It sounds like a simple thing but how often do you walk away from a cafe thinking “now that was a cappuccino worth what I paid for”. I find only about 10% of the time I could say that was a really good coffee and in fact 5% of the time when I can say that coffee was spot on. So why is it so hard to get a really good cup of coffee. Quite simply, it is poor training.
I met a barista many years ago who worked at the Melbourne markets selling hundreds of coffees a day to a market where they know what a coffee should taste like. She stated how the coffee had to tampered to the right pressure, ground to the right consistency, and make allowances for the humidity, room temperature and more. Also the milk had to be very fresh and frothed to the right consistency I envied those living near her cafe.
Most people making your coffee are poorly trained and haven’t a clue on how to make a great cup of coffee. They make a basic coffee and frequently overheat the milk often to the point of burning it. Frequently it is bitter because they allowed the dregs because they ran the coffee filter too long.
How do I judge a good cappuccino? If I need to sweeten it they have made a poor cappuccino. I am a sweet tooth and used to sugar my coffee until one day I tried a very good coffee. Not bitter, temperature warm, not hot and milk frothed but not above the cup. Try your coffee without sugar and savour the taste. If its bitter, tastes milky, too hot or insipid start purchasing somewhere else and search for that truly great cappuccino experience..