How to Make Iced Coffee with Cafe Bustelo

How to Make Cafe Bustelo In Every Type of Coffee Maker

Cafe Bustelo coffee is a timeless classic dating back almost a century to 1928 New York, when Gregorio Bustelo arrived from Spain with a passion for his Latin roots, serving the vast Latin community in his new city, and delicious Cuban-style coffee.

Why Café Bustelo is so Beloved Amongst Cuban Coffee Enthusiasts

Wondering how to make iced coffee with Cafe Bustelo? You're not alone.

Cafe Bustelo was created by a New York City Latin community member who wanted to bring the best of robust Cuban coffee often made in espresso machines to the masses.

He worked hard at a restaurant saving money until he was able to open his own coffee roasting company and begin producing this special, delicious blend of hand-ground coffee for this community.

Cafe Bustelo was created by a New York City Latino community member

It became a staple in the lives of millions over the years as it began being sold at nearly every local bodega, grocery store, and independent supermarket throughout the city.

It offers a rich, dark roast coffee flavor that borders on espresso while being widely available, reasonably priced and easily brewed in anything from an espresso machine to a drip coffee maker.

Can You Make Coffee Iced Using Café Bustelo?

It is definitely possible to make iced coffee using Cafe Bustelo.

There’s nothing inherent to Café Bustelo coffee that makes it unsuitable for brewing as cold brew or as the main ingredient in a delicious iced coffee recipe.

Having said that, to make cold brew may not be the most ideal way to enjoy the rich flavor of Café Bustelo coffee.

How to Make Cafe Bustelo In Every Type of Coffee Maker

Café Bustelo recommends several fantastic hot coffee recipes on their website, but they don’t provide a guide to make iced coffee with the product.

That’s not to say you can’t use the famous ground coffee to make iced coffee though, and if you truly love iced coffee and would like an excellent strong coffee to base your next batch on, you won’t have a problem using Café Bustelo coffee grounds to do the job.

Is Bustelo Coffee Better as Iced Coffee or Hot Coffee?

For those that strongly prefer Cafe Bustelo coffee to other brands and consider themselves enthusiasts, they’ll likely comment that hot coffee is the truest and only authentic way to enjoy a cup of Cafe Bustelo.

But if you’re not deterred by that, it’s worth pursuing iced coffee with Cafe Bustelo, and we’ve got a simple recipe for it and some easy brewing methods to help you do it.

How to Make Iced Coffee with Cafe Bustelo Coffee

There are 2 main processes to choose from to make iced coffee with Café Bustelo, each with some benefits and drawbacks that you can weigh according to your personal preference.

Option 1: Iced Cafe Bustelo Instant Coffee with Ice Cubes

The simplest and most straightforward method that will get you to make instant coffee over ice, is quite simply to brew your Café Bustelo using hot water as usual and then pour it over a glass or pitcher full of ice.

It’s quick and easy, and you’ll have a great cup of ice-cold Café Bustelo instant coffee in just a few minutes.

But there are some definite pros and cons to be considered before jumping to this method:

Pros of Iced Coffee Brewed Hot, using Ice

  • Get a near-instant iced coffee

  • Use whatever coffee maker you prefer, including a French Press or AeroPress

  • You control how much ice you use, and the temperature of the iced coffee

Cons of Iced Coffee Using Ice

  • Using ice waters down the coffee

  • You may need to add more coffee to your recipe to offset the water added by the ice

A Tip from Personal Experience

If you’re going to use this method, which isn’t ideal for preserving flavor or coffee ratio, consider preparing by making some coffee ice cubes the day before you’d like to brew.

That way, instead of using water ice and essentially watering down your coffee, you can enjoy all the benefits of this Cafe Bustelo instant recipe without the downsides.

Option 2: Cold Brew Coffee in the Fridge

This option takes a bit longer, so it’s definitely not for anyone looking for a cold instant coffee fix.

But in our opinion, it’s worthwhile, as it helps retain the key flavor of the coffee.

Pros of the Cold Brew Method

  • Better preserves the flavor of the Café Bustelo

  • Avoids essentially adding cold water to your coffee

  • Also able to be brewed using nearly any coffee maker

Cons of the Cold Brew Method

  • Requires time to cool, so definitely not the best option for an instant coffee fix

  • Despite being better than just pouring over ice, still not the ideal way to appreciate the flavor profile, according to what Café Bustelo recommends

How to Make Cafe Bustelo Iced Coffee Even Better

One of the best things about Cafe Bustelo coffee is that it’s meant to be easy to brew by everyone, while still being delicious.

So while Café Bustelo recommends recipes based on hot coffee, it doesn’t at all mean you can’t use the delicious blend, however, you like best.

Longevity Sweetened Condensed Milk

When we make iced coffee, it’s typically with a splash of almond milk or our very own homemade creamer.

We find that with Café Bustelo in particular, adding a splash of sweetened condensed milk, Vietnam style, is an incredible complement to the normally very dark taste the blend has as black coffee.

Important Notes About How to Make Café Bustelo Iced Coffee

It’s important to know that Café Bustelo is a finely ground coffee, which means that certain coffee makers may allow for coffee granules to end up in your final brew.


To control this, you can opt to buy Café Bustelo in whole bean form, or use a coffee maker like an AeroPress designed to work well with more finely ground coffee.

You can also use an ultra-fine coffee filter in other types of coffee makers to control for this a bit.

Wrap-Up: Making Iced Coffee with Bustelo

Making iced coffee with the famous Café Bustelo is a fun, refreshing way to enjoy this classic Cuban-style coffee.

Whether you take it black or add sugar, put creamer, or milk, there’s no mistaking the Café Bustelo taste, and though most like it hot, it makes an excellent cup of iced coffee all the same.

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