Crema – sign or symptom?

April 12, 2005

Sweet Maria’s has an article on Crema! A Sign of Good Espresso, or a Symptom of Bad Espresso up in their Espresso Pages section…

Crema is a part of the espresso beverage. Espresso is not meant to be all crema, nor should it have less than 1/10th crema. Crema is part of the visual lure of espresso, the aromatics, the mouthfeel, the flavor and long-lasting aftertaste or espresso. In its technical definition, crema is gas bubbles suspended in a liquid film, that has high “surface tension” between the water molecules. Crema should be compact and persistent: it should last 2 minutes before the suspended water molecules drain, the entrapped gas is released and the liquid underneath shows through.

The article includes a visual guide to crema — too much, not enough, too light, too dark, and just right…