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What is Magic Coffee?

Jason Gass
Last Updated: February 22nd, 2023

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Magic coffee. It brings about images of something Harry Potter would enjoy as an adult, instead of a butterbeer. If you don’t live in Australia, you may be surprised to learn that magic coffee is an actual beverage.

From the name, you may be under the impression that this coffee beverage must be something unique, fancy, or even life-altering. However, magic coffee is just a popular drink enjoyed in coffee houses in the city of Melbourne.

In this article, we’ll tell you a bit about the delicious magic coffee. We’ll share some history about the drink, answer some frequently asked questions, and even give you instructions on how to make your own magic coffee at home.

I’m Not from Melbourne. What Makes a Coffee Magic?

what makes a coffee magic

Within the province of Victoria in Australia, particularly in the city of Melbourne, you can walk into just about any coffee house, restaurant, or cafe and order a magic coffee.

This small-sized coffee drink is a favorite in Melbourne. While it isn’t necessarily unique to Victoria and the city of Melbourne, if you order a magic coffee outside the province of Victoria, you may get some funny looks.

When describing what a magic coffee is, many people refer to flat white. The flat white is a 6-ounce coffee drink made from ristretto and steamed milk.

Flat whites and magic coffee have a smooth, silky texture and a balanced flavor. While lattes are very milk-forward, and cortados are coffee heavy, the flat white and magic coffee are a nice mix of the two.

The actual origin of magic coffee is unknown, but it is incredibly popular in coffee houses and roasteries throughout Melbourne. It seems that the most popular reason that magic coffee is so popular is that it is a perfect blend of coffee and milk.

Despite its popularity in Melbourne, you’ll have a hard time finding it on the menu of most cafes or coffee houses in the city. It may actually be the original “secret menu” offering, long before coffee houses had secret menus.

Once you leave Melbourne and Victoria, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a barista that knows the magic.

There are a growing number of well-versed baristas in Australia and other major cities across the globe that know the secret of the magic coffee. However, if you are not in Melbourne and you want to enjoy the magic, the best solution is to learn to make your own.

Magic Coffee FAQs

recipe for magic coffee

Now that we’ve tempted you a bit with the idea of magic coffee, you probably have more questions than answers. So, to make magic coffee even clearer, we’ve gathered some commonly asked questions about this amazing coffee drink.

What is the Recipe for Magic Coffee?

Magic coffee is very simple to make at home. It is a balanced coffee drink that has equal amounts of coffee and steamed milk. To make a magic coffee you will need a good quality espresso bean, whole milk or light cream, and a 5-ounce coffee cup.

To make magic coffee you will brew a double ristretto, directly into your 5-ounce cup. While your ristretto is brewing, you’ll want to steam your milk or light cream to a silky consistency with minimal microfoam.

When your ristretto is done brewing, add your steamed milk to just below the rim of your 5-ounce cup.

What is Ristretto?

The Ristretto sounds like a magical coffee concoction, but in reality, it’s nothing fancy. Ristretto is espresso that has been brewed for a shorter time and served at a slightly cooler temperature.

The best way to know you have a ristretto instead of an espresso is ristretto usually is free of crema.

How is Magic Coffee Different from a Flat White?

There are two things that make magic coffee and flat white different drinks. The first is the coffee. Flat whites use espresso instead of ristretto.

The size of the drink is the other difference between flat white and magic coffee. Magic coffee is a smaller, 5-ounce coffee, hence the need for a 5-ounce cup. Flat whites are generally made in a 6-ounce cup.

How do I Order a Magic Coffee if I’m Not in Melbourne?

If you want to give a magic coffee a try outside of Melbourne, you’ll need to know how to order one at your local coffee shop, without sounding like a crazy person.

Outside of Melbourne the easiest way to enjoy a magic coffee is to ask for a double ristretto flat white with extra milk. In most cases, if you order this, you’re likely to get something pretty close to a magic coffee.

How do I Order Magic Coffee in Melbourne?

Here’s the thing, if you don’t want to sound like a tourist when ordering your magic coffee in Melbourne, you’ve got to keep it simple. Just ask for a magic.

When you go to a coffee shop here you don’t ask for a cappuccino coffee, the same thing goes when you order a magic coffee in Melbourne. It’s a one-word request.

How is a Magic Coffee Different from a Piccolo?

A piccolo is another Australian coffee drink that you’ll not find in many places other than Melbourne. A piccolo is a drink made with 1 part ristretto and 2 parts frothed milk.

Final Thoughts

Despite the fun name, magic coffee is actually a very simple and delicious coffee drink. This delightful coffee beverage is hard to find outside of the city of Melbourne, Australia, and the province of Victoria.

However, you can still try this great drink at home or at your local coffee shop with just a bit of creative brewing or ordering.       

About The Author

Jason Gass

Jason Gass is a Colorado based freelance writer and blogger whose goal is to share a good cup of coffee and great stories around a campfire with close friends. When he’s not working, he spends most of his time traveling, searching for the best breweries, and road-tripping in his teardrop trailer with his wife, daughter, and two dogs.

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