When I was a lad, a long while since, the usual English alternative to tea seemed to be a beverage known as ‘milky coffee’. Black coffee was suspiciously foreign or downright louche — and indeed had to be drunk as a bohemian pose rather than for enjoyment since the coffee itself seemed almostly universally awful and (the cost of beans being as it then was) very weak.
Now of course, we have a sophisticated coffee culture here. Sort of.
Well, you can get a fairly decent espresso macchiato in Caffè Nero (if you gently nudge the barista to doing it properly — the clue is in the name, guys: mark with a just bit of steamed milk/foam, but don’t try to fill the espresso cup to overflowing!). But I couldn’t help but notice that today what is usually the majority choice was universal: everyone else in the busy place had either a huge cappuccino (four or five times the size of anything you’d get in Italy) or a giant mug of latte. Fifty-something years on, milky coffee still rules, OK?