Bustelo is a strong and robust coffee. It has smoky flavors and bitter undertones. Bustelo's Supreme is its 100% Arabic version. It is sold whole and pre-ground.
In addition, unlike the typical yellow and red container, there is one marked with a black label. This is Café Bustelo Supreme, which has an even greater flavor, since it is made with 100% arabica beans (through Café Bustelo). After the success of the first store in Spanish Harlem, the physical product of Café Bustelo began to reach wineries and stores throughout New York City, as Bustelo personally purchased its product in the 1930s. Gregorio Menéndez Bustelo founded his eponymous brand in 1928, drawing inspiration from Latin roots and born in East Harlem, according to the brand's website.
At the time of its origin, Bustelo Coffee Roasters was a welcome addition to Harlem, as high-quality coffee was now very close by for the residents of the neighborhood, especially for Cuban exiles who were interested in using espresso machines to prepare cafecitos (Cuban espresso), according to The Cozy Coffee. If your only point of familiarity with the brand is the bright yellow and red cans found on the shelves of your local supermarket or even if Café Bustelo is a staple in your home, you may not know its interesting origin story. In fact, Bustelo lived for a while in Cuba before emigrating to the United States, and it was there that he fell in love with his specialty espresso coffee and wanted to take that experience to the United States (through NBC News). For some die-hard coffee lovers, Café Bustelo is the best fast caffeinated drink you can make at home.
Whatever way you prefer to prepare your coffee, Café Bustelo can be the perfect product because of its versatility. Bustelo Coffee has been popular for quite some time, and dates back to its beginnings in the early 20th century. Despite inflation, the rising cost of products and the influx of coffee experts who could have driven up prices, Café Bustelo has continued to be a reliable and reasonably priced coffee brand. Another thing worth knowing is that there are several different variations of the traditional Café Bustelo.
Some coffee and espresso grounds, especially those produced in large quantities, can taste overwhelmingly bitter or burnt (according to this Pure Wow review), but Café Bustelo still boasts a full-bodied flavor that is second to none. Despite being easily accessible and mass-produced, the quality and flavor of Bustelo Coffee are still as rich and robust as they were in the beginning. No matter what variant you prefer or how you like to prepare it, Café Bustelo has much more history and impact than you probably knew. However, despite the exponential increase in popularity over the past century, Bustelo Coffee never became too popular to be unaffordable.
Although Café Bustelo recommends six ounces of cold water for every tablespoon of coffee, you can always increase the ratio to make the coffee less thick.