A really beautiful espresso has a really beautiful crema. The secret? Tiger stripes. No, really. A good crema never changes its (sumptuously golden-brown) stripes.
photo: sebastian banasiewcz on unsplash
1. With the right – fine – grind size.
However, if the coffee grounds are too fine, the crema will be dark. If they are too coarse, it will quickly dissolve.
2. Fresh roast.
If the beans are too “old”, the crema will be weaker.
3. The right pressure during preparation.
Which means that no moka pot will be capable of conjuring a proper espresso with a gorgeous crema. But they still make tasty coffee.
Sprinkle a spoonful of sugar over the top. If it stays on the surface for a while and only seeps through slowly, you’ve got yourself a credible crema.
By the way, it does not form immediately after the espresso has been poured, but rather rises from the espresso a few seconds afterwards.