Which espresso machine makes the best crema

How do I recognize a good crema on an espresso?

#Coffee knowledge
A contribution by Hannes Fendrich in the #coffee knowledge category from October 13, 2017

If you ask espresso fans how you can recognize a really good espresso, you usually get the answer “It should have a firm crema!” But what makes a good crema? How is it created? We clarify.

The crema is characteristic of an espresso

This is the golden brown foam on the surface of the freshly drawn espresso. It is often so revered because it is a signal for optimal extraction and thus a successful espresso. A stable, dense and golden-brown crema can be seen visually whether the espresso is a success.

The crema is visually pretty, but tastes bitter. That's why we recommend swirling the espresso once before drinking it so that all the layers blend together.

Do you know the sugar test? If a small spoonful of sugar is poured onto the crema, it will remain on it for a while and will only penetrate slowly through the crema.

But how do I get an optimal crema?

On the one hand, the right degree of grinding is essential for a successful espresso, i.e. also a firm crema. If the grind is too fine, the crema will be too dark and bitter. If the grind is too coarse, it becomes watery and dissolves quickly.

A “good” crema can be recognized by its dense structure and golden brown color, which ideally even has “tiger stripes”

On the other hand, the freshness of the roast is also an important indicator of the crema. As the espresso beans get older and lose CO2, the crema will also be weaker. Conversely, this means that freshly roasted espresso also creates a better crema. But note: We recommend leaving coffee beans to rest for 12 to 14 days after roasting so that they can outgas and develop their full flavor.

Crema is created thanks to the high pressure during preparation

It consists largely of carbon dioxide (CO2), water vapor bubbles, oils, sugar and suspended matter from the bean wall, which are responsible for the ideal typical tiger pattern. Since Robusta beans contain less fat than Arabica beans, Robusta produces a fuller crema.

Sources of error: How to improve the crema

The crema is too dark or barely there

  • Grind is too fine
  • Brewing temperature is too high
  • The pressure in the espresso machine is set too high
  • Coffee dosage is too high


The crema is light, watery and dissolves quickly

  • Grind is too coarse
  • Brewing temperature is too low
  • Coffee is too old
  • Coffee dosage is too low
  • Too little pressure in the machine


Coffee Circle Newsletter

You don't want to miss any promotions related to coffee and accessories? Register now!

The regular newsletter contains exciting knowledge about the world of coffee, information on new products and exclusive offers. The deregistration is possible at any time. privacy

This video will help you to get the best crema out of your espresso

With these varieties you are guaranteed a thick crema

Hannes Fendrich

Hannes started to roast coffee in his shared kitchen when he was a student, and that's not the only reason why he's our man! Hannes is largely responsible for the selection, purchasing and roasting of our coffees. He prefers to drink filter coffee - "black as midnight on a cloudless night".