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Thread: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

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    Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    The experiment is simple.

    1. Make a standard double shot of espresso split into two cups.
    2. In the first cup, mix the contents up with a teaspoon.
    3. In the second cup, use another teaspoon and scoop off the crema.
    4. Taste the crema from that teaspoon.
    5. Taste the first cup.
    6. Taste the second cup without crema.

    Full post:
    http://ezralimm.blogspot.com/2010/03/crema-conspiracy.html


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

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    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    I know things like this are extremely subjective, but I couldnt agree more.

    The bitter taste of crema is the main reason I rarely drink espresso.

    Cheers
    Tony

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Hi! Tony and Ezralimm,
    Earlier this year there was some lengthy discussion around crema bitterness. *The discussion resulted in some experimenting with making and in particular roasting coffee and it was determined that if the coffee bean is not roasted too dark the crema can be sweet (Im talking about coffee with milk) and the coffee below the crema full bodied. I agree with the subjectiveness to a point but if you have a group of like minded people who have the same taste preferences, when sampling coffee, there will be concensus. *For me the crema is an integral part of an expresso and probably one of the reaons I prefer it but Im not a purist (coffee with milk!!! :)).
    Regards
    Jo

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    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Well Jo and Ezralimm,
    Ive always thought my crema was too bitter and put it down to (I believed) poor coffee making skills. Not now though, I feel my thoughts have been vindicated because this bloke James Hoffman, an ex world champion barista, has serious cred.

    No longer will I hang my head with embarrassment when out with other Snobs because I find crema distasteful. Now Im not saying that bitter crema cant be enjoyed as a flavour, but I honestly believe its an acquired taste. Not that Ive sampled hundreds of different beans, but based on my experience I doubt any crema on any espresso could be classed as sweet.

    Interesting.
    Tony

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Quote Originally Posted by 417A7D6675677C120 link=1269432653/3#3 date=1269586026
    based on my experience I doubt any crema on any espresso could be classed as sweet.
    Then may I suggest a short ;D trip to The Coffee Barun, and ask Mark to make you one of his special ristrettos. I had two on Tuesday morning, a Limmu and a Central American (cant remember the name) and they were both sweet. (And I usually take milk and sugar!)

    Greg

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Tony,

    Im the same but also find my tastes are changing with time. Maybe on our next Sunny Coast outing we could ask our host to put together a taste test, either that or a weekender to the Coffee Barun. Not sure the wife will approve that one! ;D ;D ;D

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Yay :) Im glad to hear that Im not alone in this.

    Perhaps I should have stressed that the statement only applies for coffee taken straight as espresso. For those who did not read my blog post:
    Ok, crema isnt all that bad. It gives properly extracted coffee that flavourful kick or "body" that makes it suitable in milk based drinks. In other words, the crema helps the coffee flavour cut through the milk that is added to lattes and cappuccinos. But by itself, taken straight as espresso, it is pretty extreme stuff, and will turn most people off. I still leave the crema on my long blacks, as it floats to the top anyway, and gives the first few mouthfuls that extra kick.

    That said, there is a bit of truth behind the myth of espresso tasting better when there is alot of crema. You see, nice, thick crema only forms properly when beans are fresh. Hence the best cafes with freshly roasted beans will have the best tasting espresso. It tastes good because the beans are fresh - not because of the crema.
    You could make a long black, with a double ristretto shot and around 120ml of water. Take out the crema... and stir in about half a teaspoon of sugar into the cup before pouring the shot on top of the hot water.

    I bet you will have never tasted a short black so smooth, so well rounded, with heaps of body and flavour... it goes down smooth. Heck i think kids would drink it. If you did the shot right, sans crema, there is almost no sourness and bitterness in the cup.


    Would love to give Coffee Barun a try but im in a different state :p

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    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Theres a few things I read on this forum I dont fully understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by 544B43505D585C5C310 link=1269432653/6#6 date=1269655865
    Yay :) *You see, nice, thick crema only forms properly when beans are fresh. Hence the best cafes with freshly roasted beans will have the best tasting espresso. It tastes good because the beans are fresh - not because of the crema.
    For instance, I started life with beans from a roaster in Victoria (Amanti). There was no roast date on the bags and I sometimes kept the beans in the freezer for 3 months or more at the suggestion of the people at Amanti Coffee.

    OK, Ive come a long way since then and only buy freshly roasted beans. My recollection is however, that the crema from the Amanti beans was at least as good, if not more abundant, than the crema I get now from freshly roasted beans. So how does that work?
    Tony


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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Some beans create more crema than others. The Amanti coffee may have had a decent amount of robusta in the blend for example.

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Slightly off topic, but there is a video on here somewhere in the milk frothing section posted by CSer Oton. Its a video of him making a coffee with his la spaziale. My point is, in that video he froths milk and pours it over what looks like a crema-less espresso shot. Now I am not sure if its a trick of the light or has Oton also seen the light and skimmed off his crema *;D

    Here it is. I hope it works. And I hope its not illegal to post somebody elses youtube video.

    Oops didnt work. Sorry. See next post.

    Thanks AM.



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    A_M
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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Quote Originally Posted by 54535858534242360 link=1269432653/9#9 date=1269663693
    Slightly off topic, but there is a video on here somewhere in the milk frothing section posted by CSer Oton. Its a video of him making a coffee with his la spaziale. My point is, in that video he froths milk and pours it over what looks like a crema-less espresso shot. Now I am not sure if its a trick of the light or has Oton also seen the light and skimmed off his crema *;D

    Here it is. I hope it works. And I hope its not illegal to post somebody elses youtube video.

    EDIT - Remove malformed link...
    Please respect others and the forum post the correct link in the right format

    [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlUI0t3-2SE[/media]

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    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Sorry AM. Im a bit of a cluts. I wasnt sure how to post it. :-?

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Its possible it would taste nicer, but wouldnt it just look like milk then?

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Quote Originally Posted by 43444F4F445555210 link=1269432653/9#9 date=1269663693
    Slightly off topic, but there is a video on here somewhere in the milk frothing section posted by CSer Oton. Its a video of him making a coffee with his la spaziale. My point is, in that video he froths milk and pours it over what looks like a crema-less espresso shot. Now I am not sure if its a trick of the light or has Oton also seen the light and skimmed off his crema *;D

    Here it is. I hope it works. And I hope its not illegal to post somebody elses youtube video.

    Oops didnt work. Sorry. See next post.

    Thanks AM.
    Maybe he made the shot, stirred and cupped it...

    Then got down to trying to make the milk..

    And after a few dozen attempts ... he finally gets the milk the right consistency.

    By that time the crema has dissipated from the mixing and being left for a long time on the bench.


    well thats my theory at least.

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Hmm, wow! Wasnt aware the taste of crema, it was always my understanding that it is the result of a well-extracted shot, but the actual taste being bitter with the crema there? Hmm...

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Quote Originally Posted by 70776C6761696E60020 link=1269432653/12#12 date=1269675803
    Its possible it would taste nicer, but wouldnt it just look like milk then? *
    runecklb - James Hoffman actually disproved this by removing the crema and pouring some nice latte art regardless. Video of that is here (starts at 2:00mins). The browny colour that contrasts so well with the milky colour is simply coffee-coloured milk from the beginning of the pour.

    Cheers
    Stuart.

    ps. JH actually credits the Coffee Collective (from Denmark) for the idea of skimming crema, by the way.

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    I had a laugh, I regularly make hot chocolate with "latte art". Melt the cocoa and a bit of icing sugar in a cup with a few tablespoons of hot water from the machine, the steam milk and pour like any other milk based drink.

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.


    Fascinating thread. Will have to play around with crema skimming and see how it goes. But before I do ...

    a) bitterness isnt a bad thing. I like bitterness ... within reason of course.
    b) texture is really important to me. And Ive always thought that crema adds texture?

    CM

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    Re: Crema Sucks. Try removing the crema and doing a double blind test.

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    will be giving this one a good testing. Ive only enjoyed espressos in Buenos Aires, but I cant remember if there was much of a cream on it or not. Its one iof the reasons I dont worry about latte art as I prefer to stir in the crema so the microfoam is uniformly coloured. maybe Ill be switching to crema-less double ristrettos sooner than I thought...



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