Melbourne’s ‘magic coffee’ served to Brits in Marks & Spencer cafes

British fashion and homewares retailer Marks & Spencer has brought Melbourne coffee culture to the UK after introducing “magic coffee” to 330 of its in-store cafes overnight.

A magic coffee, so-called because of its particular proportions, is composed of a double ristretto and steamed milk and has been an off-menu item almost entirely exclusive to the cafes of Melbourne – until now.

A ‘magic coffee’ is a double ristretto and steam milk.
A ‘magic coffee’ is a double ristretto and steam milk.Credit:Eddie Jim

Marks & Spencer has trained more than 1000 of its baristas to make a magic for patrons of M&S cafes, who can order the beverage from Wednesday.

M&S Cafe head of coffee Tom Rawlinson said he visited Melbourne in November just to understand the hype behind the coffee style.

“You often hear coffee lovers asking for ‘a magic’,” Rawlinson said.

“It’s a short coffee with a bold, intense flavour, but because it’s made with a double ristretto rather than a double espresso, it doesn’t have as much bitterness as other shorter coffees like a flat white or cortado. It’s called a magic as it is quite literally the magic ratio of coffee to milk.”

“Though 10,000 miles is a long way to go for the latest coffee style, so we’re absolutely delighted to be bringing it exclusively to M&S cafes from today.”

Although the magic originated in the Victorian capital and has been around since the 2000s, not every Melburnian seems to know about it, let alone Sydneysiders or those in the rest of Australia.


Its exact origins are contested – some say it’s South Melbourne’s St Ali – but The Sunday Age has revealed former Melbourne Food and Wine Festival program co-ordinator Zenon Misko as a potential forefather.

Marks & Spencer has more than 1000 stores across the UK, 330 of which contain an M&S Cafe.

Shoppers walk past a Marks & Spencer store on Oxford Street.
Shoppers walk past a Marks & Spencer store on Oxford Street. Credit:Getty

Four in five adults in the UK are coffee drinkers, consuming about 98 million cups a day, just below their tea consumption of about 100 million cups a day.

But coffee has become more popular in the UK over the past 12 years, with consumption rising to 98 million from 70 million cups a day in 2008, according to the UK’s Centre for Economics and Business Research.

M&S marketing and hospitality director Sharry Cramond, who previously lived and worked in Melbourne, said coffee was becoming a more ingrained part of people’s everyday lives.

“It’s exactly the right time to bring a brand-new style of coffee and launch it first into M&S cafes,” she said. “I can’t wait to hear what our customers think of it.”

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