When it comes to robust coffee options readily available in the market, Café Bustelo stands out as a popular choice among coffee drinkers who favor a strong, bold taste. Known for its distinctive yellow and red packaging, this brand offers a rich espresso-style coffee that has been a staple in Latino households for decades. However, within the product line, consumers often find themselves comparing the traditional Café Bustelo with its premium counterpart, Café Bustelo Supreme, leading to curiosity about the differences between these two variations.

The main product, Café Bustelo coffee, is well-regarded for its accessibility and intense flavor profile that lends itself well to traditional espresso-based drinks like cafecitos. It’s a go-to option for a quick and satisfying coffee that doesn’t require any specialized brewing methods. In contrast, Café Bustelo Supreme specifically uses 100% Arabica beans, which coffee connoisseurs often associate with a smoother taste and less bitterness. The choice between these two products may affect not only the flavor experience but also the caffeine content and overall enjoyment.

Determining which of these offerings best suits an individual’s taste can be influenced by various factors, including personal taste preferences, desired caffeine levels, and preparation method. While the regular Café Bustelo is synonymous with its strong kick and vibrant flavor, Café Bustelo Supreme targets those seeking a slightly more refined taste profile without losing the brand’s characteristic full-bodied essence.

History and Origin

Café Bustelo’s strikingly rich history is deeply rooted in the Latino communities of the United States, born from the entrepreneurial spirit of its founder and evolving to capture the essence of Latin American coffee culture.

Founding by Gregorio Menendez Bustelo

Gregorio Menendez Bustelo, a young Spanish immigrant, laid the foundation for what would become a coffee staple among Latino communities in New York. In 1928, Gregorio closely connected with the bustling life of theatergoers in East Harlem, weaving his Latin American heritage into the very fabric of his venture by selling coffee grounds that resonated with the homesickness of the Latino diaspora. His coffee quickly became associated with the rich and vibrant tastes reminiscent of home for many immigrants, establishing its first storefront famously known as Bustelo Coffee Roasters.

Evolution of Cafe Bustelo

Over time, Café Bustelo expanded beyond its humble origins, integrating itself into the lives and routines of a broader audience. Embraced by a diverse group of coffee enthusiasts, the brand established a reputation for its bold flavor and affordable price, thus solidifying its place within the crowded American coffee market. From a single shop on 5th Avenue, it has cemented its reputation as part of the cultural identity of coffee consumers, particularly within Puerto Rican and broader Latino communities across the United States. Café Bustelo’s journey from a local favorite to a recognizable brand nationwide personifies the classic American dream narrative, showcasing a history of perseverance and cultural prominence.

Product Comparison

When comparing Café Bustelo’s offerings, it’s essential to understand the distinct characteristics of Café Bustelo Supreme and the qualities of Regular Café Bustelo. Both products have their unique attributes that cater to different preferences.

Cafe Bustelo Supreme Characteristics

Café Bustelo Supreme is an upgraded version of the traditional Café Bustelo. It offers a unique blend of premium Arabica beans, providing a rich flavor and a smooth taste that differentiates it from the regular blend. The Supreme variant is often considered a higher-end product, aimed at consumers seeking a refined coffee experience.

  • Beans: 100% Arabica
  • Taste Profile: Rich, smooth, superior flavor quality

Regular Cafe Bustelo Qualities

Regular Café Bustelo is known for its robust and unique blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, which gives it a milder taste compared to the Supreme. This variant is loved for its strong, full-bodied profile, suitable for making both espresso and regular coffee.

  • Beans: Blend of Arabica and Robusta
  • Taste Profile: Bold, full-bodied, distinctive espresso-like quality

Each product serves a different coffee preference, with the Supreme focused on a more rich flavor and the Regular balancing strength with a milder taste.

Brewing and Taste Profiles


When comparing Café Bustelo’s Supreme and Regular blends, one must consider the brewing methods and the resulting flavor profiles. These elements are fundamental to understanding the distinctions that influence both the sensory experience and the pleasure derived from each cup.

Brewing Methods

Café Bustelo Supreme is often recommended for espresso brewing due to its finely ground texture, which is ideal for strong, concentrated coffee. Espresso machines or stovetop espresso makers best extract its flavors. On the other hand, Café Bustelo Regular can be brewed using a variety of methods, including automatic drip, French press, and pour-over, appealing to a broader range of coffee enthusiasts.

Flavor Notes and Aromas

The flavor notes of Café Bustelo Supreme are notably rich and chocolatey, with a distinct flavor profile that includes subtle hints of nutty notes. Its aroma is robust, enticing the senses. In contrast, Café Bustelo Regular has a straightforward and strong flavor with bitter qualities typical of many traditional Latin American coffees. Although less complex in taste compared to Supreme, it often packs a high caffeine content, offering a potent kick suitable for daily consumption.

Coffee Selection and Preparation

In selecting Café Bustelo for brewing, one should consider the difference in bean types and roasting levels, as well as their compatibility with various coffee makers designed for espresso or regular coffee.

Bean Types and Roasting

Café Bustelo is traditionally known for its dark roast quality, which significantly influences the flavor and strength of brewed coffee. The Supreme version tends to offer a somewhat smoother taste compared to the original blend, which is robust and full-bodied. Both variations typically use a fine grind, ideal for strong coffee aficionados, and are suitable for a range of brewing methods.

Espresso and Coffee Maker Compatibility

Café Bustelo products are well-suited for making espresso in a variety of machines, including moka pots and espresso machines. Their finely ground coffee ensures a rich extraction, conducive to a hearty, concentrated cup. For those who prefer a less intense cup, Café Bustelo can also be prepared using a drip coffee maker, though the inherent qualities of this dark-roasted espresso coffee are best realized when brewed under pressure.

Pricing and Accessibility

Café Bustelo is recognized for its competitive pricing and widespread availability. Consumers often find that both the regular and Supreme varieties cater to those on a tight budget without sacrificing quality.


Café Bustelo offers affordable coffee options for those looking to enjoy rich flavor without a hefty price tag. The regular Café Bustelo blend remains a staple for its consistent pricing, often deemed a budget-friendly choice for coffee lovers. In contrast, Café Bustelo Supreme, although slightly more expensive due to its premium status, still presents itself as a value option when compared to specialty coffee brands. Customers may find special savings through promotions or buy more and save deals, specifically available at major grocery stores and supermarkets.

Availability and Distribution

The distribution of Café Bustelo is extensive, with both regular and Supreme varieties being readily available in most supermarkets across the United States. Consumers can also purchase these products online, often with the possibility of subscription discounts or via a newsletter offering periodic deals. The brand’s strategic placement in both physical and digital retail spaces ensures that customers who are looking to stock up on their preferred coffee can do so with relative ease and convenience.