We decided to add this “Extraction tips for espresso” on to the product page of all our blends so users will know what’s wrong with their extraction. The featured picture on top is for pure Arabica and a lighter roast. You can find this on many of our blends, like Irridamo, Alto Palomar, etc.
Sometimes we will get users complaining that they bought a light/medium roast pure arabica blend and they tried doing it with the Italian way of using 14g for a double shot(2 x 20-25ml). End result is certain, the crema is thin, espresso is watery. It doesn’t look like any of those commercials or extraction videos found on Youtube. Many might suspect it has to do with the coffee’s freshness.
Then they try again with coffee from another coffee establishment. From local roasters known for making lighter blends and they roast fresh. They still got the same watery result and they now suspect the problem is in the machine. Of course, we know that the problem is from neither.
In coffee chemistry 101, the lighter the roast the less oil the coffee has. The oil is one of the fundamentals to what form the crema. As such, such blends made into espressos will be watery and has a very thin layer of crema. There’s simply, nothing to build the volume. Even worse if it’s pure Arabica which produces oil that deteriorates faster and less stable. For blends like that, you will need to increase the amount of coffee used, only to extract a small single shot.
Another unorthodox way to get a richer crema is for roasted coffee beans to be used earlier while they are still degassing as the CO2 will actually form part of the crema. However, such coffee though appears visually pleasing, they taste rather flat as the coffee haven’t aged enough to bring out the peak of its flavours.
Robusta beans can compensate and produce plenty of body as they can produce a very thick and persistent amount of crema. Darker roasts will also produce more oil but the oil from the Arabica beans are still not as consistent as from Robusta.
So if you are a user who likes to switch between different blends a lot, especially between different roast. We are definitely sure that your life won’t be easy as you will need to tune your grinder a lot, wasting a lot of coffee in the process. The correct way is to master a blend than to keep trying too many.
On the other hand, if you are a faithful lover of Italian blends like our Margo, Buon Giorno, etc. Your life using the machine is a lot easier as such blends are very rich in oil, crema and easy to extract.
Lastly and very importantly, it’s not really recommended to judge an espresso from how thick is the crema. The best way to judge an espresso is to drink it without looking too much at it.
Here’s the link to our coffee range: Coffee beans