How come there’s no crema on my espresso?

by Don
(Vulcan, AB)

Portafilter packed with coffee grinds of the correct size.

Portafilter packed with coffee grinds of the correct size.


QUESTION:


Dear Coffee Detective. I watched your video review of the Breville Duo Temp Pro and bought one. I’m not saying you steered me wrong or anything, but when I use it to make espresso I don’t get any crema on the espresso. Also, the machine feels like it’s struggling, like the pump isn’t strong enough.

Is this a breville problem or a me problem?

Please help as I REALLY want this to work.

Don


ANSWER:

Don, hi

I’m guessing that it’s neither a Breville problem or a “you” problem.

From the sound of it, it’s a coffee particle size problem. It sounds like your coffee is too finely ground. When that happens, the puck of coffee creates a near-solid block, the machine has a problem pushing water through it, and you get a trickle of espresso with no crema.

You didn’t say whether you bought pre-ground coffee for your espresso, or whether you grind it yourself.

If you grind the beans yourself, change the setting so the grinds are a little coarser.

If you bought coffee pre-ground for espresso, try switching brands. This may sound a little weird. You’d think a company would know what size was just right. But years ago I had the same problem. Exactly the same as you describe.

These days I mostly grind my own beans when I make espresso. But when I’m feeling a little lazy, I have been known to buy one of those “bricks” of espresso from a store.

And I make sure to avoid the brand that caused me trouble before.

The thing is, the particle size is really important when making espresso. Too small and you get the problem I described above. Too big, and water goes through too fast, under too little pressure, and you get a very weak and watery espresso.

I hope this helps!

Best wishes,

Nick

More on espresso and espresso machines.

Video review of the Breville Duo Temp Pro

Choosing an espresso machine for your home.

What is espresso?

Making stovetop espresso with a Bialetti.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions about Coffee.

health benefits of coffee

This 9-page report tells you about some of the surprising, and important health benefits of drinking coffee.

This report is yours FREE when you sign up for the Coffee Detective Newsletter

"The Health Benefits of
Drinking Coffee"

Sign up below and we'll provide a link where you can download your report immediately.

Email

Name

Then

Your e-mail address is totally secure, and will be used only to send you The Coffee Detective Newsletter.




Advertise on CoffeeDetective.com

What's new...

  1. A simple coffee jelly recipe, and some other uses for leftover coffee.

    If you find yourself tossing coffee leftovers, stop. Make coffee jelly instead... or cold coffee or coffee ice cubes.

    Read More

  2. The death of budget coffee brands. Loved for generations and now tasting awful.

    Millions of coffee lovers reach for budget coffee brands in the hope of a decent morning coffee. Sadly, those days are gone.

    Read More

  3. How to make better coffee - the Coffee Detective guide.

    Make a perfect cup of coffee every time by avoiding all 11 mistakes described in this guide.

    Read More

  4. Keurig 2.0 K400 replacement for my K425

    QUESTION: Ok so I have just received my third replacement in the mail yep the third one, they keep giving us the Keurig 400 which we had a Keurig 425

    Read More




The 10 Best Coffee Blogs

The Best Coffee Blogs of 2016 by Market Inspector