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With its bold yellow packaging, Café Bustelo stands out both on the grocery store shelves and online. Maybe you've seen it in its classic brick form or in a tin and noticed just how inexpensive it was.

When you see simple packaging and a price like that, it's only natural to ask: Is it any good?

Café Bustelo coffee is a dark roast, budget friendly Cuban coffee with a delicious smooth taste that rivals much more expensive brands. It features smoky and rich flavors which is sure to please anyone who enjoys dark roasts.

Those are my initial thoughts on it but I have so much more to share.

Let's explore together more about what you can expect in terms of flavor, cost, the grinds available, where it's from, and of course, how to properly make it!

Flavor Notes

  • A fantastically smooth yet robust and not overly bitter flavor that comes through but doesn't overpower your palate.
  • Very versatile since it can be used to brew regular coffee and espresso which can be used in specialty drinks at home like lattes or cappuccinos.
  • Very low acidity for a strong coffee which is perfect for those with more sensitive tummies.
  • Often compared in taste to more premium and expensive brands like Starbucks or Gevalia.
  • Doesn't have that unpleasant burnt aftertaste that you often find with dark roast coffee.

Available In

Most people know them for their iconic vacuum sealed brick packaging. Thankfully, they also offer their coffee in a "Party Size" 36oz Canister, K cups, whole bean, and even instant!


Aside from the obvious great taste, the low price is what attracts many people to keep this their daily "go to" coffee mix. It's a great coffee for those on a tight budget. Some prices you can expect include:

The most convenient place to buy it is online through Amazon but if you do find it available in your local store, it sometimes can be even cheaper.


  • Not available in a courser grind if you plan on using it in a reusable K-Cup coffee pod. The fine grind will still work but it will come out slower and more concentrated. As a work-around, get the whole bean and grind at home to desired coarseness to be used in any coffee maker.
  • If you don't like strong coffee, this isn't a daily beverage for you. Stick to using it just for specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

Given my taste test and research, I feel confident in assigning a very high Joe score.

Our Joe Score: 9.6/10

What type of coffee is Cafe Bustelo?

Cafe Bustelo is a very dark-roasted espresso coffee. It's a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans sourced from upwards of 20 countries globally. It is commonly used to make espresso in moka pots or in specialty machines. 

Is Cafe Bustelo real coffee?

The boldness of their yellow and red packaging and the competitive price can sometimes make people suspicious of whether or not Cafe Bustelo is made with genuine beans. Fear not! Cafe Bustelo is absolutely real espresso coffee made of both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans.

Does Cafe Bustelo have more caffeine?

Because Café Bustelo includes Robusta beans in their blend, it does have more caffeine than regular coffee. Each serving includes 150 mg of caffeine which is considered high. In comparison, Folgers contains 112 mg for the same serving size.

If this is too much for you, fortunately they do also offer a decaffeinated version of their blend.

Is Cafe Bustelo fine ground?

If you were to buy it in ground form, it does come in an extra fine grind. This is best for use in moka pots or espresso machines. If you want a chunkier grind, opt for the whole bean so you can control the grind size yourself at home.

Where does Cafe Bustelo coffee from?

As per an email from the company, their coffee comes from suppliers in more than 20 different countries. The percentage of beans from any one country varies depending on availability. It is then processed, decaffeinated and roasted at facilities in the United States.

Is Cafe Bustelo Cuban or Puerto Rican?

Cafe Bustelo is neither Puerto Rican nor Cuban coffee. The brand was created in the late 1920's by Gregorio Menendez Bustelo - an immigrant to New York from Cuba. Because of his connections, it quickly became popular in the Cuban community.

How to make it

If you want to drink Cafe Bustelo like it was originally intended, use a Moka Pot and add a Teaspoon of raw sugar into the pot. Also make sure you tamp down the Grinds so it's compacted into the filter. Then, brew as usual and enjoy!



Cafe Bustelo, Dark Roast

About the author 

Joe Cabot

Joe LOVES coffee. He gets up at 6am every morning grind and brew a cup of coffee using the newest beans on his radar. Seriously! When he’s not experimenting with coffee blends or writing posts, you can find him hanging out with his wife and son in Ontario, Canada. Learn more.

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