Nespresso and the Nestlé Research Center (NRC) have released the findings of a study they undertook to better understand how the crema, the thin creamy layer of foam that sits on top of espresso, positively impacts consumer appreciation and perception of coffee.
Among its findings, the study found that the presence of the crema enhanced consumers’ visual perception of coffee, which in turn guided their expectations and experience of the coffee’s taste.
The presence of crema also enhanced the release of the coffee’s aroma above the cup and in the nose.
“This study helped us understand how visual information generates expectations and impacts the overall sensory experience” said Dr. Britta Folmer, Coffee Science Manager for Nespresso.
“In terms of smell, it’s really quite amazing the difference that crema brings to the cup,” she added.
Nespresso is using the findings from the study for new product development.
Watch Dr. Folmer discuss the study’s findings at the Specialty Coffee Association of America Symposium 2014.
The SCAA aims to develop and promote specialty coffee and to maintain quality standards for the industry through research, and providing education and training.