OMG! GET YOUR BUTTS TO ISMAIL PRONTO!!
Okay, I’m officially obsessed with this coffee and tea shop, and, to be honest I have wanted to do a feature on them for a while now and just haven’t got round to doing it. So here goes…
Ismail, is a relatively medium sized coffee and tea house in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Now to say that I am a fan of coffee and sitting with one brewing whilst casually writing or reading, is a MASSIVE understatement, even in cold weather I will sit outside the shop to get the full benefit of the warming hot drink grasped in my hands. Usually I darken such doorways as Costa or Starbucks, quick, easy, and basically identical, what you don’t get with Costa and Starbucks is that feeling of individuality, you don’t get the feeling that your tea was brewed just for you or that your coffee was ground specifically so you would enjoy it. Well this is where Ismail differs.
Everything in this place is luxury personified (with amazingly competitive prices as well, they won’t rob you blind like some other places!) The teas are, firstly, BEAUTIFUL, my favourite is the one pictured above, ‘Amaretto Royale’ is THE most beautiful tea I have ever tasted, and if you are a fan of fruity teas like I am, but always get disappointed that it just doesn’t taste how you expect, this tea certainly packs a punch.
A spice and fruit infusion of crushed almonds, apples and cinnamon, this carefully balanced blend combines the creamy sweetness of almonds with subtle hints of cinnamon and ripe green fruits. I Drink it without milk and I add just a touch of honey to add to that rounded warmth sweetness you get from the apples and almonds. Although there are no cherries in there, it honestly tastes like a cherry bakewell tart fresh from the oven.
AND, the brewing process is all sorted for you, the beautiful glass teapots let you watch the whole process as you are granted with a little timer, set at the counter that alerts you to the moment when your tea has brewed perfectly, this tea in particular takes 4-5 minutes to brew to an appropriate standard, which gives you enough time to settle in your seat, get your phone out and your book or paperwork. PERFECTION.
Now Ismail doesn’t stop at tea and coffee, OH NO!! they are known locally for having THE best Hot chocolate in town, my personal opinion is that its the best Hot Chocolate in the world. I’ve had Hot Chocolate in Italy, America, France, Belgium, Canada, Devon, and all of them have been there own little amount of perfect but Ismail’s is phenomenal, it’s beyond anything you’ve ever known…
This photo was from another trip to Ismail, a slightly colder day when all I could think of drinking was hot chocolate…Now let me take a moment just to explain this beautiful drink from beginning to end.
1) £2.40 (Starbucks £2.85 McDonalds £2.79 for the same size as Ismail)
2) What you can see there is a tall glass that has melted Belgian chocolate smothered around the inside of the glass and a deep well of chocolate at the bottom of the glass. The chocolate is the best I’ve ever tasted and they do it in Milk and Dark chocolate.
3) The glass is then topped up with milk, hot and frothy, THEN…
4) They top it with an Ismail coin, a thick chocolate coin that sits on top and melts down into the milk.
5) When you stir this bad boy, the chocolate disappears into the milk, swirling round into the MOST amazing hot chocolate you will ever taste in this world.
6) Beware the chocolate moustache, my advice, just run your finger around the rim of the glass before you drink, I’ve seen many a person walk away with a beautifully crafted swirly moustache of Belgian goodness!
Now whether you live up north, or in the local vicinity GET YOUR BUTT TO ISMAIL PRONTO! They are amazing in there from the food to the drinks to the cakes to the EVERYTHING, oh and did I mention that you can buy their teas and coffees AND CHOCOLATE in store and online? I didn’t mention it? oh well, YOU CAN BUY EVERYTHING IN STORE AND ONLINE!!!
Muchos Love, and Happy coffee-ing!
Cheers for Reading,