1 – Look at the cup
A five-star espresso is always served in a cup that will showcase all of the coffee’s qualities. Baristas prefer white porcelain – to appreciate the coffee’s colour – tulip-shaped – to exhale all the aromas – and a good thickness – to keep the coffee hot.

2 – Examine the crema
The crema should be light brown and slightly striated, like a tiger’s coat. It should be dense with tiny bubbles. The crema should remain for at least three minutes. A sugar test can help to evaluate the density: sugar should remain on the crema’s surface for a few seconds before sinking. A thin foam, too light or too dark, indicates poor extraction.

3 – Check the temperature
A good espresso should be hot. It’s the heat that allows the different odorants to reveal themselves.

4 – Breathe it in
Vanilla, caramel, hazelnut… there are more than 800 aromatic compounds in coffee. A five-star espresso has a bold and complex aroma that reveals all the complexity of these compounds.

5 – Look at the colour
The colour varies according to its roasting, but must be clear with a nice consistency.