Around the third week of August you start to hear it. The week before it is just a feeling, a heartbeat. The third week of August it becomes audible: the rush of blood in your ears, like holding a shell up to hear the ocean. Then when the first warmth of sunshine hits and you feel your nose beginning to defrost the thumping becomes louder, driving your feet to move a little bit faster as the sluggishness of winter melts away. Then on September 1st as the sun devours the grey rain clouds for the first time since May and the magnolias blossom, the drums of Spring reach their crescendo and the hope that Summer will come again is reborn.
And then on September 2nd it pours with rain because it is Melbourne after all.
But that sprig of hope for warmer weather has taken hold.
There is a magic to Springtime that is unparalleled in other seasons. Everything feels new; taking chances seems far easier than in the depths of blustery July; and there is a pounding in your veins for change, change, change. I spent a whole day of the weekend rearranging my furniture for a little something new. It doesn’t really suit the space but a change is as good as a holiday they say!
What better place to start trying new things and taking chances than to start by adding a little ‘magic’ to our daily brew. Outside of hipster circles there’s a type of coffee rumoured about, you may even be slightly embarrassed to ask for it. When you do ask for it, you’ll get a funny look and you’ll probably be asked ‘you know that’s just a double ristretto / ¾ flat white?’. Sure, I know that (I didn’t). There is undoubtedly something wholly fun about ordering a Magic.
Some say it started in New Zealand (my friend), some even more reliable sources say its origins are in Sydney’s ‘Bachelor’ but legend has it that the ‘Magic’ was first dubbed so in a wee café in Brunswick called Ray. Ray does have “Kia Ora” written above their tip jar just to add fuel to the fire… The best part about the Magic? It will wake you up, dust off the Winter cobwebs and kick you right into Spring with the first sip! Any café serious about their coffee will be able to serve up a dose with all the hallmarks of a good Magic – thick, syrupy crema, dispersed with creamy well-textured milk in a tulip cup.
If you’re heading out in search of your own Springtime Magic, consider these cafes the jackpot at the end of the rainbow: