10 Best Chocolates You Have To Taste in NYC

Here in NYC, we have sampled some of the best chocolates. They are:

1: Hot Chocolate from City Bakery

City Bakery has provides eight ounces of non-watered chocolate that has been melted. This is provided in their cafeteria-style caf� with a large homemade marshmallow placed on tip. Though it is not healthy, it offers a good experience.

2: Holiday Chocolates from L.A Burdick

This is said to be the best shop in NY. Stop in for a cup of hot chocolate with some of your friends on a chilly morning or a hot afternoon and walk out with a box full of delightful chocolate penguins as a gift to a friend.

3: MarieBelle Chocolates

This is a mix of the best and original chocolate that is combined with eclectic ingredients that makes it taste wonderful. All these combined with the best artisanal design which resembles precious jewels makes it perfect.

4: Olivia Kita Fine Chocolates

Olivia Kita’s chocolatiers are probably the best chocolatiers who offer vegan organic chocolates. These beautiful creations mixed with beautiful flavors from herbs, flowers, exotic fruits, berries, nuts and other spices offer the best taste.

5: Jacques Torres Chocolate

These chocolates are probably some of the best you have ever tasted. They are made of fresh beans and can be combined with other delicacies which will overwhelm your taste buds indefinitely.

6: Martine’s Chocolates

They are made of fresh cream chocolates as well as truffles. The delicacies are handmade and are prepared in front of the clients. They include Belgian Callebautcouverture, French butter and fresh American cream. Presented in a pink box that makes the client even salivate before eating.

7: Kee’s Chocolates

This place creates handmade confectionaries. They have an international flavor since their ingredients are imported: yuzu from Japan, French sea salt and Spanish saffron. This is an ideal stop for individuals who prefer a small SoHo shop.

8: Vosges Haut-Chocolat

This is perhaps one of the best places to buy truffles. It provides an international flavor with the exotic flavors collected from all over the world. It is made with curry, Thai pandan leaves and wasabi. You can order this unique candy online for dessert.

9: Hampton Chocolates

The Hampton Chocolate factory employs some of the best chocolatiers from around the world to provide some of the most unique creations. They are all natural, preservation free and have been said to have the best taste.

10: Gnosis chocolates

The gnosis chocolates are all natural and created to enhance the health of the client. Only the best organic ingredients are used to deliver an attractive flavor and nourishment from some of the best herbs from China and Native America. Appropriate for dessert.

Five Easy and Healthy Recipes From the Japanese Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is vastly different in Japan from what you may see in America. In the U.S. it has been westernized and that can be fattening for you. Getting back to the basics of proper cuisine for the culture, here are five recipes that will introduce you to Japanese cooking in a healthy way.

The main staples of a Japanese diet are rice, fish, vegetables, soy, fruit, noodles and the famous green tea. That gives you a lot to choose from when it comes to preparing your meals. Most recipes can be adapted to different tastes. For example, if you don’t like radishes, substitute shiitake mushrooms or bamboo shoots.

Recipe 1 – Miso soup

This soup is a basic staple of the diet. It is made with soy paste that has been fermented. The soy paste is mixed in a broth called dashi. It can be made from various fish or seaweed. You could probably buy dashi stock along with the miso at any Asian market. Create it at home and add other vegetables that you like to adjust the taste. Soups are eaten at all three meals. The soy provides protein with very little fat.

Recipe 2 – Beef and broccoli

This is not the type that you are used to seeing in America. The beef is lean and cut into thin strips. Using a sharp knife and a frozen piece of meat allows you to cut as thin as you need and remove all excess fat. The meat is cooked with very little oil. The broccoli is steamed. The beef is laid over the rice so that it can soak up the juices.

Recipe 3 – Vegetable saut� (kinpira)

Any vegetables can be added to this dish. The main two are burdock and carrots. Burdock is a root vegetable much like carrots. They can be purchased as an Asian market. Both are cut into matchstick slices for ease and thorough cooking. The addition of soy sauce, sesame seeds and sake help to give the vegetables a rich flavor. Serve with rice.

Recipe 4 – Stir fry

This recipe requires very little oil in the wok. You can use a variety of vegetables: mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, carrots and more traditional Japanese vegetables. One of the sauces they love to add is soy sauce. It infuses the food so no additional condiments are needed. Eat with rice only or add seafood like shrimp.

Recipe 5 – Poached fruit

Dessert is usually a simple dish of sliced fruit. You can take an Asian pear and poach it in green tea infused with ginger and almond. The pears are poached in boiling tea with the added spices and sugar. You can serve this alone or with some green tea ice cream or sorbet.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to add the Japanese staples to your lifestyle. Adopting some simpler ways of eating can help keep you healthy and excite your taste buds.

Green Tea – Much More Than a Drink

Green tea is the most consumed tea in Japan and China, containing only 5% to 10% of caffeine per cup. To avoid becoming bitter in its preparation should not be used boiling water, but below the boiling point or even cold, if you prefer. Green tea is one of the most powerful antioxidants that are known, protecting the body from free radicals if consumed regularly. Furthermore it has detoxifying, digestive and diuretic effects.


Combining the finest green teas with flowers, fruit and healing herbals, provides an absolutely delightful experience of tea offering different taste, textures and variety experiences, to entice people to drink tea more often.

Jasmine – The exotic aroma of jasmine combined with the green tea scent gives you a drink that is a true blessing to the smell and taste.

Japanese Cherry – One other alternative is the combination with Japanese cherry, that gives it a slightly sweet aftertaste very sophisticated and exotic.

How to Enjoy.

Enjoy drinking green tea, hot or cold, in any occasion, all year-long. It’s full of vitality and goes well combined with a meal, or at the end of a good meal relaxing and enjoying in the company of friends, or by itself, at work or in relaxing moments of the day, or cold on hot summer days.

How to prepare.

Be an expert and prepare your tea with art. In order to enjoy all properties and flavor follow this tips:

� The secrets of a good tea is also the water. Use filtered or bottled water

� When preparing green tea, turn off the heat once the water starts boiling to prevent “cooking” the delicate tea leaves.

� Use a teaspoon as measure – one per cup.

� Place the heated water over the tea on a teapot and let it infuse to taste between 3 to 5 minutes – use a strainer for the leaves, preferably acrylic.

� Pour the tea into a cup and let it rest for a while.

� Enjoy the colours, the complexity of the aromas.

Cooking with tea.

The tea will like to know, is not only to be consumed as a beverage. You can make ice cream, soft drinks, cakes or even use it as a spice in your cooking. Enrich your dishes, surprise with your culinary skills, offer your friends and family meals of different flavor and always, always healthy.

The ritual

A cup of tea is more than a drink. It caresses the senses, stimulates the mind and promotes friendship and companion.

No other beverage has the beneficial effects of tea.

Explore new flavors and aromas and discover ways to drink tea and protect yourself with the benefits associated with the green tea consumption.

Loose Leaf Green Tea Offers Amazing Taste and Refreshment

Most of us start our day with a cup of tea in the morning. Around the world tea had always been the most consumed beverage than any other one. It is not only refreshing but offers health benefits too.


This nature’s delicious gift originated from China and was then brought to Japan in A. D. 803-805. The Japanese Emperor ordered for the cultivation of it where different varieties were born. This became known to Asia and then quickly spread all over the world.

Varieties of loose leaf green tea:-

It is made of ‘CamelliaSinensis’ -a plant species from which all sorts of teas are made. To make its big tea buds are picked and dried/heated to stop fermentation of loose leaf green tea. The Chinese method to heat the leaves and to remove moisture is roasting whereas steaming is done in Japan. After heating is done tea leaves are rolled and dried again before they are used. After this it is available in the market.

Flavors of the leaf green tea

People often find that raw green leaf tea is not so good in taste. So, to suit their taste buds a variety of flavored teas are now available in the market. Some of the flavors are listed below:

� Tulsi flavored

� Peppermint flavored

� Jasmine flavored

� Cherry flavored

� Apricot-mango flavored

� Pineapple papaya flavored

� Walnut flavored

Now a day, a lot of flavored are made available in the market keeping in mind the taste of what people expect. The leaves are carefully handpicked, processed and flavored so that consumers can relish a delightful taste.

Varieties of loose leaf green tea:-

There is a wide range of variety of tea available in the market. Some of the varieties of the green leaf tea from China are Gunpowder Tea, Long Jing (Dragon Well), Pi Lo Chun green tea leaves, HouKui, Xin Yang Mao Jian and many more. The popular Japanese varieties of tea are Gyokuro, Sencha green tea leaves, Bancha green tea leaves, Green Matcha Powdered etc.

Gyokuro is the best variety of tea from Japan. It is prepared by keeping the plant in shade so as to give better taste to its chlorophyll content. Among the Chinese variety of tea Long Jing or the Dragon Well is the best one. It has a distinctive sweet after taste. Jasmine dragon phoenix pearl is another best variety which is made from the youngest tea buds, hand rolled into pearls, and jasmine flowers are used to flavor it.

Keeping in mind the taste and frequent utility of loose leaf green tea different types of tea flavors are available in the market within a reasonable price. As such tea is consumed by all classes of people and the most consumed beverage by the masses. Even the best loose leaf green tea is available within a range of $7. 25 to $10. 20. One can relish this delightful beverage anywhere because tea is available throughout the world

Matcha, Green Tea From Japan

After traveling to a green tea plantation and seeing how ‘matcha’, powdered green tea was grown and processed, I was inspired to write haiku! Perhaps it was from the fresh smell of tea in the air and also the sense of lift and well-being after enjoying a nice hot cup of matcha. I found the matcha helped overcome jet lag and travel fatigue. That’s why I’m an advocate for matcha green tea. It helps restore energy when traveling, provides mental clarity and a natural lift with the right combination of l-theanine and light caffeine. The powdered whole leaf matcha has ten times the antioxidants and catechins, known for building health and preventing diseases, than just a regular cup of infused tea from a tea bag. Although all green tea is good, matcha is the super food version of a cup of tea. And when traveling it keeps your immune system strong to ward off colds and flu.

It all began in Japan when Monks brought back tea seeds from China in the 9th century. But it was Eisai, a Japanese monk who is credited with the beginning of the tea tradition in Japan who wrote a book in 1214 called, “How to Stay Healthy by Drinking Tea.” The monks would press the tea into cakes and take it with them wherever they would go, often stopping on the side of the road to boil water and break off a piece of the cake to make tea. The Japanese have incorporated green matcha in their foods as well and have reaped the amazing health benefits of this smooth, delicious tea.

Matcha comes in a variety of grades such as bulk, culinary and higher grade ceremonial matcha. I prefer to drink organic ceremonial, the first flush of tea harvested every May in Japan. It tastes slightly vegetal, is very smooth and has a light sweetness. Because matcha production in Japan is highly supervised and follows strict HAACEP regulations for growing and processing, you can be assured you are receiving a clean, safe, high quality product. Tea leaves are lightly steamed, dried and kept in cold storage. When it’s time to process, the tea is fed through a funnel into a granite stone grinder. Although now electronically driven, the stone grinders move slowly taking over an hour to grind one ounce of finely powdered matcha. This is the same as the hand grinding of the stones used during the last 800 years of tea tradition in Japan. The matcha powder is captured in a shiny clean stainless steel bin, then moved directly to packaging in a sanitary environment and shipped upon order. Other countries may not have strict regulations in place and some capture their matcha in a cardboard box. One can only shudder to think about the low standard of the processing, so sticking with the best insures delivery of a high quality product. Once you’ve had this high quality standard, it’s hard to drink or settle for anything less.

Cricket under straw

Sunlight green leaves shimmer bright

Smooth tea in my throat

haiku-Katherine Bowers