Sunday, April 20, 2008

Espresso without crema

Recently the coffee collective documented their experiments, they removed the crema from top of the espresso and found that the coffee is much smoother and cleaner in taste. I have been debating this issue for a long time but never had the courage to blog about it with fear of criticism. I guess this post is in eye opener for myself to push through with my controversial espresso experiments further and further. I have yet again proven to myself that there is no right or wrong when it comes to espresso, IT IS ALL ABOUT THE TASTE.


Imagine an espresso cup; a small tight space for espresso to fall into. Too often we see crema fill up more than half of the cup and hold for a long time? A perfect competition shot where crema seems to hold and hold. Now imagine this … a shallow and wide surface for espresso to fall into. The crema is now spread out along the surface and gradually starts to dissipate, a plate …

Today I have been extracting into a shallow plate, the results are staggering. I encourage you to try this. As the coffee falls onto a shallow surface the espresso evenly mixes and slowly spreads out on a plate. As a result you get a well-balanced, clean “plate” of coffee. This is definitely not a competition friendly way to serve coffee as the crema doesn’t hold at all but why would you want it to? I am proud to say that this was one of the better espresso shots I’ve had in a long while.


The way the coffee falls and mixes (especially in early stages of extraction) is absolutely vital, I will dedicate some time into exploring different surfaces for coffee to fall into and document my results.

6 comments:

Ben Kaminsky said...

Not that it's entirely pertinent to the crema discussion, but what coffee/s are you plating here?

Kiril said...

this in particular is an espresso blend roasted by a local Adelaide roaster RIO COFFEE ... i am not entirely sure what is in the blend but i do know that it has a base of Brazilian Ipanema Dulce which is extremely sweet i also know that there is a very small portion of Indian robusta less than 5%. The reason i was "plating" this particular blend is because it holds its crema really well. have you guys been playing around with different surfaces??

Ben Kaminsky said...

No, I have yet to try it, but I'll let you know what I think. We have these wide-mouthed, bowl shape demi's that we have been using and they give the shot a little more surface area resulting in a slightly reduced amount of crema as compared to say, the tulip demi's or a few other types I've seen. I like to have the crema there for aroma's sake, but then I usually give the shot a few strong swirls in the cup to try and dissipate it before drinking.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I just found your blog and noticed that you have an extensive amount of knowledge for someone of your age.

Tell me, what is your coffee background?

Martin said...

Very nice post about "plating". Have you tried with hot vs cold plates? Will do this myself asap!

Kiril said...

hi Martin,

The plate is heated, just as an espresso cup would be