What is crema in an espresso?

Crema is the light brown, golden colored foam that sits on top of a shot of espresso.

Crema and pressure

Crema appears when coffee is made using pressure, like in an espresso machine or a Nespresso. There’s no crema in coffee made in a drip coffee machine since it’s not made using pressure.

Crema at Starbucks

To see crema on Starbucks drinks, order an espresso shot or two (dark or blonde espresso roast) without anything else added.

Good crema

Good crema is when there is a thin layer of it (about ¼ of the drink) and it lasts for a couple of minutes. The crema foam is made of tiny bubbles.

Bad crema

Bad crema is when it’s too thin or too thick (more than ½ of the drink), too light in color, disappears within a few seconds, and has a lot of big bubbles.

See how to create crema in your espresso shots at home. Plus, FAQ and expert tips.