Monday, July 6, 2009

The Hoff on Crema

Video by James Hoffmann that all should see!

James has been a good friend of us for years now. He's long been a fantastic blogger and spokesperson for speciality coffee. When he and Anette opened up Square Mile we were stoked. We're thrilled that James is now also video blogging and honered to be mentioned in the first episode.

What he talks about it this and this How crema is not the goal of a good espresso at all - quite the opposite. I think James says it in the video better than we possibly can, so take the time and enjoy listening to his soothing voice.

One little side-note before baristas out there begin ignoring the crema completely is that it is still one way of telling whether or not you - the barista - are doing your job right. You can tell a lot about actual the extraction from looking at the crema both during the pour and after. And since we can't taste all shots we serve (for obvious reasons) we have to rely on the visual indications we get from the crema. When that's said, crema should never be the goal in sourcing beans, roasting, blending or brewing.


Mark said...

Klaus, have you folks experimented yet with taking the crema off at different stages of the espresso shots' settling? ie, skimming 10 secs after a shot, skimming 30 seconds after a shot, etc? Crema dissipates and seems to dissolve - both into the air (co2 bubbles collapsing, evaporating etc) and in the cup.

Lotta other things to think about too - for eg, is it the c02 itself that contributes to the 'off tastes' in the crema?

Or is the excessive bitters actually part of the balance contribution to the overall cup? Some crema may contribute positively, other may not?

(btw, I haven't read the other Coffee Collective entries on this yet, just seen James's vidblog, so apologies if you already discuss these things)

Anonymous said...

Tip of the hat to you guys!

I too am like James when you showed us how you were skimming the Americano at the 2008 WBC and I never took that ball and ran with it...

It is so obvious it kills me, when I think about my early years learning to drink coffee, a big part of it was learning to "deal" with crema, as far as taste is concerned, why did I not think to skim it off years ago?!!

Still like you said, it is a something we will still have to work with.

Nice work!

Keeno said...

I like Crema

and so does The Hoff

don't knock it!