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Improving my crema - beans being the variable

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  • Improving my crema - beans being the variable

    Just wondering what determines the volume of crema produced, if the only variable is the type of bean (equipment, griding setting, tamp pressure etc being the same)? I recently changed from using $20/kg beans from Woolworths to $30/kg Beans (Espresso blend) from Merlo. Noticed a huge difference in crema production. Am wanting to find a product that will produce even more crema if that exists or is possible. Is it the recency of the roasting, the actual bean itself, or the special bag they use? Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Improving my crema - beans being the variable

    Hi Daniel,

    There are quite a few things which can affect the amount of crema produced, discounting your particular equipment setup and operator technique....

    The freshness of the roast is definitely one and compared to the stale, old beans you get from supermarkets , there just isnt any comparison. Another variable is the particular blend of beans being used..... thered be a good chance that the Merlo blend you have has a percentage of Robusta beans in it and this will certainly increase the volume of crema, but not necessarily the quality :-?.

    The type and manner of processing used for the beans being used also has an effect on the amount and density of the crema, i.e. in simple terms..... dry processing versus wet processing, or natural sun-drying versus industrial drying and the list goes on.
    For the best quality coffee in the cup though, you can not beat roasting your own from high quality beans such as we have access to here at CS 8-) (lucky devils we are). You should consider trying it out for yourself, its very easy and inexpensive to get started and the results have no comparison, except with what other CSers are doing ;D. Once you start, therell be no turning back,

    All the best,


    • #3
      Re: Improving my crema - beans being the variable

      Gday Daniel,
         Since going nude (a whole different thread) its very easy to tell see the crema as it comes out of the basket. The hotter the extraction temperature, the more volumetric the crema is, but its not very dense. You could easily get half a cup of it, but it quickly settles to less than half, and settles quickly, big air bubbles. Pulling a cold shot produces a smaller volume, but its much more dense and doesnt settle nearly as much.

      Freshness  plays a huge part too, as does the grind size.  For beans I have that are over 10 dayrs roasted, Id grind one notch more course and pull a hotter shot.



      • #4
        Re: Improving my crema - beans being the variable

        Specifically with regard to the question. All of the above!

        Different blends made from different origin beans with different densities in different ratios. Roast them in different ways for different length of time then let them sit for different lengths of time and the nett result is you end up with different density / residual oil content in the beans before you grind and brew, therefby affecting the crema.

        Robusta has a much greater oil content than arabica and according to many italian roasters is an "absolute must" to include in large percentage in espresso style blends.....and it ceratainly does increase crema.

        After that...setting of espresso machine brew pressure and temperature, and your method of operation / brewing technique.