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The Seahawk

REVIEW: The Ibis Coffee and Cocktail Bar

Inside the Ibis Coffee Bar (Samantha Hill/The Seahawk).

I was drawn into Ibis because it was a new coffee shop, but also it incorporates one of my many passions: music. Affordable coffee and a relaxing atmosphere draws in coffee lovers all across Wilmington. Tall windows that span from the ceiling to the floor bring in natural light that creates a comforting but unique environment to sit and chat with friends or study. The warm and welcoming cafe brings comfort and ease to the atmosphere.

The Ibis opened on Dec. 20 and introduced a new way of sipping lattes. Located in the Soda Pop District near historic downtown Wilmington, Ibis cafe welcomes customers to a warm variety of drinks and music. Matt Ray and Abbye McGee founded Ibis to share their love for coffee and introduced the HiFi concept to the Wilmington area.

As I arrived and sat down after placing my order, customers chatter among themselves as music is played throughout the cafe. While sitting and sipping their drinks, songs like “A Day in the Park” by Michał Urbaniak and “Sweet Power of your Embrace” by James Mason, played over the speakers.

Inside of The Ibis (Samantha Hill/The Seahawk).

The menu provides a variety of essential drinks for customers, such as coffee and tea, to let their taste buds explore. Ray speaks about how the beans are roasted and supplied by Casa Blanca and the syrups are homemade. Casa Blanca is a roasting company that is located in Wilmington.

The first drink of choice was an iced coffee with vanilla and creamer added. The coffee was served in a glass filled to the brim. The coffee was light to the tongue with a creamy aftertaste. The cool drink had hint of nut and fruit flavors that balanced the earthy tones of coffee beans and sweetness of fruit. The vanilla added the perfect amount of sweetness but did not overwhelm the taste buds.

As I kept sipping on the drink, hints of vanilla syrup enhanced the warm taste of the coffee. The iced drink was sweet, creamy, and nutty to the taste. No one flavor was overpowered by another making this drink well balanced. Sipping the iced drink out of glass enhanced the experience of drinking on the beverage.

Iced coffee with vanilla inside of The Ibis (Samantha Hill/The Seahawk).

The second menu item I tried was a matcha latte. The leafy green drink was the perfect color for a matcha and was not overpowered by milk or water. When taking my first sip, the smell of leafy but sweet enhanced the taste of the drink. The drink was smooth on my tongue and did not leave a chalky feeling in my mouth. The added vanilla added a sweet touch that balanced out the rich earthy taste.

The matcha latte had a creamy goodness that was not underwhelming or overpowering. The balance of the green tea and milk left me sipping away at the drink over the course of my visit.

Matcha latte with vanilla at The Ibis (Samantha Hill/The Seahawk).

The atmosphere of Ibis is a unique experience. Music and vinyl records lined the walls of the cafe along with different liquors. The Ibis stands out compared to other coffee shops as it is more sophisticated with its presentation of drinks and atmosphere that is created.

“We were inspired by the jazz kissa shops that are located in Japan,” Ray said.

Ray describes how the cafe is a place where customers can listen to music at a high quality sound and enjoy drinks, such as coffee and cocktails.

“There are a lot of these cafes in large cities,” Ray said.

Ibis Cafe sells coffee and baked goods from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and serves cocktails and play live music from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Ray explains how the albums selected also have paired drinks to the albums to enhance the experience.

With a partnership of Gravity Records, a record store located in Wilmington, in-house DJ, RizzyBeats, spins vinyl records for the community to enjoy. Rizzybeats curates Spotify playlists for the shop to play during the day. His music catalog ranges from the 60’s to modern hits.

“He [RizzyBeats] brings in a lot of rare vinyl to play for customers,” Ray said.

The Ibis is the perfect spot to experience and enjoy music and coffee.

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