I thought it was a pretty bold move from Marks & Spencer to name their new brew Magic Coffee® but it turns out the term originates in Australia, and the Melbourne coffee scene. M&S have jumped on the trend and brought it exclusively to stores in the UK where it has boosted hot drink sales and overtaken the Flat White in popularity since arriving earlier in January.
As a devoted coffee drinker, I felt compelled to check it out and I can confirm that it is a winning formula. The drink is the same size as a cortado (ever-so slightly smaller than a flat white), but with a ristretto rather than espresso base (ristretto being a ‘restrained’ shot of coffee with less water than espresso and a finer grind of coffee giving a more intense hit). Less water means a shorter extraction time, so your coffee retains all the bold taste but loses the bitterness. Topped with steamed milk at a ratio of 1-part coffee to 5-parts milk (diary or other), it fills the dinky glass tumbler in which it is served (which in itself transported me from a particularly cold day in Oxford to a sunny plaza in Spain, sipping a glorious café con leche). And the taste? Chef’s kisses all round. Similar to café con leche, this is smooth, sophisticated and intense. Coffee for grown-ups; you’ll never look at a monster-sized latte again.
£3.15 in M&S Cafes and Food Halls