Crema – the creamy-looking froth on top of the perfect espresso – is something professionals look for in a great cup of coffee. It’s produced during the preparation of the espresso, and it’s sometimes called the ‘Guinness effect’, as it leaves a thin layer of tan froth on top of the clear, dark espresso.
How’s it produced?
As your drink’s being prepared, water is forced through the coffee under pressure. The natural oil content in the beans emulsifies, and becomes suspended in tiny bubbles of air. These bubbles filter up through the coffee and settle in a frothy layer on top of the drink. The layer has the look and consistency of cream, so is called ‘crema’.
Why’s it important?
Coffee aficionados like to see a good layer of crema, as it shows the beans were correctly prepared to have the right level of fat content, and the coffee should therefore have a good flavour.
What factors affect crema?
Many factors have an impact on the perfect crema. The way that the beans were processed has a big effect – in general, dry processing allows the beans to retain more fat and sugar than wet processing. The intensity of the roast and also the freshness of the roast are factors as well.
How can I be sure of my crema?
The best way to be sure of producing a fantastic espresso with a rich, complex flavour and good crema is to use a beans produced specifically for the purpose. Up until now, the market leader has been Lavazza Super Crema, but now you can achieve the perfect espresso for less. Suprema Coffee Beans are a new product, formulated to give the same smoothness and depth of flavour at only £7.95 for 1kg. Click here to find out more about Suprema Coffee Beans, or to purchase a sample bag.