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  • What is crema?

    Best to introduce yourself with a silly question - hopefully theyll get better from this point...

    So... What excatly is crema?
    Is it a froth that holds some of the oils etc from extraction?
    Is it just froth?
    Is it essential to a good coffee?
    Are the oils and flavours still present in the coffee if the crema is absent?

    The reason I ask is because Im thinking about an Atomic - actually I can bearly resist the urge. I have read abit about its extraction potential and understand that if you do everything right you can expect some crema most of the time. For me part of the experience of a good coffee is its creation and I think an Atomic will put a smile on my face before the black gold even hits my lips.

    So the question is... Will a proficient practioner on an Atomic extract the oils and aroma in similar amounts to a regular $100 espresso machine? Or do Atomic users just live with less flavour? Are the oils extracted and present in the main body of the shot with or without crema?

    To be honest - Ill probably get an Atomic anyway - but Id love to know abit more about the crema... over to the experts.

  • #2
    Re: What is crema?

    Hi secretsenor,
    Welcome to CS.

    Since your question is partly about Atomic machines, suggest your refer to the Brewing Equipment Section, and look in the area under "Manual Coffee Brewing processes", as there is a good thread about Atomic machines in there, which will answer most of your questions.

    Crema is produced primarily by the pressure of the extraction process and freshness of the beans, so low pressure processes tend not to produce much crema, however the oils, etc, are still in the shot.  While Atomic process is different to true espresso, I have heard it can produce some crema, and can taste very nice, if done with freshly roasted beans that are ground just before brewing.

    One possible advantage of the Atomic type of machines is that apparently they arent that fussy about particularly fine grind, and will work ok with relatively cheap grinder.

    Bullitt

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    • #3
      Re: What is crema?

      I use a stove top and I can regularly see oil on the surface of the coffee

      I use a cheapie stainless machine from target

      I have no experience with atomic machines

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What is crema?

        Thanks for the replies!

        The thread is about crema - I am posing it in regard to Atomics as their ability to produce it is limited and I am drawn inexplicably towards Atomics for their lovely shape.

        If then, the oils are present in a shot without crema, whats the big deal with crema? Why is it mentioned? Surely theres more to it than aesthetics.

        Ive read here that a coffe with crema is for the Aficionados and has more taste - is it just because crema is associated with a more thorough and complete extraction - or is there something magic going on in the froth.

        If theres a good explanation of crema somewhere then feel free to point me too it. wikipedia seems to skirt the most important issue - what the hell is it for?

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        • #5
          Re: What is crema?

          Welcome to Coffee Snobs. There are no silly questions. If you want to learn about coffee, search and ask.

          Crema is the pale brown foam covering the surface of a well-brewed espresso.

          It dosent carry all the flavours but indicates the freshness of the beans, good extraction and shows that it was recently brewed.

          Some people actually prefer to remove the crema before drinking their coffee.

          There is a good page about crema at Sweet Maria’s that just about says it all:
          http://www.sweetmarias.com/espresso-crema.php

          Barry

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          • #6
            Re: What is crema?

            Somewhat akin to the head on a glass of beer, indicates freshness and is aesthetically pleasing.

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            • #7
              Re: What is crema?

              ahhh!

              Im genuinely surprised that crema is merely an indicator but otherwise not functional. hmmm.

              Some people remove there crema? Wheres the fun in that? One of the pleasures of brewing an espresso is getting the crema to float on top of the milk pour. odd balls!

              The link was interesting and informative - the espressos Im getting out of the machine at work are like examples 1 and 3 but darker. Maybe I could tamp things down a little harder. Im breaking the first rule by not grinding and brewing within 3 minutes... I get my coffee ground when I by the beans from a local coffee haus. One day Ill get serious!

              Thanks again for your replies - I feel better informed.

              May the force be with you!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What is crema?

                Originally posted by 52716262694F54657E73717E100 link=1294871836/4#4 date=1295304610
                Welcome to Coffee Snobs. There are no silly questions. If you want to learn about coffee, search and ask.

                Crema is the pale brown foam covering the surface of a well-brewed espresso.

                It dosent carry all the flavours but indicates the freshness of the beans, good extraction and shows that it was recently brewed.

                Some people actually prefer to remove the crema before drinking their coffee.

                There is a good page about crema at Sweet Maria’s that just about says it all:
                http://www.sweetmarias.com/espresso-crema.php

                Barry
                Wow thanks for that link Barry (Bazza =p). Although crema isnt everything, ive had good coffees that lacked crema, it certainly makes it aesthetically pleasing and it definitely shows that the people making the coffee know their stuff!

                Just went to Yahava KoffeeWorks and man was that crema absolutely beautiful. Coffee was good too and its so close to my house <3

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                • #9
                  Re: What is crema?

                  http://www.jimseven.com/2009/07/06/video-1-crema/

                  Watch this.

                  Im one that often removes crema from espresso, not always, but probably one third of the time...

                  Comment

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