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Getting crema on a long black

Getting crema on a long black

When it comes to getting crema on a long black coffee, it can be a hit or miss. A long black is basically pouring espresso over hot water. Crema is that foamy layer you see on top of a good espresso shot. It's like a sign of quality, the right grind, and a good pour.

But here's the deal: you might not always see crema on a long black, and there are a few reasons why:

First, the way it's brewed matters. When you pour the espresso over the hot water, it can mess with the crema formation. So you might end up with a thinner layer or no foam at all. A double espresso shot will usually sort this out.

Then there's the espresso extraction. Crema happens when hot water is forced through finely ground coffee at high pressure, extracting the tasty oils and gases. If the espresso shot isn't extracted properly, it won't give you much crema. Things like grind size, tamping pressure, water temperature, and the quality of the beans all play a part in crema formation.

Freshness is another factor. Coffee beans that are freshly roasted tend to give you more crema. If the coffee used for your long black isn't super fresh, it might have lost some of its crema-making powers.

Oh, and let's not forget about the equipment and the barista's skills. The espresso machine and how it's taken care of, along with the barista's technique, can affect crema too. A well-maintained machine with the right pressure settings and a skilled barista can help create that foamy goodness.

But hey, no crema doesn't necessarily mean a bad long black. The taste, smell, and overall balance of the coffee matter more than just the foam on top. So enjoy your drink and savour the flavours, crema or no crema!
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