Café Bustelo is a brand of coffee. For me, though, it's closely intertwined with my youth and my mornings. I grew up in upper Manhattan, at a time when Starbucks didn't exist and (near me) there were bodegas on every corner. Those bodegas sold coffee for home brewing - Medaglio D'Oro, Pilon, and Bustelo. My parents would only drink Bustelo, prepared in a brass Turkish coffee pot which teetered on a standard gas burner. They taught me to make it by measuring two scoops of coffee per mug of water into the pot and then heating it on medium flame. You had to watch carefully, and turn off the heat just as the coffee boiled, the foaming brown bubbles rising swiftly towards the necked top of the Turkish pot - if you timed it right, the bubbles would just reach the rim before sighing and settling back. Then you carefully strained it into an earthenware mug. My parents drank it all day, savoring a big cup right before going to bed. I don't know how - if I try that, even now when I'm almost the age they were, I'm up for sixteen hours shivering.

Bustelo was started by a Spanish gent in the Bronx in the 1930s, where he attempted to emulate the grind and blend of the coffee he'd had visiting Cuba. It has been sold in New York City ever since. The company was recently bought by Rowland Coffee, run by the Cuban family Souta. Under their stewardship, the brand has branched out - you can now find it in supermarkets up and down the northeast, or purchase it online at javacabana.com.

I can't recommend it highly enough if you like coffee black, rich and strong. Try it.

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randombit tells me that this coffee is wonderful when made in a moka pot, too.

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