The cremina is a Neapolitan recipe that has spread throughout Italy. This fragrant and silky cream, made of sugar and the first drops of coffee, is commonly added to espresso to cut the bitterness and adds a delicious velvety texture. The secret is to use only the first drops of coffee that flows out into your Moka pot, as it is the thickest, most flavourful bit of the liquid.
- Moka pot
- Small electric whisk
- Tall glass
5 minutes of preparing coffee,
1 minute of making cremina
This recipe was prepared for 2 persons.
- 6 teaspoons of fine white sugar
- Ground coffee powder to taste
I. The Moka
- Prepare the Moka pot:
- Fill the bottom chamber of the moka pot with cold tap water up to the fill line or below the valve.
- Place the funnel filter into the bottom chamber. With a tespoon, fill it with ground coffee.
- Screw the top chamber onto the bottom chamber.
- Place the Moka pot on the stove on a low flame.
II. The cremina
- While the pot is heating on the stove, fill a tall glass with 6 teaspoons of sugar.
The amount of sugar =
(No. of persons + 1) x 2 teaspoons.
Hence, for two persons, the amount of sugar = (2+1) x 2 = 6 teaspoons.
- Open the lid of the Moka pot and wait. Add 3 teaspoons of the first drops of coffee into the glass of sugar as soon as they flow out into the top chamber. Return the Moka pot to the stovetop to finish making the coffee.
The amount of first drops of coffee =
(No. of persons + 1) teaspoons.
Hence, for two persons, the amount of first drops of coffee = 2 + 1 = 3 teaspoons.
- Whisk the mixture of sugar and coffee in the glass until it becomes creamy. The cremina is ready.
III. The coffee
- Wait for a boiling sound in your Moka pot, which indicates that the coffee is done. Switch off the flame.
- With a teaspoon, stir the coffee in the Moka pot and pour into 2 small cups. Add 1 full teaspoon of cremina into each cup, stir and serve while the coffee is still hot.
If you are feeling adventurous, add a splash of grappa or other liquor to make a “caffè corretto” or “corrected coffee”.
Where we bought our ingredients in Singapore:
- Ground coffee powder (Lavazza Qualità Rossa) – Cold Storage.
Any ground coffee powder works, of course.
The Moka pot was invented by a Turin engineer called Bialetti in the 1930s. Bialetti is still the best brand for Moka pots today. A few important points to note:-
- The first 3-4 batches of coffee made in a new Moka pot are to be thrown away, they are going to taste bad as the pot is not yet “seasoned”.
- Do not wash the Moka pot with soap. Wash it only with warm water. The metal of a good Moka pot absorbs and retains flavour, and you want it to retain coffee flavour (and certainly not soap flavour).
My grandmother did not have an electric whisk, and she would whisk using just the teaspoon.