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No Crema from my Imat Napoletana I

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  • No Crema from my Imat Napoletana I

    Good day,

    Hopefully this is the right place to ask for advice. If I posted in the wrong category, feel free to move the thread.

    I have been on a rather steep learning curve since buying my Imat Napoletana I from Mr. Pullman. Great machine and having a stepless grinder is invaluable. But I am having trouble getting any crema with my favorite beans.

    I get my coffee beans fresh roasted from Corona Coffee in Kensington, so the beans are never older than 2 days when I get them and often roasted only hours before I take them home. My favorite bean is a very dark roasted, almost black bean that produces an amazingly strong, but not bitter brew with lots of smoky, earthy overtones, that is just great. But all my snobbish coffee friends are complaining that they do not like it because it does not have any crema. So I have been ground coarser and finer, tamped more and less, but nothing will seems to produce that elusive crema. The coffee just comes out, thick and black.

    Now I know it is not the machine, since Greg sent me a little video of him making an espresso and 2/3s of the shot was crema. I also bought some beans from Campos(Superior- house blend) in Newtown while visiting the other day, and those beans produced a shot that was mostly crema.

    So how do I get the beans I like to produce a shot with crema, or just do not worry about it and enjoy my coffee...

  • #2
    Re: No Crema from my Imat Napoletana I


    I think you have two things working against you getting crema from those beans.... the bean variety (varieties?) and the roast level.

    Some varieties produce heaps of crema (pretty well all robustas and arabica beans like monsooned malabar - which will produce almost 100% crema!!!) whilst the level from others is much lower.

    As roast level increases (toward black and oily - and eventually charcoal) more of the volatile oils and carbon dioxide are driven off - eventually just leaving charcoal!!

    The oils and carbon dioxide are the ingredients which produce the crema... so the darker the roast.... the less the crema. Darker roasts also take on a "roast" flavour (pretty much all beans start to taste the same - which is a pitty) rather than the subtle flavours of the beans.

    I never roast my beans beyond the start of second crack - most not even that far. This results in heaps of crema and amazing flavour (at least to my taste).... I cant stand dark roasts (like the typical European roasts) as most of the flavour just isnt there anymore..... it might be strong, black coffee you get..... but the flavour just isnt as good! (and neither is the crema)


    • #3
      Re: No Crema from my Imat Napoletana I

      Thanks, I thought that may be the case. While I enjoy lighter roasts, I really enjoy the dark, strong roasts. It maybe an immature taste, but I tend to like my coffee the same way I like my bourbon, single-barrel, uncut, 126 proof and neat.

      I suppose I will just have to keep some lighter roast beans on hand for the crema critics.


      • #4
        Re: No Crema from my Imat Napoletana I


        Not necessarily an immature taste at all. Everyones individual, and if you enjoy dark roasts theres nothing wrong with that. The lighter roasts tend to have more acidity which sometimes doesnt mix as well with milk (if thats how youre drinking coffee). But if the majority of other drinkers prefer a more crema-laden light roast then your plan sounds a good one.



        • #5
          Re: No Crema from my Imat Napoletana I


          The other side of this coin is that in order to develop any flavour at all from very ordinary beans, some roasters will push the roast to extremes such that the only flavours that are discernible, are those attributable to the roast alone .

          If you like an intense coffee flavour (I certainly do) then it comes down to bean choice prior to roasting and roasting these beans to an optimum profile that suits your preference. Try some of the excellent beans on offer from our very own RoastMaster, Andy Freeman 8-). This will give you an idea of what truly excellent coffee is all about. We also have several highly acclaimed roasters supporting this great little virtual community of ours listed as Site Sponsors on the top L/H side of the page. Any or all of them will be able to provide you with coffee of very high quality.

          You owe it to yourself to try some of this coffee t-CTA, after that youll never look back..... 8-)