Manager Sean, took the lead and explained how they have a medium light roast with citrus hints, that is used for iced coffee. But when you ask for the iced coffee black, a dark roast is used: because it has a smoother bold taste. The Red Lion Espresso Blend is a combination of five beans: an Ethiopian, two Brazilians, a Yemen and a Sumatra. It is a light to dark roast, which is less bittersweet with a chocolate undertone. Red Lion has coffee flavors bagged to take home: Red Lion Espresso, True Mocha Java Blend, and their first direct trade Costa Rica Sirri Naranjo (from the West Valley).
I ordered their Autumn Spice Latte, a Pecan Pie Bar and a Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie with Cranberries. Diana went straight for the Double Chocolate Cookie and plain Chai Tea. As an avid tea drinker, she appreciated the in depth knowledge Sean shared and told me she would definitely come back again.
We decided to share our snacks and we found the Pecan Pie Bar and Double Chocolate Cookie to be the winners. According to Diana, the Double Chocolate was just the right amount of chocolate, chewy inside and right texture to bite into. For someone who "believes in dedication, commitment and chocolate", that testimonial holds a lot of weight.
My eldest daughter popped into Red Lion, ordered a Vanilla Latte and joined in on the review. Sean explained how they make their own syrups and as much as possible everything from scratch. My daughter thought it was really cool to see the actual vanilla beans sitting in the jar of simple syrup mixture. I took a taste of her Vanilla Latte and it was amazing. My daughter started to taste the cookies Diana and I had. We all agreed, the chocolate chip bacon cookie was a little over powering, but so interesting in concept. I would like to see the cranberries disappear and maybe replace the bacon with a less smoky one: and it would be perfect.
Overall, we loved the desserts at Red Lion and will be stopping in repeatedly for them. What I love is that they have vegan and gluten free treats as well. The Vegan Banana Bread looked simply delicious. Red Lion is definitely being attentive to the alternative coffee drinker with soy, agave, sucanat, and stevia. I fell in love with the details and vibe of this place. Jazz music played in the background and the expansive windows let you become a professional people watcher. Inside was small and cozy at the window bar, but Red Lion is definitely going to be big in the coffee scene. And, they are approved by Hoboken Mommies! Also, you can use Loyal Blocks at Red Lion too.
Check out below, my formal interview with Diana Antholis on her just launched book "Unleashed: Live the balanced, centered, and sexy life you deserve."
BS: What was your ah ha moment in writing this book, that you could say "I have done a great job in getting my message across to the reader"?
DA: I wrote most of the book in a few months right before I went to South East Asia. I was in Thailand (1 month) and Indonesia (2 weeks) and had no internet. So I spent six weeks doing absolutely no work…and came back mid November. I didn't want to read what I wrote already and I kept thinking the book was not done. A couple weeks later…I finally read it. That's when I had the ah ha moment. I said, "Holy Shit, this book is good." It helped being away from it completely and coming back to it with fresh eyes.
BS: What is that core message you nailed?
DA: The core message is about understanding your thoughts and feelings, in order to live a life that you love. My main philosophy is found in the title "live the balanced, centered, and sexy life you deserve." That is the way I communicate it. For balance, you focus on your priorites for each day. For centering, understand and get a hold of your thoughts and their origin. For sexy, believe in yourself and exude confidence.
BS: What is the part of your day that you look forward to most?
The moment that I give myself nothing to think about. And that is extremely hard to do. Meditation is something different to everyone. Once a day should do something that requires your brain to do that one thing. It allows your brain to shut down.
BS: So, like an adult recess for your mind?
DA: Yes, it needs to reboot.
BS: What is your current mantra?
DA: I have different mantras everyday. One I've been using for about a month now is: “Be kind to yourself." It came to me when lots of thoughts I was having were self-sabotaging. When you get into a new place where your brain is clear, a mantra comes to you and feels like magic. It is your intuition talking to you. I actually have a phone notification that says “Be kind to yourself” as reminder everyday.
BS: Now that you have finished this book…how will you delegate the chunk of time that was allocated to writing it?
DA: There is always stuff to work on. I'm currently using those creative chunk for a new program. “Unleash Your Sexy Experience”- a self study program that expands on the book and has multi-media space, like videos and audio. It is a bridge between the book and one-on-one coaching. It should be available in early 2014.
BS: How is your life centered? Balanced? And sexy?
DA: Balanced- I make sure that everyday I do one thing for myself. Usually that is yoga/exercise (movement) 5-60 minutes. The priority is to move, no matter how long. Centered- I actively write and do free writing. It's like brain dumping onto paper. This is so your thoughts don’t drive you crazy. You leave them on paper and they are gone. Sexy- I believe confidence is sexy. Anytime my confidence is down, I go back and ask myself "What have I accomplished? What have I learned before? What have I done? Why is it amazing? Why am I beating myself up?" I have so many good things happening, so there is no reason to let negative thoughts affect me. Sexy is a constant reminder that you're in control and know what you're doing.
BS: What is your favorite comfort food to feed your mind? Nourish your body? And, what is your guilty pleasure?
DA: Peppermint tea (5 cups a day) is my habit and is good for digestive reasons. When I drink it, I feel better and centered. Nourish your body? Avocado on everything. I have the same breakfast every morning: an egg, half of an avocado, spinach and quinoa. All good stuff: protein, carbs, good fat. I feel like I can take on the world after I eat that. Guilty pleasure? Chocolate…but specifically, I make my own chocolate chip cookies: Jacques Torres recipe from NY Times.They use two types of flour and sea salt. Salty sweet indulgence. I also make a chocolate chip vegan and gluten-free cookie.
BS: What did you order at Red Lion Coffee?
DA: Double Chocolate cookie. That one is really good, I was impressed with it because it was soft in the middle and that doesn't always happen with a cookie in a café with a good flavor. And they put enough chocolate! I had Chai Tea plain…It was amazing. I would go buy it from them.
BS: What were your thoughts on the Red Lion? The food? The tea? The staff?
DA: I like the atmosphere and design, the lamps were cool, and loved the brick. The only thing I wish they had was more indoor seating space. It is so cute. Great place for coffee and tea. Staff is very friendly and knowledgeable about the product. I’m a tea drinker…they went through each tea and showed it and explained it. “And they were very happy to unleash their sexy."
BS: Would you go back again?
DA: I would definitely go back…but not to sit, more on the go.
BS: How do you recommend they unleash their sexy? Or do you think they have already?
DA: I think Sean has his sexy unleashed most of the time, but can learn a lot from the book.
BS: What is your motivator in life?
DA: Outside force: to prevent disease, because I believe there is a lot of research that shows stress and food contribute to disease. It affects the mind, body , and soul. There is research now, that shoes your personality type can cause disease based on how you deal with emotion. We hear others say it is genes, but it is more environmental. What you are doing with your mind and body:that determines it. I don’t want that. I want to be able to run around with my kids for a long time. I don't want to be like friends and family members I have seen in the hospital. I can see what it does to your body an I don't want that.
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