I Bought The $10 Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, So Why Am I Not in Chocolate Heaven :(

mast coffee chocolate 02 I Bought The $10 Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, So Why Am I Not in Chocolate Heaven :(Photographer V Blak

Let me start this post with an UPSIDE DOWN smile :( Okay now that I have that out of my system, lets focus on the title of this post: I Bought The $10 Mast Brothers Chocolate Bar, So Why Am I Not in Chocolate Heaven. What the hell is that suppose to mean right? Well, this is what it means. I sooooo badly wanted to LOVE, I mean butterflies in my belly, love this Chocolate Bar. Why why chocolate fairy did you still my joy!

Let me start at the beginning. I was in the big NYC for a little work and a whole lot of Loving (wishful thinking I know) a few weeks ago. I started off the visit by seeing my friend Dan, who has an office just around the corner from the newish Ace Hotel in Manhattan. Yeah, that cool hip salvation army looking hotel chain. The one out of Portland Oregon. It’s an awesome place and they even have a Portland styled espresso bar just off the main lobby of the Hotel. Since we were so close, we decided to make the Ace our morning espresso destination. Wow, it did not disappoint. The entire lobby is a wifi free hang out zone, featuring a completely black 40 foot ceiling with massive roman style white columns holding up the place.

I think I must have passed out. When I woke, there was a large chunk of this dry bitter bar still stuck to my tongue.

We headed into the espresso bar and order up a few soy cappuccinos. As I am paying for our brews, what quirky little thing catches my eye on the counter? The one and only Mast Brothers Chocolate Bars. I couldn’t believe it. I just wrote a post on the Mast Brothers a week or so before heading to NYC. The post included a few amazing videos about the two brothers and their dedication to the old world craft of chocolate making. Their Brooklyn based store in the videos looked like a mini chocolate heaven to me. So, seeing these Willy Wonka type bars right there, on the counter was just too much to resist, I grabbed one and told the barista, add this to my bill. First words out of his mouth were, are you sure, they are $10. The number echoed in my head. $10 Doooollllaaarrrssssss. Time seemed to stop. Everything was in slow motion. I could hear the hiss of the steam escaping the espresso machines, the slurping sound from all the hipsters sucking down their espressos and my own breath rushing out of my lungs… and then these words leaving my lips, of course, no problem, let me have it. And oh did he! $20 or so dollars later Dan and I strolled out with two espresso’s and my new shiny heaven in a bar of Mast Brothers Espresso Dark Chocolate.

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Lecce Forbidden Espresso | Aria Alperts, Italian Journals

aria alpert lecce italy espresso 01 Lecce Forbidden Espresso | Aria Alperts, Italian JournalsPhotographer: Aria Alpert

Well, I am here. In Lecce. The most quaint, glorious, Italian town I have ever experienced. Yes, I know this is the first time I have ever been to this country but I am still gonna stand by a statement like that. Lecce is everything I ever fanaticized an Italian town, along the coast would be. The friendly locals, the simple and rustic cuisine, the landscape, the vino and the…the…the (forbidden) ESPRESSO! Yep, my friends you read that right, I said it. I am proudly drinking it. It’s some good shit. I must say. I have missed you my espresso!

The espresso over here is totally different than in the states. Even the imported stuff doesn’t compare. I was talking to a local today about that and she says it has to do with the water here, which is loaded minerals and especially has lots of Iron. She says it balances the acidity in the espresso. And boy oh boy does it ever. Yum. Smooth, bitter, perfectly astringent and most importantly, it hasn’t given me the crazy cracked out feeling that I often get when I drink the stuff back home. This espresso just a nice little kick. A warm Italian embrace to get your day started out right. And while I am here in Lecce, or in Italy for that matter, I do believe I am gonna get into it. Well…I guess I already have.

aria alpert lecce italy espresso 02 Lecce Forbidden Espresso | Aria Alperts, Italian Journals Continue Reading / See Additional Photos

Coffee, That Dark Rich Demon In My Cup…Oh, Coffee!

coffee the dark demon inmycup juli novotny 01 Coffee, That Dark Rich Demon In My Cup…Oh, Coffee! Photography by V Blak (CC)

My uncle and I were talking the other day, he’s not a raw foodist by any means but he’s a health NUT and he owns a supplement company. He drinks green smoothies, makes everything fresh, eats only organic meat, goes on radical cleanses and so on as we do from time to time about health and food.

Our topic on this particular day was COFFEE! Yes, coffee, which I indulge in from time to time. The reason I brought up coffee was because I had read something that REALLY freaked me out. I mean, deep down I know that coffee is far from a healthy beverage. It’s a Fake-Out and a stimulant and bad for the kidneys and nervous system to some degree, it stimulates the bowls, and so on and so forth. Then you hear on the news sometimes that small amounts are actually “healthy for us”! Come on! I don’t believe that {although I listen in hopes that I hear something new and interesting as to why I should drink that espresso}. I mean, MAYBE the good {it’s a great pick-me-up when you are tired} outways the BAD sometimes and won’t really HARM us in a permanent way. Now that I can see!

But again, as with most things, we are always looking for an excuse to drink it or eat it! Right? We like to justify it. I mean come on, there are WORSE things, right?

Back to my story: the blurb I had just read that day was out of Sarma and Matthew’s Raw Food Real World. I had received the book as a gift about 5 years ago when it first came out and hadn’t really read much of it. Of course one of the first pages I turned to was the page on COFFEE and how bad it is for us.

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Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult Club

espresso that garden 012 Espresso, My Ticket Into The Green Thumb Cult ClubPhotographer V Blak

Gardeners, farmers, green thumb people, who can’t kill a plant if they tried, and those composting know it alls.  You know the type.  Always smiling as they guide you through their indoor forest of house plants.  Yeah, those people. I think they are all part of some secret club, maybe even an underground cult.  It’s just too suspicious… how do they know how to keep plants alive?  How do they get seeds to sprout?  How come they never have brown crusty leaves covering their house plants?  Come on, really, their orchids don’t turn belly up and die a week after they buy them?  

I will admit it, this Evil Dark Flesh Monkie is definitely not a green thumb cult member.  To prove it, I kill plants on a regular basis. I burn them alive, I kill them through dehydration and my favorite method is over watering.  Drown them in their own pots.  Yeah, I kill plants.   I have the boy scout patch and eerily empty pots to prove it. 

I don’t want to be a killer.  I was just sadly born this way, you know like Dexter Of course I have my fairytale dreams of joining the cult, learning the secret hand shakes and eating lunches with dirt under my nails.  Hell, I fantasies of indoor house plant forest, acres of gardens, a home surrounded by edible plants consisting of everything an Evil Vegan could ever want to digest.  I am drooling even as I write this.  Yeah I have dream! 

I also have an addiction. I’ll admit it. An addiction to that dark rich smooth warm drink called espresso. Better know as heaven in a cup. I am having one now.  My girlfriend even turns on the machine first thing in the morning and places a fresh mug in the receiving position, so I only have to walk up and push the two shot please button to get the ball rolling.  Lucky for me, I have one of those magic machines which grinds the espresso beans, filters the water, tamps the grounds and makes a perfect cup of espresso all with just a touch of a single button.  You have seen him ( the machine) on some of the shows.  Everyone calls him Joe.  He is my best friend…  He has also become my ticket into the that green thumb cult.  Yeah, I am sneaking in with a dark brown thumb.  Well that is my plan and so far…. Master Joe is proving to be a very wise indeed.  

Okay I know, V what the hell are you rattling on about?  We are going to stop reading this thing if you don’t get to a point. Okay I am getting there. Everyone who follows my post religiously knows I attempted to start a garden back in June.  I was all ADD kid excited. I found myself at the local gardening center buying hundreds of dollars of seeds, hoses, seed starting soil and those plastic sprouting trays.  Fast forward a month and guess what… no sprouting little plants in the clear plastic dome sprouting trays, no lush rows of plants and no sign of any cult membership forms in the mail. No, the perfect little seed starting soil I bought for $15 each didn’t work. The seeds seem to look at me as if I  was holding them hostage.  They even had the nerve to scream as I kindly put them out in the direct desert sun in the middle of July.  How was I to know it was going to get 150 degrees under that plastic dome? 

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Wrap Your Lips Around Somthing New A Hempuccino!

hempuccino 01 Wrap Your  Lips Around Somthing New  A Hempuccino!Photographer: Rsms (CC)

To the dude with the double-shot, extra-dry, vanilla soy cappuccino (V Blak and you other Bad Monkies!), your long-winded order doesn’t even stand a chance — in terms of taste (or lack of pretention, for that matter — to top my delicious, healthy Hempuccino.

Rich, creamy, and boasting a long list of nutritious attributes (including Omega-3), the Hempuccino is made by using steamed Living Harvest Hempmilk as a non-dairy “milk” choice, and combining it with espresso. Coffee shops are quickly catching on to using the hemp milk as an innovative new way to produce impressively frothy and full-flavored drinks and steamers that make an exceptional morning mug.

Especially in the indigenous coffee culture of Portland, OR, marrying steamed hemp milk with ol’ cuppa joe is all the latest buzz. The city — whose vibe infers that a progressive stance on health and environment might just be as important as a really good cup of coffee — is also home to popular hemp food company Living Harvest, who thinks you can indeed have both. To prove it, they’ve been spending plenty of energy as of late promoting their award-winning Hempmilk in the independent coffee shops that line Portland’s streets. Once aware of the new option, many latte lovers and conventional coffee gurus alike have wasted no time in making the switch.

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Iced Vanilla Ginger Cashew Espresso By Bad Monkie V Blak

organic iced vanilla ginger cachew espresso 01 Iced Vanilla Ginger Cashew Espresso By Bad Monkie V BlakPhotographer: V Blak (cc)

I am sitting here a whole day after I started this post and I am wondering what just happened. I started my day off, thinking about you guys honestly, I was thinking, okay I need to share my “G” lifestyle daily from this point on. Get out in front of the camera, you can do it, I keep telling myself. I am working up to it, believe me. So, I said to myself what can I share today… hmmm, I know, how about my addiction or dare I say love for espresso. I know, I know, it’s killing my alkaline ph balance or something like that. I hear you Brendan and Tim. You guys make me look bad, being all in shape and perfect fit “G” super guys. I know, I am going to stop soon or at least reduce how much I take in per month. More green juicing I promise. But for now, I am still drinking organic espresso, which our friends at Peet’s Coffee sent over to us. They are like freaking pushers… right (jj) It’s sooooo good, I promise you. One shot and you just want to drop to your knees. They have a complete green organic coffee roasting place here in California I believe. Anyways, they sent over so much espresso, I just can’t help myself but to dig in and brew it up. I know bad monkie.

Back to my story. I am out here in the desert and it is so hot, 116 degrees if you can believe that. I have a new place, which I will show you in another post and I haven’t turned on the air once and believe it or not I am fine. All the windows and doors are open in the front and back of the house and the air is flowing through and keeping it very… hawaii caribbean like. But with that said, you still need something cool to sip on, so my cool morning drink of choice is the iced espresso with a twist of flavors. I have been making it almost every day along with a few other frozen alcohol based drinks, which I will also get into in some future post. I know TIM / BRENDAN / RORY, I hear you.. Bad Monkie!

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GreenChef Khatija Dadabhoy | Espresso Truffle Brownies

Rich, moist, espresso truffle brownies by Khatija Dadabhoy of Ghalia Organic Deserts.

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