How to Brew

How to Make Café Bustelo Like a Pro: 6 Fast & Easy Steps

There are many ways you can make Café Bustelo, whether it’s through your standard drip machine, a French press, an Aeropress, a Keruig, as a pour-over, or as a cold brew.

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If you’re a fan of Café Bustelo, you’ll love this step-by-step guide to making it at home! It’s surprisingly easy – all you’ll need is a few simple ingredients and a coffee maker.

We’ve made dozens of recipes here at Roasty Coffee, and we think this drink is for those of you who enjoy dark roasts and strong brews. It’s perfect for those mornings when you need an extra push from your coffee drink to get going.

Café Bustelo is also sold pre-ground, so you don’t need any special grinders or fancy coffee machines to make this Cuban brew.

So, whether you’re a first-time brewer, an experienced coffee maker, or a world-traveling coffee connoisseur, read on for all the information you need to make Café Bustelo like a pro!

How To Make Cafe Bustelo

Key Takeaways

  • Café Bustelo is a finely ground, dark roast coffee known for its strong, bold flavor, and it’s easy to make at home using standard equipment you can find at home.
  • Follow our step-by-step guide to brew the perfect cup with a drip coffee maker, using Café Bustelo’s recommended coffee-to-water ratio.
  • Café Bustelo can also be brewed using various methods, including espresso machines, stovetop Moka pots, French presses, pour-over, and even in Keurig machines with K-Cups.

What Is Café Bustelo?

Café Bustelo is a Hispanic coffee company that started in Cuba. It’s a finely ground dark roast coffee with a rich, bold flavor and a chocolatey taste.

Despite its rich Latin roots, the company was founded in 1920s New York City after Gregorio Bustelo arrived in The Big Apple from Spain. He dreamed of creating his own roast, and the business began with him selling hand-ground, flavorful coffee while working at a hotel to save money.

His business grew, and soon he was able to open up his first store, after which he was able to sell to supermarkets, Latino grocery stores, and eventually all over the world.

Today, Café Bustelo is one of the most popular types of coffee in the US, one of the biggest names in the Latin coffee community, and Gregorio is known for his delicious dark roast coffee.

Café Bustelo is sold pre-ground, which means you can make it at home without special equipment and using just about any brewing process. It’s a strong and assertive cup of excellent coffee that can still deliver the kick of espresso coffee without an espresso machine – you can make it with a drip machine.

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You can also make this Latin ground coffee with an espresso machine or a portable espresso maker. This brand is often sold as an “extra fine” pre-ground espresso-style coffee.

What You’ll Need

So, to make a Café Bustelo coffee, you’ll need:

How To Make Café Bustelo

Step One

First things first, you’ll need to gather your materials. Make sure you have everything on the list above before moving on to step two.

Step Two

You’ll need to fill the drip machine’s water reservoir with cold water. Café Bustelo advises adding six ounces of water to every tablespoon of coffee.

To determine how much water to add, you can measure water in a coffee cup and add it to the coffee maker reservoir. It’s better to add a little more water than required to soak the coffee and filter since it absorbs some of the liquid.

They also suggest using filtered water to remove any extra contaminants, including chlorine.

Step Three

Put your filter into your filter basket. If your coffee maker has a reusable filter, that’s great, but if not, use a single paper filter – a standard 4″ basket filter is ideal.

Step Four

Add the ground coffee to the filter, making sure not to overfill it. Measure your coffee using a tablespoon, and add slightly less than one spoon per serving of coffee to give you the ideal coffee taste, but don’t forget that Café Bustelo is a naturally bold coffee.

If you want a weaker drink or more volume, add less coffee or more water. Once you’ve added the grounds, give them a little shake, so they’re level, and gently pat down the top of the filter.

Step Five

Next, turn on your drip coffee maker and wait for the magic to happen.

You should have a full pot of delicious, dark roast Cuban-style coffee in about five to ten minutes (depending on your coffee maker), or less, depending on the amount of water in the coffee maker’s water reservoir.

Step Six

Now, your Café Bustelo is ready! All you have to do is pour yourself a cup and enjoy.

You can add warm milk and sugar to taste, although espresso (which is how this type of coffee tastes), is meant to be drunk black.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Make Café Bustelo on the Stove?

You can also use a Moka pot to make a Café Bustelo espresso. Like a drip coffee maker, you’ll need to add water and ground coffee.

The difference is that you’ll place the Moka pot on the stove over medium heat until the water boils and creates steam. The steam then forces the water up into the coffee grounds, creating espresso.

Can I Use a French Press To Make Café Bustelo?

Yes, this works in a very similar way to a drip coffee machine described above. You’ll need to add water and coffee grounds to the French press. Put the lid on once it’s all in there (but don’t push down the plunger yet) and let it sit for four minutes.

After that, you can push down the plunger and pour yourself a cup of delicious coffee.

If you want to read more about using a French press to make Café Bustelo, we have an article here.

How Do You Make Café Bustelo Pour-Over?

It’s really simple and easy to make Café Bustelo using a pour-over method! All you have to do is add a tablespoon of your Café Bustelo coffee grounds to your pour-over filter, boil water, and slowly pour the water over the grounds.

After you let the water and grounds saturate and drip out for a few minutes, you should be good to pour your cup of coffee and enjoy!

Can You Make Café Bustelo in a Keurig?


Café Bustelo recently came out with their delicious instant espresso coffee in K-Cups for people who often use Keurigs to make their daily cup of coffee.

In a standard box, you can get 36 K-cups!

Is Café Bustelo Best Served Hot or Cold?

We really recommend making Café Bustelo hot, but of course, there are many great ways you can enjoy this coffee cold, too!

If you do choose to serve it cold, we recommend making it as a cold brew or brewing the coffee in advance before adding ice.

Can I Make Cold Brew With Café Bustelo?

Yes, Café Bustelo is great for making cold brews because of its dark roast.

All you have to do is make sure you’re using a 1:4 coffee to water ratio and then you can use your preferred method for making cold brew.

Can I Use an Iced Coffee Maker for Café Bustelo?

While you might be used to making your daily cup of coffee with an iced coffee maker, we recommend forgoing this brewing method.

If you’d prefer your Café Bustelo served cold, you can get a stronger coffee by making a cold brew or brewing it in advance and adding ice.

What Kind of Coffee Is Café Bustelo?

Café Bustelo uses robusta, which gives it a bigger caffeinated kick compared to the milder arabica.

Is Café Bustelo Instant Coffee?

While the more popular product is their finely ground dark roast, Café Bustelo also makes an instant espresso variant so you can get your fix even if you don’t have a coffee maker!

Can I Use Café Bustelo in an Aeropress?

Yes! Just like Café Bustelo, an Aeropress doesn’t technically produce true espresso. Yet, its flavor is very similar to espresso, especially if you brew the dark roast of Café Bustelo in it.

Once you add the Café Bustelo to your Aeropress, just pour hot water over the grounds and stir.

We recommend letting it steep for about a minute before pressing the plunger. To read more about this, check out our article!

Can You Use Café Bustelo in an Espresso Machine?

Yes, you can use Café Bustelo in an espresso machine. Just add the ground coffee to the filter and brew as usual.

The resulting drink will be a Cuban coffee experience similar to an espresso shot, but not as concentrated.

How Many Calories Are in Café Bustelo?

In a single serving of Café Bustelo Espresso Coffee, there are about three calories. Because of this, it’s considered a low-calorie coffee that’s a perfect healthier option!

Happy Caffeinating!

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