How do you know if you have just been served a good espresso?
Well in addition to great taste, the presence of a crema is normally a good indication of a good espresso.
- A coffee should be covered with a crema – a caramel covered layer which is produced by the oils, hot water and air during extraction. It will adhere to the sides of the cup as you drink it. The fresher the coffee the richer and darker the crema. It will have a marbled appearance and sometimes you will see tiny bubbles. The crema should be about 2-4mm thick and cover the whole surface of the cup.
- If you add a little sugar, it should be supported on the crema for a few seconds before sinking through.
- If there is a black hole in the middle of the crema this indicates that it has been over extracted and will taste bitter and harsh. It is the called “The Eye” and you don’t want the eye looking at you!
- A very light coloured crema is indicative of an under extracted coffee that will taste weak. Or it could be due to the use of stale beans or the temperature is incorrect.
- If there is no crema, don’t drink it – return it! It could be as a result of errors with temperature coffee or skill.