Is Café Bustelo Cuban Or Puerto Rican [The Definitive Answer]

Is Café Bustelo Cuban Or Puerto Rican? [The Definitive Answer]

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 15:19

Latino coffee lovers often have that curious question is café Bustelo Cuban or Puerto Rican? 

The answer is not as straight forward as it seems, and it depends on your interpretation. Café Bustelo has connections to both Cuba and Puerto Rico, and two more.

Keep reading for the details and find out if Café Bustelo is Cuban or Puerto Rican.

Is Café Bustelo Cuban Or Puerto Rican?

Café Bustelo Coffee is a much beloved Cuban-style coffee that is particularly popular in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico more than other Latin American nations.

The links to Cuba go back to the company’s beginning. The one-time family roaster started out by sourcing their coffee beans from Cuba, later after the Cuban Revolution they started sourcing from other nations including Puerto Rico.

As the company expanded, the limited production capacity of coffee in Puerto Rico became problematic, and they started to source from other countries, namely Brazil and Colombia.

The company has links to America too as the business was established in East Harlem, which was known at the time as Spanish Harlem. Café Bustelo also has Spanish connections that go beyond the native language of the people that enjoy the coffee the most. The company founder, Gregorio Bustelo was a Spanish immigrant.

Is Café Bustelo Cuban Or Puerto Rican
Café Bustelo

Read: Cuban cafe con leche

Café Bustelo Is From What Country?

Café Bustelo has connections to 4 different countries.

  • Spain: The company founder, Gregorio Bustelo was a Spanish national.
  • America: The coffee company was founded in America, New York City to be precise.
  • Cuba: Originally and up until the early 1950s the coffee beans used were sourced from Cuba. Also, it is a Cuban style coffee.
  • Puerto Rico: After the Cuban revolution that nationalized the coffee beans used to make the coffee were sourced from Puerto Rico. Worthy of note and completely incidental, the company founder’s wife was a Puerto Rican National.

Is Café Bustelo Espresso?

The words “espresso ground coffee” can be seen on the distinctive and iconic label. It’s not an espresso as such but is an espresso roast and finely ground to be ideal for espresso machines and moka pots.

You can make a number of different coffee drinks using café Bustelo.

Frequently Asked Questions About Is Cafe Bustelo Cuban Or Puerto Rican

Where Did Café Bustelo Originate?

Café Bustelo has its origins in Cuba and New York via a Spanish businessman that was married to a Puerto Rican wife.

Gregorio Menéndez Bustelo started the Bustelo coffee roasters in 1928 on New York’s 5th Avenue and was the first coffee roaster and company to cater to the Latino communities.

The coffee beans were first sourced from Cuba, but after the revolution and the nationalization, the coffee beans were sourced from elsewhere.

The most dominant coffee in Puerto Rico is the Limani variety of the Arabica coffee bean. It’s a special variety that was developed on the island.

To obtain the special properties the beans need to be sown and planted in the island nation’s volcanic soil at an altitude of 550 meters (1800 ft) to 1,066M (3500 ft) and be shade grown.

Read: What is cafe con leche?

Café Bustelo, while the founder is Spanish and the company was formed and operated out of East Harlem, also known as Spanish Harlem originally used Cuban coffee beans. The island country’s rich, dark-roasted coffee is what the company used until the Cuban revolution.

Despite sourcing their beans from elsewhere in Latin America, it is still specifically selected to have the Puerto Rican and Cuban as well as other Latino communities in mind. It is certainly a Cuban-style coffee due to the dark roast and strong flavor.

No, Café Bustelo is no longer sourced from Cuba and has not been so since the early 1950s. Their beans are now sourced predominantly from Brazil and Colombia. Due to Cubas coffee industry being government operated, the ability to source them is limited.

Cuban coffee is so-called due to Café Cubano being a unique drink that has its origins in the Caribbean nation. A cafecito, a café Cubano are espresso-based coffee drinks that originate from the Italian immigrant community on the Island.

A Cafecito, also known as a Cuban coffee or café Cubano is an espresso shot sweetened with demerara sugar during the brewing of the drink.

Read: How to make cafe con leche

What Is The Difference Between Cuban Coffee And American Coffee?

Cuban coffee is strong, very strong and approximately twice as strong as American coffee. When Cuban coffee is made correctly it is thick, syrupy and has a notable aroma that will captivate you. 

The rich taste and strength comes from the unique blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans and the special way in which they are roasted.

Final Thoughts – Is Café Bustelo Cuban Or Puerto Rican?

With the information that you have in this article, that question, is café Bustelo Cuban or Puerto Rican is something that should be answered, and you should be able to make your own interpretation of which nation stakes its claim to this popular coffee. 

For me, it’s Cuban due to being a Cuban style of roast and grind. 

Join our popular online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and participate by sharing your own café bustelo coffee creations and recipes.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

Blogarama - Blog Directory