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Topic: Cafe Suisse-Cafe Crema-Espresso Americano (12 msgs / 322 lines)
1) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
I have no experience with Cafe Suisse or Cafe Crema or Espresso Americano. I
heard several opinions about those drinks and will appreciate your
experiences, thoughts and opinions.
1. Some people claim that any beans that make good coffee when brewed in a
French Press or Vacuum machine will make equally good or better cup of
coffee when made as Cafe Suisse or Cafe Crema or Espresso Americano.
2. Other people claim that is true with most beans except very bright
coffees.
3. Some people think that the first statement is true for "air roasted"
beans but perhaps not for drum roasted beans.
4. Some people claim that any beans that taste good as Cafe Suisse or Cafe
Crema will taste even better as Espresso Americano. (The amount of coffee
beans, size of the drink in ounces and extraction time are all identical for
both methods.)
5. Finally, some people would not touch Cafe Suisse or Cafe Crema or
Espresso Americano.
Well, I know that the best way to find out would be for me to try it all.
Please, save me some time and share your experiences!
Finally, here is my understanding of those drinks, assuming that they are
all made from identical beans home roasted to the same darkness:
(a) Cafe Suisse or Cafe Crema is 6 oz. in size with a thin tan crema on the
surface. It is made in an espresso machine from 16 to 17 g of freshly ground
coffee ground coarser than for espresso, using identical
tamp/tap/tamp/polish method ; those 16 to 17 g of coffee produce 6 oz drink
in 25 to 28 seconds, never longer than 30 seconds. The grind is adjusted so
that the extraction time is 25 to 28 seconds for 6 oz. drink.
(Some people prefer Ethiopian Harar, or Indonesians such as Sumatra,
Sulawesi and Java. Others prefer all their favorite beans -- see item 1.
above.)
(b) Espresso double shot has thick red-brown crema and is made in an
espresso machine using 16 to 17 g of freshly ground coffee, finely ground (5
lb tamp/tap/25 to 30 lb tamp plus polish/twist with less pressure). The
grind is adjusted so that the extraction time is 25 to 28 seconds for 1.5 to
2 oz (double shot) espresso.
--
(c) Espresso Americano = 1.5 to 2 oz of espresso (see above) diluted with
4.5 or 4 oz of hot water to produce 6oz drink.
Well, thank you for you help, Lubos
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2) From: James Gundlach
On Monday, September 2, 2002, at 09:39 PM, Irene and Lubos Palounek 
wrote:
<Snip>
So far this sounds like me.
  Jim Gundlach
   La Place, Alabama
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3) From: Jim Schulman
Hi Lubos,
Afaik, all the points you made about the mechanics of making Americanos and Cafe Suisse 
are correct.
As to appropriate blends, I'm not sure there's a lot of guidance. I personally find that 
Americanos and Cafe Suisse works for a wider variety than straight espresso. These drinks 
are, to me, a slightly improved version of mochapot coffee, so that single origin beans 
work well. A German site that specializes in selling Italian espresso blends warns that 
the 20% and 40% Robusta blends are not appropriate to for either cafe crema or superautos.
Jim
On 2 Sep 2002 at 21:39, Irene and Lubos Palounek wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Irene and Lubos Palounek" 
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I
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Not equally good: Superior IMNSHO. Brightened highlights, more body,
complexity & creamy mouthfeel. FP & Vac seem lifeless after a good Americano
or Cafe' Crema of the same bean... (I won't even mention the light years in
flavor over drip!)
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Yerg' me thinks is fairly bright, works just great.
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Espresso brewing extraction brings out the most flavor from a bean,
regardless the roast...
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for
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'Bout equal IMNSHO.
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Their loss!!! Try it, you may never want to drink coffee any other way!
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Loss of 10 CSA points for that :-)
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the
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ground
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drink
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so
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Correct except bean amount. My recollection of our earlier discussions and
my attempts to learn to make Cafe' Crema: it's a single shot ground (7-9gr)
25sec 5-6oz pull.
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(5
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to
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I'm fairly certain a 'single' Americano is a single shot (7-9gr) with hot
water added for 5-6oz total. A double Americano is double shot with hot
water added for 10-12oz total volume.
My usual 'cup of Joe' is a variation I stumbled on making incorrect Cafe'
Crema. Double strength Cafe' Crema Americano. That is a 18gr 25sec 5oz pull
with 5oz hot water added for a decent 10oz cup of wonderful smooth rich
creamy complex bright and full of body cup of Joe. (Double strength 18gr
25sec 5oz pull by learned accident before I learned the correct Cafe' Crema
strength.) I prefer the 18gr 5oz +5oz Americano over 18gr 2oz pull +8oz
water cup. Seems a bit smoother and richer, almost identical to the 5oz SM5k
Cafe' Crema (from my test comparisons...)
Try all the methods and decide for yourself!!!
MM;-)
Home Ju-Ju Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
Grindin' & Brewin' with Solis Maestro & Miss Silvia
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5) From: EuropaChris
I can't answer all you questions, but I'll give you this:
For cafe crema, a lighter roast works best.  No more than a few snaps of second crack.
I use about 10g of coffee in a double basket, barely a tamp, and get 3 to 4oz.  Grind is 3 to 4 clicks coarser on my Rocky than espresso grind.  It makes a delicious cup.
I've never ever made an Americano, so I can't comment there.
Cafe crema is THE way coffee is made in Holland in any restaurant or shop.  The only time you see drip brewers is in the home.  Superautos are widely used for this, as well as regular semiautos and autos.  
I do find that espresso still gives more oomph and character to the cup.  Cafe crema tends to be very clean, very smooth, and well, creamy.  I've not experimented enough with bean varieties to get a feel for what comes through or not.  
Chris
"Irene and Lubos Palounek"  wrote:
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6) From: EuropaChris
One last thought.  I don't recall which machine you have, but not all are really suitable for cafe crema.  Reason - boiler size.  Most home espresso machines cannot deliver more than 3 oz. of water before the temp takes a nosedive.  A Silvia, due to it's larger boiler, can do about 4 to 5 oz. so I've found.  If you try 6 or more ounces, at the end of the shot you'll be brewing with cold water.  
Most cafe crema served to me in Holland has been 3 to 4 oz., brewed from one *click* out of a doser/grinder in a double basket.  The coffee just gushes forth quite quickly, making the true espresso hound cringe with the thought of actually drinking it.  Nevertheless, it makes for a wonderful drink!
Chris
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7) From: The Scarlet Wombat
When I got my SL90 and Mazzer grinder, I realized that I did not have room 
on the counter for those, and another grinder and my press pot, so, to 
avoid a counter revolution by my wife, I stored the small grinder and press 
pot and started making Americanos for my regular coffee...and am completely 
enslaved to them.
I also make straight double double shots and cafe cremas, but there is 
something very tasty and interesting about how a given bean and roast turns 
into an Americano.  My wife likes her Americanos with no bitterness at all, 
so I grind her coffee a wee bit coarser than mine for the shots.  We are 
both so happy with our Americanos, we are spoiled and cannot drink coffee 
anywhere else.  I'll be moving to Idaho next late spring, the idea of being 
without our preferred coffee for may be a couple of weeks is downright scary.
Dan
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8) From: Les & Becky
I never thought I would drink an Americano.  The thought of adding water to
a shot just about fried my senses.  However, my wife must have milk or cream
in her coffee, and I pulled her Cappuccino, and one day after about a week
of having my espresso machine, I thought why not give it a try?  Good old
Mike McGuiness drinks them.  A true CSA member will try anything at least
once! Right?  Well, Uganda is my favorite standard coffee, so after making
Becky's adulteration, I pulled a double shot and added the water!  Wow, it
was good!  Americanos have become my standard coffee drink now.  Vac pots
are OK,  French press at work because there is really no other choice, but
at home it is Americano!  You get all the complexity of the shot with a more
mild and larger drink!  Try it you might like it!
Les
Roasting and Pulling Shots in S. Oregon
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9) From: Irene and Lubos Palounek
Thank you for answering my "Cafe Suisse-Cafe Crema-Espresso Americano"
questions.
As James Gundlach, I used to say that I would never touch those drinks. But
after trying them, I agree with Mike McGinness: those drinks are "superior.
Brightened highlights, more body, complexity & creamy mouth-feel. FP & Vac
seem lifeless after a good Americano or Cafe' Crema of the same bean..."
Or, as Chris Beck wrote, "clean, smooth, creamy."
I think I will follow the example of Scarlet Wombat and will "start making
Americanos for our regular coffee." I also tried Cafe Suisse/Crema, but, as
Dan says, "there is something very tasty and interesting about how a given
bean and roast turns into an Americano."
As Les and Becky wrote, I, too, "never thought I would drink an Americano.
The thought of adding water to a shot just about fried my senses...."
However, as for Les and Becky, Americanos will most likely "become our
standard coffee drink now.  Vac pots are OK ... but at home it will be
Americano...all the complexity of the shot with a more mild and larger
drink!"
As Jim Schulman wrote, "Americanos and Cafe Suisse works for a wider variety
than straight espresso."
Again, thank you all for sharing you insight and experience. I will keep
experimenting, but now I find that for all beans we tried the Americanos
taste noticeably better as compared to a Cafe Suisse or Cafe Crema made from
the same beans -- same amount of the same batch of HT roasted beans, made by
a 25 to 28 second pull. This morning, we had the Sweet Maria's Java
Government Jampit Estate 2002 as Americanos -- and I made also small French
Press from the same beans. The Americanos won!
I will now stop comparing Cafe Suisse / Cafe Crema to Americanos and start
experimenting with the best degree of roast for Americanos from the
individual beans. I cannot see any reason why a Cafe Suisse or Cafe Crema
should make a better drink as compared to the Americano. Correct?
I will now keep experimenting and trying to learn how to consistently make a
really good cup of espresso, cappuccino, or Americano from the many Sweet
Maria's bags of coffee we have ... and some blends, too.
Cheers, have a nice Sunday, Lubos
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10) From: jim gundlach
On Sunday, September 8, 2002, at 11:19 AM, Irene and Lubos Palounek 
wrote:
<Snip>
I guess I am being a bit culture bound here.  I will give them a try 
once I get an efficient system put back together.  It is a bit hard to 
experiment with hand ground beans.
     Jim Gundlach
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11) From: JKG
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start
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Crema
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I've never tried the Cafe Crema, but I am a big Americano fan.
The nice thing about Americanos is that you don't have to change
your grinder setting.  I like to pull an Americano first thing in the
morning before having a double or two.
JKG
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12) From: Charlie Herlihy
<Snip>
Correct?
 I main reason I like Cafe Cremas better than Americanos is the
body and smooth creamy mouth feel. My Cafe Cremas are 4 or 5 oz.
shots. Americanos retain the short espresso flavor but are
watered down and lose the rich body
Charlie
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