cortado vs magic coffee

Traveling around Australia, I stumbled on a coffee shop selling the “magic coffee” while strolling the streets of Melbourne.

So, I ordered a cup of “magic” coffee, and when the barista served it, I thought it was just a posh way of saying a ristretto, also the thought of it being an Australian version for a cortado also crossed my mind. But it turns out magic coffee was much different.

Cortado Vs Magic coffee

Cortados are created with equal parts steamed milk and espresso, and they may have no foam or very little microfoam. Magic coffee includes much more steamed milk and is virtually always served with a thick coating of microfoam. Cortados are espresso-forward, while magic coffee is made with double ristretto.

Magic Coffee Explained

Magic is a coffee beverage that originated in Australia — the birthplace of the boomerang. It contains a large amount of silky milk, which tones down the bitterness and intense flavors of the double ristretto.

The result is a cup of coffee that is both strong and creamy in texture. Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with the terms double ristretto and silky milk; I’ll explain them in a moment.

Magic coffee has more coffee than a latte, giving it a considerably stronger taste that is also sweeter than lattes and other espresso-based drinks.

What Does a Magic Taste Like?

Magic is a very simple coffee to consume since it has equal parts espresso and milk. It’s nicely balanced, and I’ve even termed it a “dessert” coffee in the past since it goes down so smoothly.

Since it is intended to be a quick pick-me-up, you will discover yourself sipping it rapidly.

If your local café does not provide it, you can always create it with your latte machine at home.

So What’s a double ristretto?

The ristretto espresso shot is smaller. Typically, an espresso shot is roughly 30 ml, a ristretto is around 20 ml, and a double ristretto is 40 ml. This implies that less water is required to produce it, resulting in a smaller final amount.

In ordinary espresso, the lighter and fruitier notes generally extract first, while the deeper flavors emerge later. However, the bitter notes do not extract in ristretto since the water flow is generally shut off early (less water is used).

This implies that the ristretto has a sweeter and brighter flavor, so most people like it.

And a Silky Milk?

Silky milk is milk that has been heated for a short period to provide texture and a thin coating of microfoam on the top. This is the milk used in flat whites, and it is far less foamy than milk used in lattes and cappuccinos.

Silky milk is often referred to as steamed milk, although the phrase silky milk is more accurate since steamed milk may also refer to milk that has been steamed to have a thicker froth coating. Anyone can use any excellent foaming milk to produce smooth milk.

Espresso vs Ristretto Caffeine content

Ristretto has less bitterness than espresso. However, since it utilizes less water, it is sweeter and has a more powerful flavor than espresso. Ristretto derives its sweet flavor from the short draw time needed to make it.

On the other hand, espresso is more bitter since it must be prepared for a more extended period of time than ristretto. It utilizes more water, enabling the bitterness of the coffee grinds to be extracted.

However, since it is more concentrated than espresso, ristretto has a higher caffeine level.

Origin of the magic coffee

It all began in Melbourne, Australia, where the magic coffee is still popular  and found exclusively today. After making its debut at hipster and underground coffeehouses, the magic coffee made its way into the mainstream of popular culture and the coffeehouse industry. This is similar to the rise of the espresso craze in the United States. Drinking espresso-based beverages has grown by fifty percent in the last decade.

Melbourne’s magic coffee aficionados are devoted to their ristretto. It’s a common sight throughout the country. It is common practice in Australia to use ristretto instead of espresso in their coffee. The coffee drinks in this nation have adopted it as their own unique brand identity.

How to prepare a magic coffee at home:

The fascinating thing about preparing a magic coffee is the equal amount of ingredients used. Although the actual recipe calls for an espresso machine, you can use a stovetop coffee maker if you don’t have one.

Make two ristretto shots.

To begin, pour the double ristretto into a 50z ceramic cup. A ristretto, as previously said, is a more concentrated espresso. An espresso requires 30ml of water, but a ristretto requires just 20ml. To make two shots of ristretto, you’ll need 40ml of water.

In addition, you should reduce the draw time to roughly a third of what you use while producing espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, you may create your coffee base in a Moka Pot.

This stovetop coffee maker utilizes pressure to brew coffee, making it one of the closest things to an espresso machine substitute.

Get your milk ready.

When heating milk, you must be careful not to create too much foam. A milk jug would prove helpful in controlling the amount of foam generated. Steam the milk until a small layer of foam forms, then immerse the wand to prevent additional foaming. Allow the wand to spin until the milk reaches 60°F. This method yields smooth and silky milk for your magical coffee.

Combine the ingredients.

Pour your milk over the double ristretto after you’ve finished pulling it. To acquire the original flavor of Melbourne’s magic coffee, make sure your coffee base and milk are equal in proportion. And voilà! You may now experience the magic without needing to go to Melbourne.

What is a cortado?

What is cortado vs magic coffee
Cortado Coffee

A cortado is a coffee-based drink that originated in Spain. The term derives from the Spanish word “cortar,” which implies “to cut.” This Spanish coffee is made with espresso and heated milk.

The addition of milk to the espresso reduces its acidity, thus the name. In statistical terms, a cortado has equal parts espresso and milk. It contains a tiny froth coating on top, comparable to a latte.

Cortado Recipe: Simple Steps for Making It at Home

Going out for a cup of coffee can be stressful and expensive sometimes. That’s why Learning how to prepare your favorite coffee at home can help you relish a cup without driving to your local coffee shop and save money.

How to prepare a cortado:

You’ll want to have on hand:

  • Coffee brewer (Aeropress or espresso)
  • A milk frother
  • A 4.5oz cup of coffee

Without saying to prepare the best espresso for your cortado, you need to use the best coffee grounds possible. High-quality coffee beans are the key to crafting a great espresso shot. In order to get the most incredible flavor out of your espresso, use freshly roasted coffee beans.


  • First, you’ll need to grind, measure, and tamp your espresso grounds.
  • Put the portafilter with your coffee grounds in it into the coffee machine.
  • Two shots of espresso should come out.
  • After the espresso is made, steam the milk you want (our go-to is whole milk, but you can use almond, coconut, oak, etc.)
  • Pour the steamed milk into your espresso slowly. Ensure that there is an equal amount of espresso and milk, and voila!

What coffee beans are used to make magic coffee?

There are no special coffee beans required to create magic coffee. However, it is always preferable to use high-quality beans to get the most out of your coffee. Choose Arabica beans if you want a gentler yet fragrant ristretto for your magic.
However, you may continue to utilize any coffee beans you have in your coffee corner.

How much milk is enough for a magic coffee

120 to 130 MLS of milk is required for a magic coffee. Baristas typically top up a 5-ounce cup till it’s full since 5 ounces minus 2 ristretto shots equal around 130 MLS, and measuring milk to the ml is impracticable in most circumstances (4.3 ounces).

Flat White Vs Magic Coffee

Single espresso and silky microfoam milk make up a flat white in a 6 oz cup. It is served in a 5-ounce cup, while the magic is double ristretto. As a result, the coffee to milk ratio is the most significant difference between a magic coffee and a regular cup of coffee. The flat white typically contains between 150 and 200 milliliters of milk in a single espresso shot compared to the magic.
Using a ristretto rather than a standard espresso shot and a varying espresso to milk ratio gives magic coffee its distinct flavor profile.
Flat whites have more coffee because of the more considerable amount of espresso, but the flavor is diminished by adding more milk.
A flat white has less power than magic, but its espresso profile is more conventional.

The flat white is a product of the Antipodes, although it’s uncertain whether it originated in Australia or New Zealand. In 1983, the drink made its debut on an Australian menu.

Final thoughts

If you are a lover of strong coffee with greater caffeine content, a magic coffee is excellent since it includes more caffeine. But for folks like myself who enjoy their coffee softer, a cortado is a perfect option.

You now have an explanation for the question “what is a magic coffee?” and a simple magic coffee recipe to create at home.

Melbourne’s magic coffee is a robust, sweet, and smooth beverage with widespread popularity. Ask for magic the next time you’re at a café.

Although the barista may raise an eyebrow at first, you will most likely be able to expose them to a new beverage that many customers would like.

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