horrible taste and flavor. It didn't even smell good. I don't know. I guess I'm different than everyone else in the world. I give it not even one coffee cup out of 5, being that I had to pour it out. Oh well :( I was disappointed ...I will be giving the rest of the bag to my mother or father in law being that they love it. Maybe it's just a cultural thing ? Although like I said I'm sure there are many non-Hispanic Bustelo drinkers.. me just not being one of them...


So have you guys tried Bustelo'? Did you like it .. or do you agree with me.. A friend of the family told me about maybe trying el morrero another espresso blend. I will have to pick it up when I am out and try it out....




Signing off a dissapointed Coffee Diva ..

Comments

  1. I'm hispanic and I cant tell i don't have a brick of cafe Bustelo in my cabinet. it's a bad coffee very dirty earthy and burn taste.

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  2. Hello Anonymous :) Thank you for your comment. I definitely agree it has a very burnt taste. I did not like it one bit . Do you have any coffee favorites of your own ? I would love to hear your picks ! Thank you come back anytime

    Jen

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  3. Agree! It's absolutely disgusting! And I'm also Hispanic (Peruvian)

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    1. Kris thank you for your feedback !

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    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    3. Hello My Thoughts. Thank you for your comment. I see you are not a fan either lol.
      Come back and share any time. Let's keep it on a positive note thank you :)


      Jenn

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    4. Bustelo is owned by Schmuckers...who also owns Folgers...extremely bitter...I purchase coffee directly from Puerto Rico called Yaucono (makes a dynamite café con leche...go to www.puertoricocoffeeshop.com 😊

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  4. As a Dominican I literally grew up on this as my Grandma would wake me up with my bottle of cafe bustello with lots of warm milk and sugar. I think perhaps you are using too much coffee and that is why eveyrone is complaining of the strong taste. Try to use less and of course preparing it with the typical sock looking bag is the authentic way, but coffee pot works fine. I generally still like it with lots of milk and sugar :)

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    1. I agree! I love cafe bustelo but it can be very bitter, especially if you haven't had it before really. You must use less coffee and and use warm milk and sugar. Whenever I order cafe con leche from a spanish restaurant I ask for it to be made 'clarito', which means light. The best thing about cafe bustelo is that it actually helps to keep me awake unlike every other coffee!

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    2. The reason for the bitter taste.... It is made from the robusta bean which is double the caffeine of an arabica bean. Since the caffeine levels are higher it causes the bitter taste. I am addicted to cafe bustelo. I was trying this during my keto phase. I used it to make bulletproof coffee. It is an aquired taste but once you have aquired it and drink as much coffee as I do. You will see no other coffee is its equal. My wife goes to Starbucks and misc coffee shops but I would rather brew my own at home in my french press. I like to have it black or with heavy cream (cut my sugar consumption).

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    3. Hello Anonymous and thank you so much for your comment! It is good to learn about your favorite brew Cafe' Bustelo. I agree. Many people will only drink this coffee. I also agree that a french press is a great way to brew coffee. I love a french press as well. Do you brew your Bustelo in the french press? I am very curious. Please coma back again.

      Jenn

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    4. cafe bustelo is the only coffee I have ever been able to drink black and oddly I enjoy the instant better then grounds. Just nuke the water, mix in the instant then let it cool. Most of the typical coffee out there is burned crap without any flavor.

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  5. Hello anonymous! Thank you very much for your heartfelt comment. I can imagine many generations/families that have grown up with Cafe' Bustelo. Thank you for the tips, I will try it again one day in the manor you have been using it. Maybe I did use too much who knows ? I also did not use a lot of milk and sugar so that could be another difference in flavor of my palette and yours. Come back again and leave more comments. I love your story :)

    Jen

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  6. Espresso is Italian. If you want good espresso, buy Italian espresso.
    It's that simple. Many hispanics in NYC grew up drinking Bustelo and they completely mask the taste of the coffee with lots of milk and sugar. They know nothing else when it comes to coffee so they think it's the bomb. If you're actually serious about quality coffee, go grind some quality beans, or for pre-ground espresso buy Medaglia d'Oro or Lavazza.

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    1. Hello Anonymous. Thank you for sharing your comment :)
      Yes I am Italian, and I agree and am partial to Italian Espresso. My favorite is actually Lavazza. But as a coffee lover I like to try all different varieties flavors and brands.Well I know many white people who swear by Bustelo as well as Hispanics. I think it's just a taste issue. For me I just didn't like it.
      I also agree quality beans are the way to go for true gourmet coffee and high quality. There are many other Spanish regions that make great coffee that I enjoy. As you said so far for me Italian brands are the only I like for my Espresso.

      Come back soon and keep on reading thanks :)

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    2. Medaglia d'oro is like Bustelo. same company. Espresso is medium roast, finely ground. Most of US roasts for espresso or so called "Italian" are too dark and bitter.
      Most coffee in Italy is medium or medium roast, similar to what you get at Colombian roasts at Colombian bakeries in Brooklyn and Queens. Some blends in Italy have a 20 / 30 % of Robusta that produces more crema and has higher caffeine content. Same company that produces Bustelo makes Medaglia d'Oro which is nothing like what you get in Italy. Here I stick with Lavazza Rossa or Kimbo. Better flavor. I use the moka stovetop or a Nespresso Inissia with refillable capsules. Each capsule used 4 grams of coffee that is about 8-9 cents. Not worth saving. I wish the makers of Pilon / Bustelo would provide a medium roast fine ground.

      Why Italian roast means dark roast in the USA when in Italy most coffee is ground medium?
      Also dark roast contains less caffeine than lighter roasts.

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    3. Hello Stefano!! Thank you so much for your in depth comment. I agree with all your insight and I too love Lavazza. Yes I am sure in USA/compared to other countries "espresso" is very different. I loved reading what you had to write. Please sign up and come back any time :)




      Jenn

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  7. I have trying to find any differences in Cafe Bustelo, El Pico, and Medaglia D'Oro. All are made by Rowland Coffee Roasters in Miami. I started off with El Pico, just looking for a cheaper store-bought espresso grind. It tasted fine, I drink mine with half and half and sugar. Then, I tried Cafe Bustelo, and frankly, could not tell any difference. Then I tried Medaglia D'Oro, it is supposed to be double roasted Italian style, but when comparing the two side-by-side, Café Bustelo is actually slightly darker. So there is no discernible difference between the three brands. Italian espresso is the best. We've had Illy and it is 5-10 times better than the Rowland brand espresso. I was hoping Medaglia D'Oro would be a step towards Illy in Italian style flavor. So while I will probably buy some Cafe Bustelo in brick form (only tried the can so far) in the future, I am very disappointed in the D'Oro. And the fact that all the Rowland coffee tastes the same to me. Anyone else have the same experience?

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    1. Hello Anonymous. Thank you for your great post! I have never actually heard of Medaglia D' Oro. I will have to look out for it to try. I agree Illy is amazing coffee. But a bit pricey and hard to find at times at the supermarket. So I feel the same. Sometimes I look for a cheaper version to do the trick. El Pico I have never tried either but I do always see it at my local grocery store. I should pick it up and try just for the hell of it. As I stated in this post, Bustelo just never does me any justice. .. Lavazza Espresso I find at my grocery store and it is amazing ! ( I think at least). It has great Italian espresso flavor and no bitterness. The price is not that bad either in comparison to other more expensive brands such as illy.

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  8. Well I am Italian, grew up in NY and have to say I think it is good- but you have to figure out how to brew it for your taste. Dollar for dollar I think it blows Maxwell house and other "traditional" American brands away. Yes, other brands are very good, but it still comes down to your personal likes and dislikes. Coming from me, I know it is not everyone's style. I can say that I understand if the flavor is not appealing for you. To that point, I really dislike Star Bucks, Duncan D'nuts, ect. Walking into a chain style coffee shop makes me not even want coffee. Then again I can go for months without any caffeine drink.

    I view it as a comparable to a glass of wine. You need to define your likes and consider what you are eating with it.

    One last note; it is not right to bash any brand produced. Flavor is truly only defined by your own taste buds!

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  9. Hello Anonymous! Thank you so much for your comment, and insight onto my Bustelo Review. I completely agree every person has their own taste. What I find bitter you might think is sweet! I agree with you on coffee shops as well. I only order one drink from Dunkin Donuts every once in a blue moon ( French Vanilla Latte). I never go into Star Bucks. I usually brew at home or would prefer a local coffee shop as well. I believe in supporting small business'.
    Again, completely agree with you on coffee & wine comparison. I have been drinking coffee since I was 15. My taste buds have matured and I have definitely cultivated my likes and dislikes. And continue to find new flavors and brands that surprise me.
    I was not brand bashing. I have never done that nor would I ever do that if you read my blog daily. I respect the company and the people who drink it. Again as I wrote most of my husbands family drink it and they love it. But in doing a review no matter what brand, I have to always give my honest opinion. Be it good or bad. As you said this was my own taste buds , and I really disliked the flavor!I think it was more of a let down since I heard such high expectations.
    But thank you for sharing your views come back again and comment :)

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  10. Hey there, thanks for taking a chance on Cafe Bustelo! I'm from a big Cuban family in Tampa, and we all tend to agree that Bustelo is the Cuban Folgers -- it's ok in a pinch and almost everyone has a can or brick of it in the pantry, but it's not preferred. The company was recently purchased by Smuckers and the taste has changed since then.

    You would probably have a fun time trying and writing about the other Cuban-style coffee brands out there. Cafe Naviera, for example, is a locally-roasted coffee from Tampa that's been around since the twenties. It's quite a bit smoother than Bustelo, and is my personal favorite. Small batches make a difference.

    Also keep in mind that Cuban and Italian espresso are totally different animals, and shouldn't be compared to one another. If you tried to pull Bustelo through an espresso machine you'd get a terrible cup, and if you made it in a drip machine...gross. It's got to be in a caffetierre -- the screw-together stovetop things. Don't feel the need to PACK the thing with coffee. Boil the water separately, then add the hot water to the base! If you heat it all together from cold, the coffee will burn inside the machine a little. Trust me, it makes a difference. Finally -- sugar. Sugar, sugar, sugar. It's not intended to be consumed black, it's intended to stand up to a ton of sugar per demitasse. There should be a layer of undissolved sugar at the bottom of your cup when you're done. We tend to give that to children by the spoonful. Sort of explains the whole culture. We're all turbocharged.

    You might also want to try Cafe Bustelo...instant coffee. Seriously. But don't compare it to brewed coffee! It's a tasty emergency-backup coffee ONLY. Great for camping. Salud!

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    1. Hello Dylan! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment. I loved it ! I would love to try the other Cuban Coffee brands out there. I am sure they are very good. I thought I heard somewhere about Folgers buying Bustelo. But have never tried it again since then. I would definitely be up to giving it another chance.
      I agree that all Espresso is not equal. Depending on the country/region it has its own flavor. Just like the cultures themselves. Some are supposed to be very bitter. Or sweet. You are right you can't compare the two. Each has their own uniqueness to them. That is why I always review one at a time.
      I also agree that you have to use a caffetierre. I purchased a small one to try out the Bustelo and Italian espresso as well. Everyone in Europe has one in every size from a small espresso cup to a large American style mug.
      Well that is my only issue with the Bustelo, I am not a sugar person. When I tried to make it just as you said. I had the sugar in it. It just did not go well for my palate. But I know many people love that.
      You are funny :)) I agree

      Again thank you so much for your wonderful comments. Come back all the time !!!

      Jennifer

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  11. I would not say it is disgusting, but certainly not for everybody. It has a very bitter taste. I personally don't like it, but it is cheap!

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    1. Hello Anonymous! Thank you so much for your comment. I agree with you :)

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  12. Try keeping any water used to brew coffee under 200 degrees F. (I use 190 degree water) It makes any coffee less bitter. Of course, a french press is needed here (or a sock filter)

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    1. Hello Bill ! Thank you so much for your great coffee tip on brewing. That sounds great. I will have to try again that way to see if it makes a difference. Come back and comment any time :)

      Jennifer

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  13. I love to take half Cafe Bustelo and half Folgers country light roast, and make a pot of that. perfect!

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    1. Hello Urban Mermaid :) Thank you so much for your great tip. I actually have been hearing that a lot. My mom's boyfriend uses half Café Bustelo with another blend and when it is made that way I actually enjoy Café Bustelo.

      Please come back! Share ! Comment ! Follow :)

      Jennifer

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  14. Cafe Bustelo isn't as good as true Italian espresso, but it's also considerably cheaper, and it's a lot better than "French roast" or "Italian roast"coffees from U.S. roasters that tend to be horribly oily and roasted almost to the point of being charred. I brew it in my Mokka Express pots and don't have any complaints (other than wishing that I could buy Illy at the same price).

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    1. Hello Durant Imboden !! Thank you so much for your comment :) I completely agree. I feel certain blends/roasts should be brewed with the right equipment or it might not have the same "taste" that is expected. Please share any other tips or comments. I love to hear feedback from my fans :)


      Jennifer

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    2. Hello. Cafe Bustelo was rated #4 BEST INSTANT COFFEE by Huffingtonpost! Check it out http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/05/best-instant-coffee_n_1405887.html

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  15. I used to drink Star bucks Columbian blend. Then I got a taste of Pilon at my bro-in-law's house in Florida. Liked it so much I bought 12 of them to take home to Mississippi. Can't get Pilon in Mississippi. But they do have Cafe Bustelo. Made by same company (Rowlands). I can't tell much difference. I love it. I can't even drink Star Bucks anymore. I make it in a regular automatic drip brewer. One tablespoon per cup of water. But I do like it with 3 sugars or Equals, and some french vanilla creamer.

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  16. Hello Anonymous. Thank you so much for your comment! I have heard of Pilon and see it at my grocery all the time. Thanks for the review. I will have to pick some up and do a review. Sounds great :) Please come back and leave some more great tips.

    Jennifer

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  17. This is a site that I think has the most reasonably priced coffees: https://www.javacabana.com/Catalog.cfm?c=1&sc=2

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    1. Hello Gary! Thanks so much for your advice on getting reasonably priced coffee. I will be checking out the site and reviewing! Come back and comment anytime.


      Jen

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  18. Wow I just wrote the best write up on this and it didn't post HMM. WELL CAFE BUSTELO IS NOW FAKE USING COFFEE BEANS FROM 20 DIFFERENT. COUNTRIES AND CANT EVEN QUALIFY AS ORGANIC. 59 YEARS OF DRINKING IT SINCE I WAS A BABY. YES ITS NOWHERE THE COFFEE IT WAS.TO BAD LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE SO MANY PEOPLE GREW UP ON IT THEY WONT CHANGE SO BIG CORPORATION PROFIT FROM IT. James

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    1. Hello Anonymous! Thank you so much for your comment. I love hearing all the feedback I have heard on Cafe Bustelo. It has been a very "hot topic". Come back again and write anytime.


      Jennifer

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    2. I totally agree with you. I first started drinking this 20 years ago and loved it. However, I have noticed in the past year or so that it has nowhere the taste or smell it used to, That's why I did this search--was looking to see if anyone else noticed the same thing,.

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    3. Hello Anonymous! Thank you so much for your comment. I am glad your search brought you here to my blog. I hope you found what you were looking for. Sign up. Comment. Come back any time ;)


      Jen

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  19. The story of all these brands is the story of a cuban immigrant named Jose Souto and Roland Coffee Roasters which you can read about here. http://www.luxner.com/cgi-bin/view_article.cgi?articleID=1319 A few years ago Roland sold several of their brand to Smuckers which also owns the Folgers brand.

    The coffee beans themselves are all about the same, the difference is the roasting formula and of course the brand that certain groups tend to associate themselves with.

    As for which is the most popular Cuban style coffee, I would have to say it is Pilon and it is much better if you buy the whole beans and grind it fresh. Pilon is what most Cuban cafe's use and they grind it fresh and pack it hard into either Italian or Spanish-made commercial espresso machines.

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    1. Hello Jorge! Thank you so much for your comment. It was very educational. I love hearing stories from all of my readers. I think this post has gotten the most feedback more than any other post! Still proving my theory, how popular Bustelo' really is :)

      Come back and write any time!

      Jen

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  20. El Pico and Cafe Bustelo are the best coffees I have found for Italian stove top espresso. The original post is a clear case of ready, fire, aim.
    Using a Bialetti Moca, leave 1/8 to 1/4" free in the basket, pull immediately as it sputters, pour immediately and you will have one of the best espressos available. I take with cream.
    Lavazza is my haute cafe' backup if brand name and spending 4 times as much makes me feel any better.
    Good suggestion on pre-boiling the water. Will give it a try.

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    1. Hello Gila. Thank you for commenting! I am sure that maybe with a professional barista I might like it. The point of the post and the review is to try it in the ways that everyone else uses and loves it.
      I find good coffee when it is good coffee. It doesn't matter to me if it $2 or $20. Why I find Lavazza espresso to be my favorite, was the taste. I don't buy it often being that I daily use my Keurig for a "regular" cup of coffee. When I want a specialty drink I use my Dolce Gusto machine to make a Latte or Cappucinno. But I still have my moka pot that I will take out occasionally and get in the mood to make an espresso myself. And when I do, I usually buy Lavazza. I guess it balances out since I don't purchase often.
      I find plenty of hate coffee brands that I think have horrible. IE: Starbucks lol.
      You love what you love. ... Sign up and come back to give me your great insight on some more posts Gila :))


      Jennifer

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  21. Coffee Diva-
    I am not Hispanic but I was born and raised in Tampa. First off- making cafe bustello in a moka pot is not the "authentic" way. Bustello is espresso and designed to be prepared using an espresso machine. A moka pot is an at-home fix. If preparing cuban coffee in a moka pot you should, when finished brewing, pour a small amount into a cup with some additional raw sugar and stir vigorously. Then add the rest of the coffee to achieve a consistency more similar to that from a machine. Cuban coffee is very strong and when drinking it without milk (steamed milk for cafe con leche), it is traditionally drank in very small amounts. You probably drank the traditional amount before pouring the rest out. Traditionally, a factory worker would stop by a shop on his way to work and get a colada, 3-5 shots of cuban espresso. He'd be given 5-8 tiny cups with it and the coffee would be shared amongst friends at work.
    Cuban coffee is delicious when prepared correctly. The intense heat of the espresso machine hydrolyzes the sugar in the grounds and creates a thicker creamier espresso. Try a Tampa alternative of the cafe con leche, the cafe Ybor: using 1-3 shots of Cuban espresso, use less milk than you would for a cafe con leche, then add a small amount of condensed milk. A sweet and creamy drink.

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    1. Hello Joe! Thank you so much for writing to me. I appreciate all your thoughts and sharing your stories on the subject. I agree there are many ways while using this famous coffee. Bustelo just wasn't for me, but I am open to new ways to trying this drink :)


      Come back and write to me again!!!

      Jen

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    2. Maybe it's just me but since my coffee pot broke I been drinking cafe bustelo instant and I love it better than other coffee and I'm a coffee junkie :) different strokes for different folks I guess

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    3. Hi Jennifer. Thank you so much for sharing your comment! I am glad to hear that Bustelo works for you. I agree everyone has their own taste No one is right or wrong. Please tell me any good tips you use for brewing a delicious cup of coffee. I'd love to hear back.


      Jenn :)

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  22. I love dark coffee. I don't understand people "not liking Starbucks coffee"... they have tried every roast that Starbucks carries? Starbucks Sumatra and Verona are delicious in my opinion. I also love the Bustelo, I use the Keurig and Bustelo pods. Yum. A dark roast coffee will taste much stronger than the greener roasts. Maybe the taste is acquired. I went from drinking instant when I was little to traditional Folgers as I became a teen/young adult... graduating to the hazelnut or vanilla flavors... cream, cream and sugar depending on my mood. These days I like it black and dark. I see Bustelo as well rounded full bodied, dark and delicious. In a pinch, I use Nescafe Classico instant (which is dark roast), not to be confused with any of the other Taster's Choice variations. When my daughter visited Peru, Nescafe Classico was what she saw everywhere. Everyone's tastes are different. Nissan makes a great car but I prefer a Honda. :)

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    1. Hello Anonymous! Thank you so much for your comment.
      I agree with you. There are so many different varieties out there of coffee. To me, Starbucks in my opinion is way overpriced. Some of the drinks I have tried are mediocre at best for what they charge. I think 75% of the people that go to Starbucks just do it because they think it makes them cool. They follow others. And/or don't know any better really. These are usually the same people who purchase Iphones.
      I much prefer supporting locally grown organic fair trade coffee. Local coffee shops have amazing blends. If I have to order from Starbucks, I will order the dark roast blend as you have said. Sumatran I have tried and was not a fan. But I do really enjoy bold dark coffee. I think it is a matter of preference. Everyone has a different palette. No one is wrong or right.
      I agree I prefer the Bustelo Kcups. I think they are bold, dark, and rich. I love them as compared with the ground bustelo. As strange as that might sound.
      I agree with you, my taste has evolved as well. I usually just take a little cream and that's it. I never drank sweet coffee. There are people that think I am nuts like my husband and only drink coffee with sugar lol.
      Yes every country has different customs.

      Well I've always had Nissan's in the family so agree to disagree!! LOL

      Come back anytime and write back.

      Jenn

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  23. I agree.... I also heard it was chemically/artificially treated ;-; And my grandma seems to be highly allergic (Her throat swelled up).... And I called the customer service and they didn't even know what was in the coffee.... They just said "It's blended from a variety of different coffees"....So I got scared since my throat itched when I took hardly a sip..


    I prefer my dad's own Costa Rican coffee. (Natrually grown. No chemicals, nothing.) And its sweet ;-;

    If you wanna check it out: http://www.papagayocoffee.com/
    ^-^' We're a very small business

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    1. Hello Anonymous. Thank you so much for commenting on this post. I am very sorry to hear that you and your grandmother had an unpleasant response to this coffee. Who wants to take a sip of your favorite drink and be scared of it? That's also disappointing that customer service was not able to give you the proper information on the product as well.
      Your dad's coffee sounds great. I love Costa Rican coffee actually. If you would like to email me I would love to try some out and write a great review for your company. I love to promote local and small business'.
      Come back and write anytime!


      Jenn

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  24. Thank you for posting this blog! I grew up in Miami, FL, drinking Cuban coffee (Bustelo) after breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have recently noticed a significant change in the taste of Cafe Bustelo. The taste reminds of Folgers coffee which I dislike with a passion. I know that Bustelo was bought out by the makers of Folgers. Has anybody else noticed this change of taste in Bustelo and perhaps know the reason why?? Thank you!

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    1. Hello Anonymous!! Thank you so much for writing to me. You are very welcome :) I have heard that actually that the taste has been altered. Maybe the company changed the recipe of some sorts. I will look into it or post anything I hear about the subject matter. Please come back and write to me again.


      Jenn

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  25. I've been drinking Cafe Bustelo for a few years now using just a stove top espresso maker/ moka pot. At first I thought the coffee was horrible, way to bitter, almost burnt flavor. I read online several different methods for brewing the Bustelo and I think I finally discovered, after much experimentation, the best way to brew this strong coffee.

    The key, I think, is not using too much ground coffee in the small strainer basket, and using the least amount of heat to get the water to expand up through the ground coffee. I've found the best way to accomplish this is with a small electric single burner hot plate set just above the low heat setting. As for the amount of coffee grounds, I gently fill the strainer by the spoonful, without tamping or packing, just enough to fill the basket and then just a little more, so that there is a slight mound above the rim of the strainer. Then screw down the top piece of the moka pot, place on the hot plate, and adjust the heat setting to just above low. Once the coffee starts to flow out of the top spout, I adjust the heat even lower, with just enough heat to keep the water flowing. When the top of the moka pot is nearly full of brewed coffee, I turn the heat off completely and allow any residual heat to finish the brewing. Also, I start the process with ice cold water in the bottom chamber of the moka pot. I like my Bustelo sipped straight black having a rich, chocolaty, mild bitterness, and a fantastic caffeine kick.

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    1. Hello Anonymous!! Thank you so much for your comment.

      I agree those were my thoughts when I first tried the coffee. I also agree that people say it takes much "experimentation" before you can find the good variation of what will taste good for you.
      Well those were great tips on how to make the perfect cup of Bustelo'. Very detailed. Thank you for your insight. I will have to try again one day.


      Come back and comment anytime!!!

      Jenn

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  26. Hi Jenn,

    Thanks so much for writing this piece.

    Personally, I became a recent convert to Bustelo in an effort to save money and keep my wallet away from $tarbucks.

    However, for me, I'm mostly interested in instant coffee and found that Bustelo Supreme (the freeze dried variant of Cafe Bustelo) had to be the best instant coffee I've ever tried. I get a very consistent and smooth flavor, right down to the last drop with Bustelo Supreme. I even made a coffee cake with Bustelo Supreme and my friends and family gave it rave reviews. Personally, I also like the design of the glass jar it comes in too, which is more compact and easy to transport when compared to the original stuff.

    I also bought some regular Cafe Bustelo instant espresso (with the yellow lid) just to try it out and, while it's decent, I find it to be more bitter on my palate for some reason. I wonder if the freeze dried supreme version happens to be more smooth because it was processed differently?

    Bustelo Supreme costs twice as much per ounce as the regular yellow lid Cafe Bustelo does, but to me... the supreme variant is definitely worth the money. I almost think J.M. Smuckers should just get rid of their crap Folgers instant and promote Bustelo Supreme more. It's that good.

    Do you have an opinion on Bustelo Supreme instant coffee, Jenn? If not, I suggest you run out and try some.

    Have a great evening!

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    1. Hi Matt!! Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful and detailed response. It's funny that this post gets the most comments out of everything I've ever written, still years later lol. I am glad for your new perspective. I have not tried the Bustelo Supreme Instant Coffee. I am now very curious as to the flavor.
      I find that different versions of the product definitely affect how the flavor tastes. I did another review on Bustelo in the K-cup version. I absolutely loved the flavor. But hated it in this version. So go figure right. Folgers I also am not a fan of in the instant version or ground version for that matter but when I drink the Folgers K-Cup, I just love it.
      I think you just gave me a good idea of a few new reviews highlighting instant coffee which is often overlooked but has a big following. Thanks Matt!


      Come back and comment anytime!! Loved your comment.

      Jenn

      Delete
    2. Hi Jenn!

      No problem! Glad to see you're interested in Bustelo Supreme. You can usually find the coffee at any Target, but if they aren't stocked up, I have included an Amazon link below for you to check it out for your convenience.

      http://www.amazon.com/Bustelo-Supreme-Regular-Freeze-Dried-3-52-Ounce/dp/B001EO62I0

      I did forget to mention this, but I prefer to drink my coffee black with nothing added. This freeze dried instant coffee tastes great black, so I would imagine adding cream and sugar would work out well for those that prefer it.

      Delete
    3. Hi Matt,

      Glad to hear from you again! I definitely am. I don't think there is a coffee I don't want to try lol. Good to know. I am at Target all the time. Another addiction of mine :). I will let you know if/when I try this out. Thank you so much for your help and sending me the link.
      I agree. I think that when a coffee has a great bold flavor, it can be enjoyed both black or with cream. I myself like to add a little cream. I never put sugar.


      Jenn


      Delete
  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  28. O.K so I came across this blog looking for directions to make cafe bustelo coffee using a reg drip coffee maker, cause the package gives no directions. Have been on the internet searching for this info for the past hour. finally somewhere down the middle of the comments section I find some info

    1 tablespoon per cup. Great, I will try that and let you guys know.

    I used to drink 'Green Mountain' breakfast blend coffee. It is one of the best coffees out there. But the problem is they are never available in the grocery. I lived in CT, NY now in PA. Its always the same problem. I used to purchase 6 bags at a time for this reason. I sometimes had to go to different stores 'hunting' for green mountain coffee. Now I am tired of this nonsense. So, I decided to try something that is widely available. So, cafe bustelo it is. 30 million Hispanics in the US couldn't be wrong.

    I know this is great coffee because I used this brand to make cold brew ice coffee when I owned a restaurant in the past. I researched the internet for several hours to find the right way to make cold brew back then. that when I discovered this brand. Trust me it was the smoothest ice coffee ever. I did not have a single customer that did not fall in LOVE with it. But one small glass of iced coffee will keep you up for hours. My customer's only complaint was that they couldn't sleep when they had this in the evenings. So, they would come to my place just to drink coffee in the day. I know I drifted away from topic.

    A lot of people seem to have interesting ideas about coffee and how to make it. But for the newbie looking for directions and stumbled on this blog here are some gen rules of thumb from my experience.

    1. Use freshly ground coffee (if possible)

    2. If store bought, buy in one of those bags that have a valve to squeeze out the air. I believe it is oxygen in the air that breaks down coffee so this should help to minimize exposure. Also, try to buy a widely available brand. Don't go after brands that are in business today and out tomorrow or have poor distribution systems like green mountain coffee. Trust me it is a pain in the neck trying to find the next brand that will fit your tastes.

    3. Do not refrigerate coffee. Just store it in a cabinet at room temp. Both heat and cold temps denature coffee.

    4. Most coffees could be made with a regular drip coffee machine. No need for any expensive fancy stuff. Just clean the carafe regularly. I hand-wash mine because I am not sure if it can go in the dishwasher. If you are a bit obsessive like me, use URNEX coffee pot cleaner powder. It comes in a box of small packs and does a good job of removing the fine coffee layer that forms on the pot from daily use.

    5. Follow directions on the bag for coffee to water ratios. Adjust per your taste. I am now getting the feeling that it is about 1 tbsp to 1 cup of water.

    6. If you like milk in your coffee, heat the milk in the cup before you pour coffee into it. This way your coffee stays hot after mixing.

    7. For the best tasting coffee try to consume your coffee within 15mins of brewing. Coffee breaks down if it is allowed to sit around - especially if it is hot. For the same reason re-heating a cup of coffee that has been sitting around is never a great idea.


    Matt

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    Replies
    1. Matt. Thank you so much for your amazing post! I loved all of your coffee tips and definitely swear by them as well. I also agree that Green Mountain Breakfast blend is really good. I drink it in K-Cup form in my Keurig and love it. Did you ever try ordering from their website? I agree you don't see the bagged version very often in the supermarkets. I will have to do some research and compile a helpful list I can get my hands on for you :)


      Jenn

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  29. So, here it is guys. The correct ratio of coffee to water for cafe bustelo is 1tbsp to 1 cup of water. But it should be a heaping tbsp of coffee. If you like consistency like me go for 2 leveled tbsps. Take a heaping spoonful and then flatten the heap with a knife or something similar.

    The coffee does have a slight burnt taste to it. May be because it is a dark roast coffee. But its not too bad though.

    Good luck

    Matt

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt,

      I am glad you came back to write again and happy to see the Bustelo' worked out for you as well. I am also glad to see that you had the same thoughts as I did on the "slightly burn flavor". lol
      Come back and write again please!


      Jenn

      Delete
  30. I also was disappointed to find that I did not like Bustelo. However, the Cuban coffee I love is Cafe La Llave Ground Espresso Coffee. I've made it with a moka pot (especially when camping) and with my home espresso machine. I even like it more than Lavazza.
    http://www.amazon.com/La-Llave-Ground-Espresso-Coffee/dp/B001RK3NDI
    On the topic of Starbucks, I recently went to a discount store that had bags of Starbucks coffee for $3.75 I bought a few bags of Timor Mount Ramelau and it was delicious! I have put cream and sugar in my coffee for decades and I was trying, unsuccessfully, to stop using sugar. The Starbucks Timor Mount Ramelau was the first coffee I could enjoy without sugar and helped me break the habit of having sugar in my coffee.
    I have recently discovered the website Go Coffee Go. They have an amazing selection of coffee. It is pricey, but would be a good place to go when you want to splurge and try something new. I have loved everything I've purchased there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anonymous! Thank you so much for your comment. I have heard of La Llave and I'm yet to try. Good to know and thank you so much for the recommendation.
      That is amazing! Good for you on finding a great coffee variety ( and also kicking the sugar habit. I too gave that up. Even though I never added to my coffee).
      I also love the coffee website go coffee go. They offer a great variety and prices. My best advice is shopping all around. Each website has certain items on sale at times that you might enjoy. Thank you so much for sharing and treating yourself to something special. You deserve it!


      Sign up and follow. Come back any time :)


      Jenn

      Delete
  31. I've been drinking Bustelo since the '80s, when I moved from the Midwest to L.A. I had to ask the kid at the corner store which coffee was best because I had never seen any of the brands on the shelf, and the hands-down vote was Bustelo. I usually drink it black, made with a Melitta cone. (Is that the same as a sock filter?) Nowadays I like to put a teaspoon of raw chocolate in the bottom of the cup before brewing. I guess I like bitter! I was very glad to find Bustelo in the grocery store when I finally moved back East. And salsa! My, how times had changed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello CC. Thank you so much for your story. I love hearing everyone's point of view.
      Yes drop over coffee such as using the "melitta cone" does ensure a great cup of coffee. I agree you might like it bitter, everyone has their own favorite flavors and palette. Which is why I always like to give my input but obviously know that's just for me. Everyone has their own opinion and thoughts on the subject. I know drink and love Bustelo in K-Cup form. So you never know.

      Sign up and follow! Come back any time :)


      Jenn

      Delete
  32. Thanks I wrote to the parent company of Bustelo and Pilon. I bet they are the same coffee in a different packaging. I bought a pack of El Dorado decaf. when I used it in my Nespresso it had no crema and was bitter. Kimbo is slightly darker roasted than Lavazza. Illy has a medium and a dark roast, but in Italy the medium roast is more common. Anyway a dark roast in Italy is not as dark as in the USA. I have been to Miami and I tried cortaditos and Puertorican coffee in Brooklyn. They anyway put so much sugar and hot milk to compensate the bitterness. Medium roast allows you to appreciate the flavor without adding too much milk and sugar. Also Cappuccino in the US has too much milk and the milk is too hot. Cappuccino is about 5 oz including foam. But when people use dark roast probably they need to add a lot of other stuff. I just wonder why Espresso roast in Italy is medium, while in the US Italian roast is dark, which is not accurate. Dark roasts are akin ruining a great steak by cooking it well done.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stefano:

      They probably are. A lot of the big brands buy out other ones and then are all under the same house umbrella. I have never used Kimbo myself. Yes cuban coffee is just like that. I do not like sugar in my coffee/espresso, so I'm not a fan of that way. I agree here everything is so watered down with too much milk. Most people aren't aware of the "true" flavor of coffee or espresso in it's own form.

      Thanks for writing again,

      Jenn :)

      Delete
  33. I have been loving Cafe Bustelo for years now. I make a dbl shot latte for my wife and I each morning (enjoying one right now). For me I will use Cafe Bustelo several different ways. 1. 2 scoops bustelo with steamed milk for a strong latte 1 tsp sugar. 2. 1 scoop bustelo with some other freshly ground coffee. I use a traditional espresso machine and the grind on the Cafe Bustelo is perfect. I also find that the Bustelo will strengthen up the flavor of a weaker coffee and reduce the overall cost of the coffee. I must agree that Illy is amazingly good coffee however at almost $30 per pound it is just too expensive. Cafe Bustelo is only $6.24 per pound and at that price it is worth working with to get your favorite coffee profile. Enjoy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Duane! Thank you so much for your comment and your amazing tips for how you brew Bustelo. What a great husband to make your wife coffee in the morning! I will have to try your way. I agree with your comment on adding Bustelo to other brands. My mom's boyfriend blends Bustelo with two other coffees' and it tastes like heaven! Yes Illy is definitely expensive, but nice to splurge once in a while right :)

      Please sign up and come back and write any time.

      Thank You,

      Jenn

      Delete
  34. I understand that Illy is pricey. I hope Bustelo is better than Eldorado coffee (a NYC brand fine enough for espresso but so bitter i got rid of it). You could try Kimbo or Lavazza Rossa or Crema e Gusto, more about $10 / 12 per lb depending on the deals on Amazon or at the local market. I see lavazza being really overpriced at the smaller bodegas or markets in NYC but you can find it for 5.99 a can. Bustelo is cheaper but not worth the savings. I wrote to them and their reply said that it was a company secret how much Arabica and Robusta was in the mix. Lavazza is very clear showing on the pack whether it is 100% Arabica, or 70/30 Arabica / Robusta or 30/70 Arabica/Robusta. Dark roasts like Bustelo allow to mask poorer quality coffee. I agree that Illy is expensive, and I do not drink it, but it is a good company, with good practices and also sponsor the arts. Bustelo's secretiveness is a turn off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stefano,

      Thank you so much for your great insight and comments on Bustelo and coffee. Sign up and come back anytime to write!


      Jenn

      Delete
  35. I have never experienced more caffeine in a single cup of Espresso in my life. It's like crack, plus it's bitter. I hate it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dolmance!

      Thank you so much for your comment. Sign up and come back any time to share.


      Jenn

      Delete
  36. Odd, you may be doing something wrong. I'm a coffee freak when visiting Costa Rica, ended up dragging a carry on bag full of coffee that is heavier than my regular bag. Ground only with a burr grinder, prepared in a french press (using more coffee than most because i like it super strong.) with water just below the boiling point. So, i kind of snobbishly chuckled when i bought one of those yellow bricks just for kicks. The chuckling stopped when i cut the bag open and stuck my nose in. An aroma so sweet and rich i couldn't believe it. Knowing the super fine grind wasn't intended for a press, i dusted off an old school stove top italian espresso maker i bought in a Manhattan hardware store. One cup of water, little basket for the coffee, plunk the thing on the burner and wait for the sound as it gurgles up into the upper chamber as soon as the water boils. It only makes a single cup at a time. but it was fantastic. No milk, no sugar,..straight black.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Odd, you may be doing something wrong. I'm a coffee freak when visiting Costa Rica, ended up dragging a carry on bag full of coffee that is heavier than my regular bag. Ground only with a burr grinder, prepared in a french press (using more coffee than most because i like it super strong.) with water just below the boiling point. So, i kind of snobbishly chuckled when i bought one of those yellow bricks just for kicks. The chuckling stopped when i cut the bag open and stuck my nose in. An aroma so sweet and rich i couldn't believe it. Knowing the super fine grind wasn't intended for a press, i dusted off an old school stove top italian espresso maker i bought in a Manhattan hardware store. One cup of water, little basket for the coffee, plunk the thing on the burner and wait for the sound as it gurgles up into the upper chamber as soon as the water boils. It only makes a single cup at a time. but it was fantastic. No milk, no sugar,..straight black.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Eddie!

      Thank you so much for writing. I loved hearing your story. Everyone has a different palette so we will all taste different notes. I am glad you enjoyed. Please come back. Sign up. And comment back any time :)

      Jenn

      Delete
  38. I absolutely LOVE LOVE Cafe Bustelo and one thing I think people don't realize is a little goes a long way. You cannot use the same ratio of coffee as you would say Folgers or yes it's going to taste bitter. Whenever my mom makes a pot it's unbearable because she uses way too much, you have to play around with the amounts and find that perfect one. I drink Gevalia Royal Dark Roast and Bustelo blows that out of the water strength wise.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Café Bustelo History
    http://www.cafebustelo.com/en/cafe-bustelo-history

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm with all the people that say Cafe Bustelo is by far the best. And we must be right...or close to it. Because here in Dalton, GA where we have the highest percentage of hispanics in the state of Georgia, it is almost literally the only brand of espresso you will find on the shelves of any small mercado.

      Delete
  40. Awesome! Check out my review of the NEW Cafe Bustelo: http://tinyurl.com/zyh57w7

    ReplyDelete
  41. Bustelo is the coffee I was raised on. Any coffee lover who has a cup from me loves it. I make about 4 cups when I brew it in my coffee pot. For every cup I use one teaspoon of grounds. I do not like my pot to look see through brown, or too black. I also don't leave the pot on once it's brewed. Idl if it's my pot but it makes it better after a while. Yuck. Anyway. I don't use any sugar but I will add creamer. Usually Hazelnut flavor or pumpkin. When make cafe con leche, I warm a little less than half a cup of milk and add some sugar and then the coffee. If drinking black, I suggest a little less than a teaspoon for every cup. Makes it less butter.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Please excuse the spelling errors. My phone likes to change my words 😜

    ReplyDelete
  43. I lived in Europe while attending four semesters in grad school on Switzerland. There were only four things I found better in Europe than in the U.S.: door levers instead of knobs, European trains, French bread, and coffee. Passably good French (type) bread containing only flour, yeast, salt and water can be found in the larger U.S. cities. But I have been unable to find a duplicate of the superb tasting coffee available everywhere in Europe. Europeans would pour Folgers or Starbucks down the sink in disgust. Even the ordinary house brand MMM coffee sold in the Migros European chain stores is far superior to the "best" available in the U.S. supermarkets and specialty coffee shops. Most Americans haven't tried the various European coffees available anywhere in Europe or they would revolt.

    One day I bought a can of Cafe Bustello at a Dollar General store because it was really cheap, not expecting much. I was blown away by how much it approached the robust flavor of European coffee. Not quite as good, mind you, but at least half way approaching the full, robust, nutty flavor of generic European coffee. Bustello is all I buy now until I can find a way to get the real thing from Europe. (Migros won't ship their products outside the EU.) Bustello is now available in K-Cups and that's all I drink.


    ReplyDelete
  44. Hey coffee lovers, I have to say we as humans are all different and have different tastes for the thing's that we have available in today's world. So, with that being said, in my opinion I have to say that Bustelo is my favorite coffee. I like my Bustelo pure black and made in a very old traditional coffee maker called: "Greca". The taste is unique and many people add the amount of coffee according to the volume of their taste. Don't get me wrong, I'm very open minded and I have tasted many different coffees. The flavors that come close to Bustelo to me are: Brazilian coffee, Italian coffee and Dominican coffee, in my opinion. And yes, the coffee maker plays a very important role in the taste.

    ReplyDelete
  45. The Huffington Post blind-tasted 20 brands to find out what tastes the best...
    The top 5 finishers in their taste test weren’t discernible from regular coffee (freshly ground coffee). Cafe Bustelo was #4...If you used a heaped teaspoon of coffee per 6/8 liquid ounces of water, try using a bit less

    ReplyDelete
  46. Congratulations on your article receiving so much attention over the years. I just wanted to echo another commenter who recommended the Supreme version of Bustelo. Try the espresso blend. Using your moka, fill to about 70 or 80%. No need to pack it in. The difference in taste from the regular to the Supreme is night and day. It's more chocolatey, smooth and less bitter. I use a little sweet cream on top. I've been unable to find a better cup of coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I was raised on cafe con leche and still to this day will only drink bustelo when my grandma makes it because she always makes it perfectly. My mom on the other hand will only drink bustelo without the cream or milk because for some reason it makes her feel sick.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Well , I am from Italian / French decent. I for 1 love this coffee . I found it years ago while working in St.Croix . That is all I drink .. first off the only way I have ever made it is with a standard coffee pot . Although I make mine stronger than recommended . I use a pinch os salt ( very little learned that from great-grandmother that came from Sicily ) that will take care of the bitter taste . Just add to coffee brewing . I have never had anyone not like my coffee . Just the opposite , want to know what it was .

    ReplyDelete
  49. Sorry you found it unacceptable. I love Bustelo and thank god my ALDI has it for less than 3 bucks a brick!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Sorry you found it unacceptable. I love Bustelo and thank god my ALDI has it for less than 3 bucks a brick!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I agree that the ground coffee is not very good. But the Cafe Bustelo Espresso instant is, by FAR, the best instant coffee I have ever tasted. It is so good that I rarely bother to brew coffee anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Try Pilon. I share your feelings about Bustelo. pthew pthew, yuck! But the pilon espresso is good.

    ReplyDelete
  53. First I cannot believe after so many years this blog is still being commented on. I will read every comment above as I may happen to repeat someone else's suggestion. Cafe bustelo is a great blend, best bang for the buck hand's down - IF u prepare it correctly. The best method I know of which produces crisp, flavorful results is the most traditional : cold press using jelly strained bags.
    Feel free to play around with this, but my daily driver of which I drink every day without deviation is a double shot portion of bustelo ground espresso emerged in 8oz of (filtered) water. Make sure to shake the contents (mason jar is best) to incorporate ground & water then let stand for minimum of four hours. (The longer the better but 24 max IMO).

    Four hour later strain that baby (with clean hands hopefully) into a separate jar/container of choice. You should be able to get very close to 8oz back out if your have massive testosterone built up, but, being shy of 8oz will be fine.

    Whatever you are able to strain, doube the contents with your favorite dairy/non dairy additive (lol) and sugar to taste. Me I add about 8oz of the best half and half I can find, and , 6 well rounded tbsp of coconut sugar. Add ice and bottle it in a thermos.

    Taste great hot as well but may need slightly more than double dairy/non dairy additive.

    You be the judge and tell me the results of that simplicity in a cup.

    I can be reached at ejbully@gmail.com if anyone cares to take me up on trying this. Really look forward to the people who actually took bustelo as being disgusting "" to give this a shot.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I feel the same way i was so excited for tryting Bustelo,since i always try diffrent coffees so i was really excited, but i too was dosapointed mayne i made it too strong but it wasent really my all favorite.
    Hey Jen can you recomemd me a good coffee to buy☺️

    ReplyDelete

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