The Cremoso or Caffe Crema
According to Wikipedia the Cremoso or Caffè crema, (the terms are often used interchangeably) refers to two different coffee drinks:
- An old name for espresso(1940s and 1950s).
- A long espresso drink served primarily in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and northern Italy (1980s onwards), along the Italian/Swiss and Italian/Austrian border In Germany it is generally known as a "Café Crème" or just "Kaffee" and is generally the default type of black coffee served.
So Caffè crema, was the original term for modern espresso. It was coined by Gaggia in 1948 to describe the signature light brown aromatic foam (crema) found on an espresso. Yet in the 1970’s the term fell out of use in favour of "espresso".
The Crema is formed when air bubbles combine with the 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 the quality of the well-ground coffee. Crema helps give espresso a fuller flavour and longer aftertaste.
What Is the Perfect Crema?
Well there’s a question, 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 there are a few things to keep in mind:
- If you have too much crema in the cup, you will have less espresso. The aim is for a crema that is about one-tenth of the espresso.
- Over-extraction, under-extraction, and the coarseness of grind can all affect crema.
- If the crema "drops" (goes away) after less than one minute, then the extraction was too fast or the coffee roast was too light.
- Remember to allow your machine to warm up before pulling a shot and clean the machine regularly to ensure it continues to work properly. A dirty machine will also contribute bitterness to your espresso.
Factors That Affect Crema
You may not be in complete control over your espresso's crema. it can be affected by a few additional factors:
- Freshly roasted beans form more crema on an espresso. This is because the coffee bean oils are still out-gassing from the roasting process.
- In general, the darker the bean, the less crema it will create. This is due to the oils rubbing off when the beans are handled, packaged, and ground. Then again, a very light roast is not known to produce an ideal crema, either. You will notice many coffee companies offer an espresso roast, which should have the perfect amount of oils.
Is Crema Really That Important?
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, in reality, it is absolutely possible to have a great tasting cup of espresso without the perfect crema.
Our Crema is a blend of the Arabica beans, which are mainly cultivated in Brazil, and Central America, which give our Cremoso blend a sweet flavour, intense aroma and irresistible fragrance. While the Robusta beans, grown in Africa, give Cremoso its superlative dark colour and dense, foamy consistency.
What makes our special blend stand out is the process whereby the coffee beans are selected and roasted, giving Cremoso its own unique flavour: sweet, chocolatey, mellow, rounded and lingering. The short period of time between grinding and packing into the vacuum packed capsules ensure none of the essential oils are lost giving you the perfect Crema. Time for a Cremoso?