Features of Espresso Coffee: Why is Cream So Important?


When looking for a good espresso coffee, we almost always seek to know mainly about the origin of the beans, the quality of the coffee label, and even basic information about its brewing method.

However, among the characteristics of espresso coffee that can reveal a great deal about the brewing process and the peculiarities of the beverage, there is one that is still very little known.

Today, here on the blog, let’s talk about coffee cream. Also, sometimes called cream, it is one of the most characteristic elements present in espresso, and its features indicate much of the quality and mode of extraction of the beverage.

So if you’re one of the coffee lovers who don’t know these details yet, read on this post and learn more about it!

Cream: functions and features

Anyone who has had a good espresso has certainly noticed the coffee cream. It’s that thick creamy-looking layer that sits on top of the drink. For many, it is just foam in the cup.

A good cream can even stand the drops of sweetener or a spoonful of sugar without crumbling,

Pure Chemistry: How Coffee Cream Is Formed

Getting to the perfect cream is the dream of many baristas and cafe owners. This is why it is often called the Holy Grail of the coffee universe. Thus, rather than techniques, it is necessary to understand a little of how it is formed.

The cream arises from chemical processes that occur during the various stages of the manufacture and filtering of a coffee. From the roasting of the beans, which causes them to emit carbon dioxide, to the water pressure at the time of filtration, which promotes emulsification of the natural coffee oils: all this will influence the formation of a quality cream.

A good “foam,” then, needs a perfect match between the reactions and the coffee compounds, such as melanoidin, a substance present in a large amount of the beans on the market.

Color and texture: a guarantee of taste and quality.

At this point, it is possible to think, then that every good coffee can have a good cream. But not quite. Even a gourmet coffee can have a cream with features below expectations. In these cases, what should be observed is the extraction of the drink in the machine, i.e., its mode of preparation.

If the color of the cream is much lighter than conventional, for example, and the bubbles present are larger than normal, the coffee may have been “ironed” in less time than recommended, between 24 and 27 seconds. As a result, it did not form properly, and probably the drink tastes too weak.

On the other hand, the cream may also indicate that the machine time was longer than recommended. In these cases, it tends to be darker in color, and the coffee tends to taste a little stronger and bitter.

Now that you understand how the cream can be an ally when it comes to ensuring all the main features of espresso coffee, comment here in our post other tips or questions you have about this subject! Our coffee community will love to interact with you!

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