Coffee crema is known as the light brown froth that lays on top of a freshly pressed shot of espresso coffee. Coffee crema accompanies a debate. It is either the indication of a perfect cup of coffee, or an exaggerated froth that is great, but you can do without.
What Is Crema?
Crema is the delicious, fragrant, ruddy earthy colored foam that lays over top of a cup of coffee, usually on a shot of espresso. Coffee crema is formed when air bubbles are mixed with the oils of the coffee. People often allude to this creation as the “Guinness Impact” since it emulates the head of a poured Irish stout. This effect can also be found in Nitro Coffee
You know you brewed an excellent cup of coffee when you spot a nice layer of crema. Visibility of the crema indicates that the coffee is of quality, giving the drinker a full flavor and long after taste, far better than your average drip coffee.
What Is the Perfect Coffee Crema?
Perfect crema is a topic that is debated among many baristas. The objective is pressing a shot of espresso that isn’t too thin, nor too thick and lasts for about two minutes or so.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when investigating your crema:
- The perfect amount of crema is 1/10th of the espresso. Having too much crema results in less espresso.
- If your crema disappears in less than a minutes. The press was too fast, or the roast of the coffee is too light.
- The regular time of extraction from a quality espresso machine takes between fifteen and thirty seconds.
- Make sure you let your coffee machine warm-up before pressing any coffee. Each machine varies, so you must check with your machines manual.
Most importantly, regularly cleaning and maintaining your coffee machine is a must. Dirty coffee machines will leave your coffee tasting very unpleasant.
Below are some things to consider that will affect your crema.
Freshly roasted coffee beans will produce more crema. This is because the oils in the coffee are still gassing from the roasting process. So the next time you’re at your local coffee shop and notice a beautiful thick layer of crema, its because the shop roasts their beans on-site.
Darker coffee beans create less crema. This is because the oils of the bean are rubbed off during the handling and packaging of the bean, the best roasts for crema are Espresso roast blends because they pack higher oils.
So we come to the final question. Is Crema really that important?
While many avid coffee drinkers love praising the perfect crema, in the end, it really boils down to the taste of the coffee. A shot of espresso still can taste excellent without the crema. So don’t beat yourself up the next time you try pulling an espresso and don’t get any crema.
Keep in mind of all the factors that take play for the perfect crema: the type of coffee roast, the quality of beans and the espresso machine. Sometimes we just have to make do with what we have.
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