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My espresso machine (DeLonghi EC155) is really short and will only allow shot glasses / really short cappuccino cups (if I remove the excess coffee catch) which I don't have.

So, I need to pull my shots into a shot glass, then pour the shot into my coffee mug. But when I do, I notice that all that rich crema I just pulled gets left into the shot glass as I poured.

Is there a technique to pouring shot glasses that will keep the integrity of the crema?

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Put a brick on your counter. Place your machine (without excess coffee catch) on the brick. Place a tall mug in front of the machine. Enjoy your crema. –  rumtscho Dec 25 '12 at 14:45
    
^you need to see what the EC155 looks like. This won't work. –  OghmaOsiris Dec 25 '12 at 19:37

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

If you're drinking the espresso shot on its own, you could drink it straight from the shot glass - or, better yet, buy an espresso cup, which should be about the same height as your shot glass. (A double-walled espresso cup will help keep it warm.)

If you're pulling espresso shots to be used in other espresso-based drinks (i.e., if you're adding some sort of milk or water to it), you could try an espresso brew pitcher, which basically looks like the sort of small pitchers you'd use to serve cream; they're normally about 3 oz, small enough that it would probably fit under your espresso machine. You could brew the espresso into the pitcher, then pour into your mug; the spout/lip of the pitcher should help preserve the crema once you figure out what the optimum pouring speed is. It should work similarly to pouring steamed milk: pour too fast, and the foam and milk come tumbling out all at once and you ruin the foam, too slow and the foam gets stuck in the pitcher. But if you pour just right, you should be able to pour most of the liquid first, and wind up with just enough liquid left to slide out the foam so it lands on top of your drink.

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I swirl the espresso in the shot glass to incorporate the crema, then pour immediately. This gets most of the crema - some is still left on the surface of the shot glass.

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