To make a long black, you pour espresso on top of hot water. There are a variety of reasons for this, but a primary one is to avoid dissipating crema by pouring hot water over it (which is an americano).

But how do you preserve the crema when pouring it into the water? To me, the act of pouring appears to break the up crema entirely.

  • As @PatrickSebastien notes in his comment, "it's all in the pour!" But you also commented on that answer. And your previous question on long black -- What have you tried?
    – hoc_age
    Mar 2, 2015 at 1:47

2 Answers 2


This link from Seasoned Advice might help you. The accepted answer recommends to use an espresso brew pitcher and how to use it. The answer suggests two main things:

  • a vessel with a pour spout helps with retaining the crema;
  • the speed of the pour is important.

See more information at that link. It suggests that if you pour it in too fast, you ruin the foam. Too slow and the foam gets stuck. Practice sounds important here.

  • 1
    Good find on the link. I removed the duplicate text (you linked! No need to cut-paste) and the parts unrelated to crema. I summarized the two points made in the other post.
    – hoc_age
    Mar 2, 2015 at 2:08

I run two coffee shops and what i have found is there are two ways of keeping the crema nice when pouring it into hot water.

  1. You extract the shot with the tip of the portafilter in the hot water(this gives the best result as any fall even short distances breaks the crema)

  2. When you poor the shot of espresso into the drink you poor it SLOWLY down the SIDE of the cup.(I do this even when extracting a shot for a cappuccino i let the portafilter poor the coffee down the side and not just let it fall to the bottem)

  • Interesting, and welcome to SE Coffee! In the first method, do you slowly move the cup down to keep only the tip immersed, or do you let the coffee rise kind of up the portafilter? Sep 17, 2015 at 11:47
  • Thank you, and both of those work, if I am short on time I let it rise up (never to the top), but keeping only the tip of the portafilter in the drink allows the crema to spread more evenly so it covers whole top. By doing that every now and then I get it right that you can't see any of the black coffee underneath and as I don't make coffee everyday if someone were to practice a bit you could get that every time.
    – B.C
    Sep 17, 2015 at 14:21

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