For a long time crema has been viewed as the definitive sign of great espresso. This has never sat very well with us at Five Senses, as we have often tasted magnificent coffees with fleeting, delicate crema and some not so magnificent coffees with crema that lasted forever.
In fact, older coffee with a high robusta percentage will reliably provide espresso with a thick layer of crema but the flavour is reminiscent of burnt rubber. So we were stoked when the nicest guy in specialty coffee, James Hoffman, made a real paradigm change in a ground breaking video on his leading blog, jimseven.
No point in me trying to explain it to you when James has already done a brilliant job; check it out yourself.
This doesn’t mean we disregard crema altogether. Crema is still an important diagnostic tool for fine tuning your espresso extractions. But let’s not let a small layer of foam and oil seduce us away from the real mission here — great tasting coffee.
Anyway, who still uses an espresso machine? They were so 2008, pass me a filter please!