Cappuccino: Why are we so bad at this in the UK?

I cannot fathom, when there are more coffee shops than humans on our high streets, why we fail to grasp the concept and ability to make a decent cappuccino in the UK.

Call me 'old fashioned' but a cappuccino to me, and the rest of the world’s Italian baristas, is an espresso with thick, creamy, glossy foamed milk. It is NOT a cup of boiled, scolding hot milk with a hint of caffeine and a whisper of loose froth that looks like it was harvested from a rabid dog.

Recently, at a Costa Coffee, I specifically asked for a ‘proper cappuccino’. The young chap looked at me blankly so I described my expectations to which he rather superciliously exclaimed: “Oh! You mean a DRY cappuccino!” Really?! I mean, REALLY?!

Then, last week, I went to a pub and the best cappuccino for literally years. It was smooth and creamy and delicious. It was so good that I ordered another one exclaiming how impressed I was with the person who had made it. “Oh!” she said “The guy from Illy made it. He was just in checking the machine – he’s gone now - so I will have to make it”. She came back with a burnt and bitter cup of disappointment.

I plead with all coffee machine owners – You would not allow a 17 year old learner driver to cruise around in your Porsche, if you had one, and, even with a ‘P’ plate, you would be supervising in the passenger seat until they were about 30! So, please don’t insult your customers by having a beautiful coffee machine with top grade coffee and then serving up a car crash in a cup.

Rant over.