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AlanB1976

Is lack of crema the beans?

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Hi all

At the moment I'm not getting much crema at all. Probably a couple mils at the top. Nothing close to the YouTube vids I've seen. I have my grinder/machine dialed in at 1:2 at about 30s. I'm using Rave Fudge beans (approx 9 days old - not counting a couple of days in the freezer).

I am a complete novice so could easily be me but I would have thought by pure chance I would have hit some good crema but I never really have. Could it be the beans or am I missing something (or more likely stuffing something up)? 

Even if it is me, any recommendations on some good beans for crema? 

Thanks

Alan

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This has been asked so many times with the same answer, ceama isn't important don't fret over it, if you have it ok, most will stir it in anyways, if you don't don't worry. Creama isn't the be all & end all, what the taste of the drink your producing is priority so concentrate on producing a tasty to you drink.


It doesn't matter how you get there it's only the end result that matters

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Can't I have both? 

If I have guests over, I would love to show off the setup by a drink that is not only appealing on the taste buds but on the eyes as well. 

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It can be the roast or freshness of beans along with a variety of other things, the crema will always dissipate as tile goes on, not substantially after 9 days unless there was a problem with the roast , I wouldn’t go off YouTube videos if I were you as they could just be using a dark roast Italian blend of robusta and arabica for the sake of the video, if you go on to coffeecompass website and read about the different espresso blends there are pointers in there that should help you choose one to your liking. What grinder and machine are you using?


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Different beans will produce different amounts of crema depending on the age. Rave Fudge should give you plenty. If you are making milk based drinks then you only need a small layer to make latte art. Crema tastes bitter anyway.


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Natural crema can depend on the dark oily texture of the beans and beans roasted to an Italian strength are usually the go to for crema, but it also depends on your brewing method. A cafetiere is very unlikely to produce a natural coffee crema froth, whilst a short sharp blast of water through a dark, oily ground bean from a coffee machine would almost certainly give crema. It extracts the top layer of flavours, the overtones rather than just the undertones if that makes sense so the dark oily like texture is extracted to get crema. 😊

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3 hours ago, KTD said:

What grinder and machine are you using

It's the Sage smart grinder pro. I know it's not fantastic but I can grind a yummy dose with enough consistency to keep me happy. Could it be that which is limiting crema as well? 

 

3 hours ago, lake_m said:

Rave Fudge should give you plenty

OK, so it must be either me and/or equipment (probably me 😛 ). I'll maybe try take a video so you can see what I'm doing and give me some pointers. 

 

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It’s not the grinder it’s fine with anything other than perhaps light roasts, were the beans sealed in the freezer? I’d try some fresh ones before reading too much into it


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The fresh ones were used while I was dialing in and learning, so most went in the bin. Once I started with a bit of consistency I was on the frozen ones. I'm going to order some more soon and will see. 

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Crema tasted bad. 

In my experience people will 

4 hours ago, AlanB1976 said:

Can't I have both? 

If I have guests over, I would love to show off the setup by a drink that is not only appealing on the taste buds but on the eyes as well. 

Do they drink espresso... 

Your guests will  just be polite and nod like most non coffee interested people annd pretend they take an interest, in ym experience as least. 

Crema as stated isn't very tasty.


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True, they don't drink espresso's, but even just serving up a long black with a thin layer of crema looks nice. Then they'll add milk, sugar and stir it all in anyway. But it would look great for the first few seconds 😄

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If you want crema get a dark roasted blend from rave or coffee compass and make sure it’s within 3 weeks of roast date - then at least you’ll know if there’s still no crema it’s not the beans ;-)

 

In my experience the reason will then be below, in the order of likeliness:

 

1. Not ground fine enough

2. Channelling

3. Brew temp too low

4. A combination of 1,2 and 3

 

Good luck :-)

 

 

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Not all beans and origins and roasts make good crema.

And when they do  it tastes bad. 

Crema on it's own tastes bad, skim it off , taste it . Blurgh. 

If your coffee tastes nice, then enjoy it and stop trying to make it look nice and the expense of the cup quality. 

 

 

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Whilst we agree you might not find crema tasty on it's own like you might a frothy milk, it does add a balanced depth if on a machine brewed drink like espresso or cappuccino. 

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While I agree with everyone on the lack of importance of crema, it definitely is strange to not be getting crema out of Rave Fudge blend 9 days old when going 1;2 in 30s (so definitely fine enough).

 

When you put the beans in the freezer, did you seal them completely? Including the air valve in the bag they come in? Did you let them defrost completely before opening them? 

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Alan, I'm new to this coffee lark and only had my machine about 6-8weeks. Rave were the first proper beans I bought after miserably failing with Waitrose most expensive beans. I had a bag of the Rave fudge and initially had it on grind size 8 with the grind amount being set at 12 o'clock using a double basket  (I own a Sage BE) however I went on a course the other day and since got the best result on grind size 4 with the amount set to 3 o'clock and the preset double cup volume. I'm not sure of the settings on your sage but this got really good results and a good crema from the fudge so it can definitely be done with these machines. 

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Being new I could have done a million things wrong. I'll keep an eye on things with my other beans. 

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4 minutes ago, puffin1 said:

Alan, I'm new to this coffee lark and only had my machine about 6-8weeks. Rave were the first proper beans I bought after miserably failing with Waitrose most expensive beans. I had a bag of the Rave fudge and initially had it on grind size 8 with the grind amount being set at 12 o'clock using a double basket  (I own a Sage BE) however I went on a course the other day and since got the best result on grind size 4 with the amount set to 3 o'clock and the preset double cup volume. I'm not sure of the settings on your sage but this got really good results and a good crema from the fudge so it can definitely be done with these machines.

I got the separate sage grinder so can't relate to the 3/12 o'clock positions but are you saying that a finer grind with less dose yielded more crema? I'm already getting fines in my cup so am weary of grinding finer on my current load (not that it's super fine so maybe I should just try). But then I will need to dose less to maintain the extraction which will be around 12g in a vst 15g which I've heard can be difficult to use. Oh well, worth a try to see. 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, AlanB1976 said:

I got the separate sage grinder so can't relate to the 3/12 o'clock positions but are you saying that a finer grind with less dose yielded more crema? I'm already getting fines in my cup so am weary of grinding finer on my current load (not that it's super fine so maybe I should just try). But then I will need to dose less to maintain the extraction which will be around 12g in a vst 15g which I've heard can be difficult to use. Oh well, worth a try to see. 

12 g in a 15g vst isnt optimal , that short a dose could be giving you channeling from having to grind that fine and or have that much head space in it. 

I know you want to limit your intake but is 2g noticeable ?

 

If you can find one the MIS single basket would probably hold 11g 

Edited by Mrboots2u

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You’ll have to excuse my crude attempts at explaining. I was told to go finer and as much coffee in the basket as it will allow to get the best results with the sage. Mine came with a levelling tool and every time is used that it was about 18g (54mm portafilter, double basket) but now I’m squeezing a bit more in, around 19g. The puck is coming out dry with indentations in it but it’s tasting far better. 

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Just now, puffin1 said:

You’ll have to excuse my crude attempts at explaining. I was told to go finer and as much coffee in the basket as it will allow to get the best results with the sage. Mine came with a levelling tool and every time is used that it was about 18g (54mm portafilter, double basket) but now I’m squeezing a bit more in, around 19g. The puck is coming out dry with indentations in it but it’s tasting far better. 

If you are happy with the taste and the dry puck all well and good.

As advice , as much coffee as the basket can hold , for some will to problems , an over dosed basket can lead to channeling and taste imperfections. 

There is a limit to what your basket can hold, 19g will be at the tolerance of it tbh. 

If you are happy dont stress though. 


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

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Yes, I was told each machine/grinder has their own quirks and needs, it’s a case of finding what works.

It was a sage specific workshop I went on at a local roasters, we tried various dosage/grind size etc and the more coffee and the finer the better with the four machines we had between us. 

I’m more than happy to be told this isn’t correct, it probably goes against a lot of the extraction advice on here but with the results we got I’m happy to drink the coffee as espressos without sugar whereas before I needed milk and sugar. 

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17 minutes ago, Mrboots2u said:

12 g in a 15g vst isnt optimal , that short a dose could be giving you channeling from having to grind that fine and or have that much head space in it. 

I know you want to limit your intake but is 2g noticeable

I don't have an issue sticking with the recommended 15g. My comment was purely around the thoughts with changing the grind that will produce more crema (not opening the box on the need for crema - more just wondering for my understanding on extractions and outputs) 

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45 minutes ago, puffin1 said:

Mine came with a levelling tool and every time is used that it was about 18g

My levelling tool doesn't work. Using it results in a puck that still touches the shower screen prior to extraction (which I've been told can produce channelling). I have to dose/tamp to about 2mm below the puck to not touch

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