What Is Crema?
Crema, as Amber from Seattle Coffee Gear explains, is a mixture of carbon dioxide, pressure, and melanoidins (a byproduct of the Maillard reaction). Coffees with less oil produce great-looking crema, which is why Robusta is a common part of an espresso blend.
How Important Is Crema?
Charles Babinski of G&B Coffee and Scott Callender of La Marzocco set out to dispel some myths. And the biggest one of these is that great-looking crema equals a great-quality coffee.
It’s worth noting that, although Robusta is being used in this video as evidence that bad-quality coffees can produce great crema, there is a growing interest in fine Robustas.
The Placebo Effect
So if crema doesn’t mean a coffee will be good, and it doesn’t even taste good, why do we care about it? Because customers care about it. In fact, a study by Nespresso showed that people will judge coffees without crema as weaker in taste.