by Ardith Stephanson
If you love coffee, then you need to understand crema.
Not to be confused with cream (since spell check tries to change “crema” to “cream”), this golden topping that caps off the cup is the key to your best cup of coffee.
Having this delicious top off makes all the difference between an outstanding coffee and one that’s boring, bland, or downright bitter.
While you can choose among different roasts, different preparations and even different coffee vessels and cups, an excellent coffee starts with an outstanding base: the best, freshest coffee beans. And it ends perfectly if it displays a robust “crema” on top, the centrepiece of an excellent cup of coffee.
So let’s explore why crema matters, how you know you’ve got a good crema, and how the coffee beans you choose are the key to having the best coffee in your mug.
What Is Crema?
Let’s start by understanding “crema,” the showpiece of an ideal cup of coffee.
Crema is a tan-coloured foam on the top of your coffee, and it’s what differentiates the freshest, best tasting brew from one made with stale, bitter or otherwise poor quality coffee beans or grounds.
Crema is the achievement that signals the quality of your coffee. A shot of espresso that has thin or no crema is an indication of stale coffee.
So fresh beans or freshly ground beans produce quality coffee, and in turn produce the crema that displays the freshness and flavour of a top notch cup of coffee.
What Is Good Crema?
Here are the tell-tale signs of a “good” crema in your coffee:
- It should be reddish gold to tan in colour, but not too light.
- It should be smooth, not gritty.
- It should be almost velvety, as it’s created by thousands of tiny bubbles. Big bubbles are not a good sign.
- It should last about two minutes after being pulled into your cup. If it disappears too quickly, it’s not the ideal crema.
- It shouldn’t be too thick, or too thin.
If you happen to like beer, you can compare your crema to the delicious layer on top of a stout beer. As a result, crema is sometimes called the “Guinness effect.”
How Do You Achieve Good Crema?
The most important factor in achieving scrumptious crema is the coffee bean itself.
Choosing fresh beans that are freshly roasted will produce a more pronounced crema. That’s due to the roasting process, which is when CO2 is released from the beans, along with essential oils found in coffee.
When brewing coffee, the CO2 and oil release is what causes crema to appear. So stale beans, or stale grounds, will produce a coffee without crema, because CO2 and oils are depleted in stale coffee.
Fresh beans, that are freshly ground, will still be releasing CO2 when you put the grounds through the coffee machine, resulting in that jewel known as crema.
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Choosing Beans Or Grounds
Choosing fresh beans and grinding only what you need is one way to get the best cup of coffee at home.
But if you don’t have a proper coffee grinder at home, or you prefer to buy grounds instead of whole beans, you can still achieve crema and a delicious cup of espresso, coffee, latte, and cappuccino with fresh, quality grounds.
At Bop's Beans, you’ll always get the freshest coffee beans that are roasted within 3 days of your order. You can also order beans that are ground to your specific requirement, done to order to ensure freshness. There are grind options for every type of coffee and coffee machine, including espresso, filter, French press, aeropress, stovetop and cold drip.
Bop's Beans ensures the product is sent to you fresh, to secure the freshness of the coffee and provide you that delicious crema.
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Fresh Beans Are Key To Crema
The process that brings a coffee seed from the growing region, through the harvesting, processing and roasting process, and into your kitchen, is a real labour of love. A great deal of care and effort goes into the beans that make the best cup of coffee.
With all the love that goes into growing, harvesting and roasting, why would you settle for a stale package of grounds and think you’ll get the best cup of coffee from them?
Instead, the freshest beans, or freshly ground beans, will create the most flavour in a cup of coffee. That’s because coffee will begin to lose flavour once it’s ground.
The freshest beans, or freshest ground coffee, will also produce the crema that signals you’re getting the freshest, most delicious cup of coffee.
Brew On This
The beans shouldn’t be an afterthought when it comes to making great coffee. Whether you choose whole beans or ground coffee, it’s vital that you find fresh beans, or freshly ground beans, if you want the best tasting cup of coffee. That’s true whether you want a straight-up coffee, a cappuccino or an espresso, and it’s true whatever type of coffee maker you use.
By buying the freshest beans or grounds, you’ll find that delicious crema at the top of your cup, signalling a superior cup of coffee.
Any coffee lover should choose Bop's Beans, fresh coffee beans that are processed each week, or ground fresh to your specifications. Get some crema in your cup with the robust freshness of Bop's Beans.
Bring out the perfect 'crema' with every cup of coffee.
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Ardith Stephanson has spent over 30 years as a journalist, writer and communications professional, and now focuses exclusively on her freelance writing business. You can follow her personal blog theardizan.com