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Crema is a flavorful, aromatic, reddish-brown froth that rests on top of a shot of espresso. It is formed when air bubbles combine with fine-ground coffee’s soluble oils. Some people refer to this as the “Guinness effect” because it mimics the head on a pour of the popular Irish stout.
The strong presence of crema in an espresso shot indicates a quality, well-ground coffee and a skilled barista (professional coffee maker). Crema helps give espresso a fuller flavour and longer aftertaste than drip coffee.
Baristas and coffee makers around the world have different opinions about what they consider to be the perfect crema. The goal is to pull a shot of espresso with a crema that is not too thick, nor too thin, and one that lingers for about two minutes.
Troubleshooting crema can become complicated, but here are a few things to keep in mind.
At So Pure whether you’re using one of our Tabletop beverage machines which uses the latest in Swiss brewing coffee technology or lover of the So Pure Barista coffee machines our coffee technicians will define and perfect that grind giving you the best extraction every time.
You may not be in complete control over your espresso’s crema. Beyond perfecting the technique of pulling a shot, crema can be affected by the following factors.
Fresh roasted beans form more crema on espresso. This is because the coffee bean oils are still out-gassing from the roasting process. At So Pure our Essenza roasted bean, sun-dried and roasted three ways to perfection creating a sweet fruity flavour and roasted in our factory in traditional Probat drums allowing the full flavours to increase. Unique to So Pure, the Essenza roasted bean is a blend of Central America, Brazil and Robusta from Indonesia, crafted to create that crema and taste.
In general, the darker the bean, the less crema you will have. This is due to the oils rubbing off while handling, packaging and grinding. Then again, a very light roast is not known to produce an ideal crema, either. Many coffee companies offer an espresso roast, which should have the perfect amount of oils or a defining one type of roasted bean which is a blend of various offering you an ideal crema and textures combined.
Naturally-processed beans will often produce the best crema because more of those oils are left intact. Which is why our Essenza roasted bean are picked perfectly ripe and then laid to rest in the sun to dry creating a sweet fruity flavour.
Many espresso machines sold use automatic controls. While this is convenient, the process can limit the formation of crema compared to a manually pulled shot. Some automatic machines try to make up for this by creating an imitation crema but really 9 bar pressure is truly needed to create crema.
While it can seem that a good crema is the definition of a perfect cup of espresso, it is not as critical as some make it out to be. It does add to an espresso’s flavour and is desired. Yet, its absolutely possible to have a great tasting cup of espresso without the perfect crema.
After all, espresso is about the taste, right? If you enjoy your cup, that’s really all that matters. Don’t get the crema blues or think that you somehow failed at your attempts to pull a good shot.
Remember, the roasted coffee beans and coffee machine play a big role, at So Pure we’re here to help you create that perfect cup of espresso from a Noir Espresso machine to Barista Capsula making that right choice every time.