Crema is the thick layer of delicious foam in your espresso shot. It's the creamy body of a shot, long before any milk is ever added.
An espresso without crema is like a cake without frosting: highly questionable and very likely not worth your time.
What is Crema? Crema is the thick layer of foam at the top of your espresso sho shot. A light, reddish brown color, often with little bubbles or dark spots, crema forms when water is forced through coffee grounds at a high pressure.
Why is Crema Important? Crema tells you about the quality of your coffee. You know your coffee is fresh if the shot appears to be entirely crema as it’s brewing. After the shot is poured, the espresso and crema will separate. This doesn’t happen with older coffee, since it is watery and not as thick. If there is any crema in older coffee, it will disappear quickly. A nice, settled crema means the brewed coffee wasn’t pulled incorrectly or too thin (espresso is usually thicker than other brew methods). This layer of creamy froth is the perfect topper to your boost of caffeine. So sip it slowly, and watch out for a foam mustache. Crema is literally the milk of your shot, before you add any other milk!