\ ˈkre-mə How to pronounce crema (audio) \

Definition of crema

1 : a layer of creamy tan froth that forms on the top of freshly made espresso What the head is to the beer lover, the foam called crema is to the espresso aficionado. … The crema is produced as the water is pushed through and past the close-packed grains of coffee, although how that happens is not fully understood.— Sidney Perkowitz, Universal Foam, 2000 Our espressos were topped with a thick, luxuriant layer of crema, the tan froth of emulsified coffee oils that is an absolute prerequisite to a proper espresso.— Jeffrey Steingarten, Vogue, April 1997
2 : heavy cream thickened and slightly soured usually with buttermilk crema, our southern neighbor's fabulously thick, buttery answer to sour cream.— Denise Taylor, Boston Globe, 5 Nov. 2008 Thick, tart Mexican crema (a tangy, cultured cream) is normally swirled into individual soup bowls, too. If it's unavailable, sour cream is a natural stand-in.— Rebecca Hays, Cook's Illustrated, March/April 2005

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of crema

1982, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crema

Statistics for crema

Cite this Entry

“Crema.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Comments on crema

What made you want to look up crema? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!