Cafe Bustelo vs Folgers


Cafe Bustelo vs Folgers are two of the most popular pre-ground coffees in the market. We are going to compare them against each other to find out the best pre-ground coffee that you can enjoy in the morning before going to work without much effort.

Continue reading below to find out more about:
• The company background of each coffee
• What variants and packaging sizes that each brand offers
• The flavor profiles of Cafe Bustelo and Folgers
• Who will enjoy the flavor of Cafe Bustelo vs Folgers
• Which pre-ground coffee that is generally more recommended

Company History of Cafe Bustelo

The person behind the Cafe Bustelo company was Gregorio Menendez Bustelo. He was a Spanish who traveled to Cuba when he was young, before moving into the United States.

He started the company after moving into New York in 1928. Initially, Cafe Bustelo was sold from door to door, but the coffee quickly rose to popularity among the Latin population in the area which allowed the establishment of a store.

Cafe Bustelo achieved great success throughout the 1990s and the 2000s. It was and still is widely known for its packaging’s red and yellow colors. It was often depicted in some art subcultures due to its popularity.

In 2000, Cafe Bustelo was purchased by Rowland Coffee Roasters, which, in the same year, was acquired by the Souto family. However, in 2011, it was purchased by J. M. Smucker.

Nowadays, you can find Cafe Bustelo in several forms and variants. It is sold in bags of pre-ground coffee, but it is also available in K-Cup pods. So, you can choose a product that suits your preferred brewing method.

 Cafe BusteloFolgers
Best Offerclick hereclick here
Product Dimensions6.2 x 6 x 7 inches
6.5 x 6.5 x 5.4 inches
Item Weight 2.2 pounds
1.51 pounds

Available Variants of Cafe Bustelo

Cafe Bustelo vs Folgers is primarily known for the Cuban-Style espresso. However, there are actually some other variants. There are also several packaging forms.

A Cuban-style espresso is made with demerara sugar as the sweetener and whipped with the strongest espresso drops. As a result, a Cuban-style espresso is typically dark with a very strong flavor. See also: Café Bustelo vs Medaglia D Oro.

The regular espresso coffee is available in bricks, cans, single-serve packs, and K-Cup pods. For the bricks packaging, the available sizes are 6-oz, 10-oz, and 16-oz. For the cans packaging, the available sizes are 10-oz, 22-oz, and 36-oz.

Cafe Bustelo Supreme Bustelo Espresso is a line of Arabica coffee. This variant is known for having a very fine grind. It is sold in 10-oz bricks, 10-oz cans, 16-oz and 32-oz whole-bean packs, and 3.52-oz freeze-dried instant coffee tubes.

Cafe Bustelo Sweet and Creamy is a line of instant coffee with two flavor choices, café con leche (which literally means coffee with milk) and café con chocolate (which literally means coffee with chocolate). It is sold in single-serve instant coffee packs and ready-to-drink cans.

Flavor Profile of Cafe Bustelo

The original Cafe Bustelo was meant for brewing café con leche, a coffee drink with a Spanish background made from strong espresso and milk in a 1:1 ratio. However, nowadays, Cafe Bustelo is widely consumed by a broader market, and is particularly liked by people who prefer to drink dark coffee.

In order to compare the flavor of Cafe Bustelo, we use the regular espresso coffee to base our comparison on. This is because the regular espresso coffee is the most versatile; it can be made into various coffee drinks. Not to mention that it is the most recognized line.

Cafe Bustelo is very strong. Some people even put it as “very dark and bitter”. So, this coffee is probably only suitable for a certain group of coffee drinkers.

Nevertheless, the texture of the pre-ground coffee is excellent. It is fine with very good consistency. This will allow you to brew the coffee with even extraction. The fine grind is easy to work with; you can just put the coffee in a cup and pour hot water, or use an espresso machine. In either way, you will get a good result.

As mentioned above, the flavor of the Cafe Bustelo coffee is very strong, bitter, and acrid. It will certainly snap your eyes open – because of both the caffeine content and the acrid taste. It can be a good choice if you need something to pump up your energy and concentration after taking the lunch.

If you don’t like a very bitter coffee, adding some milk into Cafe Bustelo is a good idea. This coffee also tastes nice with some milk. By adding some milk in a 1:1 ratio, you can greatly reduce the bitterness of the coffee. The milk will lend a unique sweetness, and the overall flavor will become more complex yet less bitter.

Company Background of Folgers

The company was initially founded by William H. Bovee, before it was then bought by James A. Folger who also renamed the company after his own name. It was started in San Francisco in 1850. Since the 1990s, Folgers has become one of the most successful brands of pre-ground coffee in the US market.

The company experienced a dramatic growth under the leadership of Peter Folger and after Frank P. Atha opened a coffee plant in Texas. In 1963, the company was purchased by Procter & Gamble. During this era, the company became the number one coffee brand in the US.

However, J. M. Smucker bought the Folgers company in 2008. So, yes, Cafe Bustelo vs Folgers now belong to the same parent company. Many people believe that the parent company is earning a lot of bucks from the profits of these two major coffee brands. Even so, Cafe Bustelo and Folgers remain as two different brands of pre-ground coffee with different characteristics.

Available Variants of Folgers

Compared to Cafe Bustelo, Folgers has many more variants. It is now producing at least 12 different lines of coffee. All of them are available in the United States. The available lines in Folgers are:
• Classic Roast. This line has two options: the classic roast and the half-caffeine medium roast.
• Folgers Gourmet Selections. This line offers flavored coffee products.
• Classic Complements. This line has three roast options: dark roast, medium dark roast, and light roast.
• 1850. This is a premium line that offers whole bean packs, pre-ground coffee, iced instant coffee, and K-Cups.
• Singles. This line offers single-serve packets.
• Simply Smooth. It is a line of medium-roast coffee.
• Cappuccino. There are two flavor options, French Vanilla and Mocha Chocolate.
• Flavored Coffee. There are several flavor options, including French Vanilla, Chocolate Silk, Hazelnut, Cinnamon.
• Home Cafe Pods. This line is specifically designed for one-cup brewing machines.
• Instant Coffee. This line has regular and decaf options.
• Folgers Iced Cafe Coffee Drink. This is a line of instant-coffee with several flavor options, including Original Latte, Hazelnut Latte, Vanilla Latte, Caramel Macchiato.

In addition to the coffee products, Folgers also offers “coffee enhancers”, which are flavorings that you can add to your coffee. You can choose from Vanilla, Mocha, Hazelnut, and Caramel flavor options. So, if you typically prefer sweet or flavored coffee drinks, Folgers is a great choice. You will never get bored with the number of available variants and flavor options.

Flavor Profile of Folgers

So, how is the flavor of Folgers compared to Cafe Bustelo? In order to make a fair comparison, we will use the Folgers Classic Roast to base our comparison upon. This is the espresso-style coffee that is comparable to Cafe Bustelo’s regular espresso.

Truth to be told, Folgers is quite easy to distinguish from other coffee brands, even in a blind test. The coffee is not too bitter. In fact, it has some sweetness in it, which mixes well with the slight acidity of the coffee.

There is a slight nutty taste in the initial sip. The nutty taste creates an impression of a rich flavor profile. There is still some bitterness, but the bitterness is not the most dominating note. The aroma of the coffee is also nice and unique, it is almost like the smell of malted milk coffee.

The texture of the pre-ground coffee is fine and consistent. You can brew it in the traditional manner, in which you simply put the coffee into your cup and pour some hot water, or use a coffee machine. The consistent grind will allow get evenly extracted coffee quite easily.

Folgers is a coffee that will be greatly by people who don’t like bitter coffee. It has a pleasant coffee taste with some sweetness and nuttiness. Some avid coffee lovers may argue that excessive sweetness can ruin the actual flavor of the coffee, but the sweetness in Folgers is just enough to tone down the bitterness without overpowering. Also, Folgers has a number of flavored coffee drinks that will attract a wider audience.

Cafe Bustelo vs Folgers

- Dark, pure, and flavorful, our bold blend is roasted and ground from the finest coffees in the world.
- No fancy equipment needed - just brew it and enjoy it your way.
- Using a secret blend of coffee beans, Gregorio crafted the beloved, rich flavors that consumers now recognize as Cafe Bustelo, an authentically Latin, espresso-style coffee.
- Bold dark-roast ground coffee with a strong, rich aroma
- 100% pure coffee. Roasted in New Orleans, Louisiana
- Interlocking AromaSeal canister seals tight to lock in freshness


Folgers is generally more recommended, especially for people who are new to the world of coffee. It has a pleasant coffee taste that is not too bitter or too strong. It is also great for people who prefer flavored coffee drinks. On the other hand, Cafe Bustelo is more suitable for people who prefer dark roast and strong coffee.

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