Coffee lovers have their personal favorites when it comes to their cup of joe. Some adore lattes or cappuccinos while some brave hearts will opt for espresso, a concentrated coffee form that is served in small and strong shots. Espresso fans are aware that the crema is just as important as the espresso itself. Crema is the light layer of dark tan foam on an espresso’s surface which gives it a full flavor and longer aftertaste. Read on for some helpful information on the best espresso beans for crema.
What are the best espresso beans for crema?
These are our recommended best espresso beans for crema:
1. Kicking Horse Coffee
Bean type: 100% Arabica
Roast level: Medium
Brand: Kicking Horse
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Origin: Central and South America, Africa and Indonesia
Kicking Horse Coffee espresso beans brand is a chocolaty and smooth blend with vibrant and bring cocoa. The beans offer milk chocolate, brown sugar and blackcurrant aroma with silky and complex tasting notes of wild berry syrup and smooth cocoa finish. Aside from espresso, its recommended brew methods include drip machine, French press, pour-over and cold brew.
2. Koffee Kult Coffee Beans
Bean type: 100 % Arabica
Roast level: Dark
Brand: Koffee Kult
Weight: Two pounds
Origin: Brazil, Colombia and Sumatra
Koffee Kult gourmet coffee beans provide bold but smooth flavor notes with a low acidity level. It has a great aroma along with a strong, smooth and clean taste. Its aroma and flavor notes are cocoa and cinnamon with a bright and long finish. It has no oil on the beans and aside from espresso, it can be used to make delicious cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos.
3. Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend
Bean type: 60 % Arabica 40% Robusta
Roast level: Medium
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Origin: India, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam and Colombia
Lavazza Super Crema has a rich crema and aromatic taste with flowery, nutty and fruity flavor notes of roasted hazelnut, almond, honey and brown sugar. This coffee bean brand is blended and roasted in Italy with a natural sweetness you can enjoy. It is perfectly roasted and best used with an espresso machine.
The best espresso beans for crema range from medium-dark to dark in color according to coffee connoisseurs. These types of beans have enriched oils that provide vibrance, consistency, body and flavor to espressos.
Coffee beans that are freshly roasted give the most notable crema in an espresso shot. Preferred beans include Robusta which is sweet and less acidic as opposed to Arabica but also contains more caffeine.
The best period for espresso beans is one to four weeks after the roast and when looking for coffee beans online always choose those that indicate the roaster as the vendor. This way you are assured of freshly roasted beans.
What is crema?
As mentioned, crema is an aromatic and reddish-brown froth that is on top of an espresso shot. It is the light layer of dark tan foam formed when air bubbles combine with coffee’s soluble oils. A strong crema presence in an espresso shot signifies quality, well-ground coffee, and a skilled coffee maker or barista. Coffee experts state that crema is a good determinant of the quality of the espresso.
Factors that affect crema
These are some of the factors that affect the crema of your espresso:
- Coffee beans that are roasted on-site produce more pronounced crema. Needless to say, freshly roasted coffee beans produce more crema since the coffee bean oils are out-gassing from the roasting process.
- A very light roast does not produce ideal crema just as less crema is created with darker beans. The reason for this is due to the coffee oils rubbing off upon handling, packaging and grinding of coffee beans. Coffee companies try to remedy this by coming up with an espresso roast that is supposed to have a perfect amount of oils.
- Coffee beans that are naturally processed produce the best crema since the oils are mostly intact.
- The formation of crema becomes limited if the espresso machine used has automatic controls as opposed to manually pulled espresso shots. Some espresso machines try to replicate by coming up with an imitation crema.
Steps in making a perfect espresso
Here are the steps on how to make perfect espresso on the espresso machine:
- First, clean the portafilter.
- Next, dose accurately.
- Be sure to distribute the coffee grind beans in the portafilter smoothly.
- Next, tamp the coffee in an even motion consistently.
- Rinse the group head thoroughly.
- Insert the portafilter for the espresso brewing process.
- Check on the yielding and brewing time.
- Finally, serve and enjoy your espresso.
If you prefer espresso shots compared to regular brewed coffee, having an ideal crema is part of the deal. This dark tan foam on top provides full flavor and a longer aftertaste for espresso shots. Achieving the ideal concoction lies greatly in having the best espresso beans for crema which are preferably medium to dark and freshly roasted.
Image: istockphoto.com / eugenesergeev