(I do all the usual pre-warming of the glass, portafilter and ROK)
I bought some new beans:
Caffe Diemme from Doppio in Kentish Town (after having ordered a soya cortado, made perfectly, with the same beans)
I dialed the grind in to be slightly finer (there're no intervals marked on the Eureka Mignon, but the coffee came out with a gritty powder consistency and the dial was turned almost all the way round)
I placed the jug in the fridge; had more milk in it
I bought a thermometer (although tbh I was a bit flustered with the milk so didn't pay that much attention to the reading)
I put less water in the ROK
The grinds, when in the portafilter, I tamped down more firmly than I had (I did it in 2 layers).
The water was only in about 1.5cm above the metal top of the ROK.
I let the grinds pre-infuse and then took the arms up all the way and pulled the shot.
The force required to lever the arms down was much more than it had ever been - I found it hard.
And no coffee was extracted!
So I let the arms re-bound up a bit and tried again - a little coffee was extracted.
I took the arms all the way back up, added more water and re-pulled the shot.
Again, needed quite a lot of force but this time the coffee was extracted and the stream had the 'creamy' look I'd seen in the successful youtube vids I'd been watching!
I re-pulled again to complete the process and lo and behold, crema!
Re. the milk:
I put more milk in the jug although from previous experience I know that the volume increases to the extent that it overflows.
Sure enough this happened!
I stopped (cleaned and purged the wand) and scooped some of the foam off.
Underneath the milk had that emulsion paint look!
I checked the thermometer and it was around 40 so I plunged the wand deep and used it to just heat the milk to take it to 50 (it went up to 60 afterwards).
I swirled and banged the milk.
It kept the emulsion paint look and when I poured it it seemed, not exactly thick/creamy put way more so than it ever had.
Actually, not bad!
It was a little bitter but not sour and I think that's either because the whole ad hoc process with adding more water caused too long a pre-infusion time or else it was because I had simply made a shorter shot.
The texture was much better!
Still a little foamy Vs creamy but much, much better!
I'll re-try the coffee at the same finer grind but tamp a little less hard and use more water.
I'll place the jug in the fridge to pre-cool it, not spend so much with the nozzle close to the surface (making that ripped paper sound) because I just seem to get tonnes of bubbles and HUGE volume.
Watch this space!