I spent some time yesterday reading about how to make espresso well. For those of you who are interested in such things, it is a useful thing to revise every now and then. I made a splendid cup of latte this morning with Aged Blue Pearl beans from Imperial Teas of Lincoln (http://www.imperialteas.co.uk/), who I would thoroughly recommend if you are looking for top class beans by mail order. Just cleaning out the coffee hopper and tamp'ing seemed to make an enormous difference.
btw: a 'black eye' is a cup of americano or drip black coffee with 2 shots of espresso in it. This was the winning combo for me when I was in New York.