Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Remembering our Troops this Memorial Day

Today, the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, is probably one of the most difficult days for me in the office. All I can think about is the upcoming fun of the long holiday weekend; the barbecues, first (chilly) dip in the lake, and of course the parades. The

Troops at The Mudhouse, Camp Taji, Iraq

main reason we’re gathering though is to reunite with friends, loved-ones, and American traditions. Traditions that we all enjoy because of the great country we live in. Our soldiers played and play an important part in that tradition.

Memorial Day is a day when Americans pay tribute to those who have died in service and those that serve today. I know I will be cheering on my 90-year-old great-uncle tomorrow as he walks with the rest of the Veterans and thinking about those that are not there to march.

Here at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters we too honor our soldiers. As I’m sure many of you have heard from service men and women is the importance of coffee while in the field; especially good coffee. It is a comfort from home and a small luxury while on duty.

That is why we donate thousands of pounds of coffee to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan every year. We work with a great organization called Holy Joe’s Café, that provides coffee in a café setting at bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers can go to the cafés for spiritual guidance from the Chaplains, listen to music on open mic nights, or just enjoy a great cup of Green Mountain Coffee’s Dark Magic.

Thank you from Troops in Baghdad, Iraq

When our very own Vermont National Guard deployed to Afghanistan late last year, we knew that the comforts from Vermont that they would miss would include maple syrup and Green Mountain Coffee. Again, working with Holy Joe’s Café, every Vermont National Guard Chaplain has received coffee which will find its way into the hands of the Green Mountain Boys.

Thank you Holy Joe’s for helping us make an impact in our soldiers’ lives as they make a sacrifice for us. For updates from Holy Joe's you can follow them on Twitter.

How are you honoring our military woman and men this weekend? Have you sent Green Mountain Coffee or other comforts from home to those serving in the military?


Cuisinart and Keurig Serve Up a New Single-Cup Brewer

Coffee lovers and tech-junkies, convenience hounds and kitchen wizards - look what's showed up at today: the new Cuisinart® single-cup brewer.

We heard about it this time last year and now it's finally here: Cuisinart® and Keurig® have teamed up to bring us the Cuisinart single-cup brewer!  Pretty, no?

Ah, but this isn't just about looks. The Cuisinart has many of the features you’ve come to love about Keurig brewing technology, with a few more bells and whistles:

  • It has an extra large, removable 80 oz. water reservoir that offers impressive capacity, eliminating the need for frequent refills.

  • The hot water button is great for instant coffee, soup, tea, or hot cereal.

  • There is a rinse button that instantly cleans the inside of the brew chamber to keep every cup as delicious as the first.

And, of course, there's a few more extras: Included with the brewer are a 12 K-Cup starter variety pack, the reusable My K-Cup filter (which has its own storage area in the brewer), and one charcoal water filter. Click here to read up on all of the brewer's features and specs.

With over 80 varieties of coffee, tea, and hot cocoa to choose from at, its easier than ever for you to enjoy a wide array of hot and cold beverages from your Cuisinart brewer!


Fresh, Cool, Brewed: Introducing...Iced Coffee K-Cups!

Iced Coffee is considered by many a summertime staple, a necessity for squelching the heat and quenching your thirst.  Starting today you can beat the heat in the comfort of your own home, using your Keurig® brewer and our new Brew Over Ice K-Cup® portion packs, available in two new tantalizing varieties: Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend® Iced Coffee and Green Mountain Coffee French Vanilla Iced Coffee.

Our iced coffees are specially blended to brew directly over ice.  Because coffee performs differently at different temperatures, we made adjustments to the recipes to achieve the perfect balance of flavor and refreshment. Brew Over Ice K-Cups also contain more coffee in each K-Cup, so you get strong, full flavor, even with the addition of cream or sugar.

And now, for these deliciously chilled brews:

Based on the hot version of one of our most popular blends, Nantucket Blend® Iced Coffee is specially roasted and blended to be brewed over ice. Wherever you brew it, Nantucket Blend Iced Coffee offers the relaxing taste experience of summer afternoons at the shore. The iced coffee version of Nantucket Blend is just as full, hearty, and complex as the original, but it’s not an identical twin. Consider it a close, colder cousin.

Our French Vanilla Iced Coffee captures the essence of exotic vanilla, and offers a sweet, round, and creamy body, too. This isn’t your every day vanilla. When we developed this lusciously smooth flavor, we were shooting for something sophisticated. More crème brulee than candy. A rich, custardy vanilla that’s deep, exotic, and geared for grownup tastes. Now you can enjoy this richly satisfying flavor as an iced coffee, brewed at the touch of a button.

In just a few minutes time, you can be enjoying a refreshing cup of iced coffee. All you do is follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill a tall (16 oz.) cup with ice and place under the brewer. (We suggest you avoid using glass, the hot liquid may cause glass to crack.)

  2. Place the K-Cup in brewer.

  3. Choose the brew setting (6 oz. or 8 oz.) and press “brew.”

  4. Add cream and sugar if desired, additional ice as needed, stir, and enjoy!

Go to to see just how easy it is! And for the perfect way to take your iced coffee on the go, be sure to pick up one of our new Brew Over Ice Tumblers.

[Lookout for two new additions to the Brew Over Ice family coming this summer!]


The Clothes Exchange: Shopping for King Street Center

Tonight at 6:30 pm hundreds of Vermonters will descend on the Doubletree Hotel in South Burlington to comb clothing racks full of fashionable clothes and accessories.

The Clothes Exchange 2009

The clothes, some new and some used, are highly coveted items from brands such as J.Crew, Isis, Lole, and Eileen Fisher (just to name a few). What is different about this shopping extravaganza though is that The Clothes Exchange “…collects and sells thousands of new garments, in addition to pre-loved, high quality woman's clothing and accessories”, then donates all the proceeds to a select beneficiary.

Last year the Exchange raised $55,000 for Vermont Works for Women, an organization that helps women recognize their potential that leads to economic excellence. This year the King Street Center will benefit from all the money that folks drop on these fabulous clothes. The Center “…is a not-for-profit community organization that provides children and families the core life-building skills necessary for a healthy and productive future”. Some examples of these programs include a Head-Start Pre-School, an Afterschool Excellence program with field trips to places such as Shelburne Museum and ECHO Lake Aquarium.

King Street Center Logo
Another great aspect of this organization is their focus not only on early childhood, but also through their teen years. Walking in front of the Center you will always see groups of teens hanging out in a safe space, playing foosball, working on homework or just listening to music. To read more about the programs click here.
Tonight, in addition to the great clothes, attendees with be able to sample our new Brew Over Ice™ Perfect Iced Teas™, including the newly released Half and Half and Southern Sweet K-Cups. I’ll have my serious shopper hat on, with an iced tea in hand!

So if you’re in the Burlington area, stop by for some great shopping and good times. If not, you can donate directly to the King Street Center or The Clothes Exchange – details can be found on either of their websites.

You can find both the Clothes Exchange and The King Street Center on Facebook and Twitter:

The Clothes Exchange: Facebook and Twitter

The King Street Center: Facebook and Twitter


Introducing Brew Over Ice™ Tea K-Cups: The Ultimate in Summer Cool

How many times has this happened to you: it’s a hot day, and you head to the fridge to pour yourself a refreshing glass of iced tea—only to find that someone (and you know it wasn’t you) put the practically empty pitcher back in the refrigerator, thinking it will miraculously refill itself once the door closes and the light goes out. Frustrating, indeed.  Well now you can say sayonara to that scenario—we’ve come up with the perfect solution: Brew Over Ice™!

Brew Over Ice is a way to quickly make cold, refreshing iced beverages using your Keurig® Brewer. All it takes is a few simple steps: 1. Fill a tall (16 oz.) cup with ice and place under the brewer. (We suggest you avoid using glass, the hot liquid may cause glass to crack.) 2. Shake the K-Cup and place in brewer. 3. Choose the brew setting (6 oz. or 8 oz.) and press “brew.” 4. Add additional ice as needed and enjoy!  For a step-by-step visual, make sure to click on the "See how easy it is to brew" icon when visiting the product pages for each Brew Over Ice product.

Many of you may already be familiar with our Perfect Iced Teas™,  (the first Brew Over Ice products we introduced last year) available in three all-natural, lightly sweetened fruit flavors: raspberry, lemon, and peach, as well as a full-bodied unsweetened black tea. Beginning this month, we are pleased to be adding two new flavors to the Perfect Iced Tea family: Southern Sweet Tea and Half and Half. Southern Sweet is a robust and smooth black tea, sweetened with a generous helping of natural cane sugar for a distinctively Southern approach to sweet tea. Half and Half (a.k.a. an Arnold Palmer) is a refreshing combination of lemonade and iced tea.

Whichever flavor iced tea you choose, we’re confident that you won’t find an easier way to enjoy this classic beverage than with our Perfect Iced Tea K-Cups®.   Just remember to have plenty of ice on hand!  When shopping our site, remember to use keycode BREW-ICED in your cart, to get $1.00 off all Brew Over Ice K-Cups.  This is a limited time offer that expires on 8/16/10.

Be on the lookout for other new Brew Over Ice™ products that will be introduced this summer. And if you really want to show off your cool, be sure to pick up one of our new Brew Over Ice Tumblers, at


Summertime Catalog is on its way!

Summertime…. Ahhhhh.  Thoughts of picnics, porch swings and flip-flops come to mind.  On those bright and fresh summer mornings oh how delicious a cup of The Perfect Peach would be!

Pour it into one of our new mugs, perhaps the Fiddlehead Mug or Summer Breeze Mug to really immerse yourself into the dog days.  Don’t forget to check out our new Brew Over Ice drinks that will refresh you like a welcome summer rain.  Check out these offerings and more in our new Summer Catalog which will be arriving in your mailbox soon.


Rebuilding after the Tornado: Greensburg Wind Farm

Three years after a devastating tornado leveled the town on May 4, 2007, destroying 95% of the homes and leaving a

Greensburg Wind Farm

path of destruction 2 miles wide, Greensburg, Kansas continues to rebuild stronger and more environmentally sustainable than ever. On April 30th, 2010 Greensburg Mayor Bob Dixon accepted a plaque on the steps of the newly rebuilt City Hall, officially recognizing the environmental benefits from the Greensburg Wind Farm and recognizing the thousands of business and individual supporters from around the country.

Our VP of Corporate Social Responsibility, Michael Dupee, was there to celebrate the dedication. Since 2003, we’ve offset our carbon use through NativeEnergy, a Vermont-based leader in the US carbon market. We have committed to purchasing more than half of the carbon offsets anticipated from the wind farm through NativeEnergy. By offsetting our carbon use we invest in renewable energy and in this case in the Greensburg communities’ green future. It is an inspiring story about the strength and dedication of the Greensburg community and we are glad to be a part of that story!

You can also read the two part blog serious from NativeEnergy on their blog as well as their beautiful shots of the Wind Farm itself on Flickr.


Thank you, e-Tasters

To paraphrase Julius Caesar: You came.  You saw.  You e-tasted.

With a throng of excited e-tasters (and Waterbury tasters) ready, willing, and able to start the evening off with a little coffee in their system, our e-Taste & Be Fair Spring Revival Blend™ tasting was off to a promising start.  Add in appearances from Fair Trade Guy (AKA Roger), great real-time comments from our tasters, and only one spot of questionable camera focus (“Ah!” I thought, an inch away from panic. “Must.  Eliminate.  Blurriness!”), and we had a tasting that may bear repeating.

Feel like reliving the moment or taking a peek for the first time?  Good, because we recorded it for you:

Can't see it?  Click here:

And now, for the most important part: Thank you! Thank you to everyone who joined us!  We had a blast and hope you enjoyed it, too.

We would love to hear your feedback.  If we’re going to do another live tasting, we want to make the next one even better.  What did you like?  Dislike?  What should we add?  Take away?  Good, bad, or indifferent, we’d appreciate your opinions in the comments.


Ask the Coffee Lab: How does Fair Trade Taste

Before World Fair Trade Day, we thought it would be important to answer a question we hear in hushed tones when we talk about Fair Trade coffee:

"Does Fair Trade coffee taste okay?"


Ours does!

Lindsey Bolger, Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships for the Specialty Coffee Business Unit of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (who is also my boss), said it herself:

“Converting two of our most popular products to Fair Trade Certified is one way we can help small-scale coffee farmers invest in the quality of their coffee and the quality of life in their communities.  It also means we can continue to deliver high quality, sustainably-sourced coffees to consumers.”

High quality.

If a farmer knows he or she can get a good price for their coffee, if they know someone will buy it and take good care of it, then they’ll put more time and energy and care into their coffee. Provided that coffee has a good starting point (the right climate, soil, conditions and altitude, the right farmer and all the other things that affect coffee)….

We pay more for Fair Trade certified coffee because of the price minimums and the social premium, but also because of the quality. We buy the good stuff because you the customer expect us to (and you pay for it). It’s costs more, but people vote with their pocketbooks and they’ve been voting the Fair Trade direction.

Without revealing too much about how we do business, I’ll show you one of our charts. We keep track of the sensory scores of every single coffee we buy and then we put it in a database.  I won’t tell you the scores, but the bars in blue are average scores of the different origins and families of coffee we buy. Column #4 is the average scores for some of our best FTOs and Single Origin coffees. In other words, Fair Trade coffees are some of the best we offer.

If you don’t believe me, then try some of our Fair Trade Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.


Welcome Timothy’s World Coffee

We at Green Mountain Coffee are proud to welcome our sister brand from the north - Timothy’s World Coffee® - to their new U.S.* online shopping home:

Beginning this May, Timothy's will launch a total of 26 varieties of premium coffees in K-Cup® portion packs, regular, decaf, and flavored coffees ranging from mild to dark in roast profile.  For the first time ever, they'll also offer a variety pack of coffees and teas, so you can get a taste for what Timothy’s has to offer. It’s most exciting that !BAM! we have three of renowned chef Emeril Lagasse’s Emeril’s® K-Cup coffees in the mix as well!

Like Green Mountain Coffee, Timothy's is an industry pioneer in supporting socially and environmentally responsible coffee programs, producing coffee that helps preserve the environment and sustain the livelihood of coffee farmers and laborers. To that end, Timothy’s supports Fair Trade, participates in the Rainforest Alliance certification program, and partners with the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA).

If you don’t already know and enjoy Timothy’s coffees, stop by their site and say, "Hi" for us!.

*Purchasing K-Cups from our U.S. website can lead to longer shipping times than desired, import duties and taxes/fees for Canadian customers. To save on shipping fees and shipping times, we strongly recommend you shop at their Canadian site, The Canadian site currently offers "Free Shipping on orders over CAD$63".


Guest Post: Fair Trade In Rwanda By TransFair USA

Katie Barrow, PR Manager at TransFair USA (the third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States), recently traveled to Rwanda to meet the Fair Trade coffee farmers who produced the beans for our Fair Trade Spring Revival Blend™. There she witnessed firsthand the hope and pride that Fair Trade has brought to the people of this tiny country, especially the women.  Here’s her story:


I’m so excited to be a part of Green Mountain’s World Fair Trade week!  If you’ve been following this wonderful blog, then you’ve probably already read several stories about the positive impact that Fair Trade has on the lives of coffee farmers.  You may have heard stories of cooperatives that have used Fair Trade premiums to provide entire communities with access to clean water or electricity for the first time.  There are also the stories of medical clinics built, new roads paved and scholarships funded.  But the Fair Trade story that has excited me the most during time at TransFair USA is the story of the Hinga Kawa Women’s Association (part of the Abakunda Kawa cooperative) - a group of women who came together as a community to sell their coffee directly to U.S. buyers, including Green Mountain Coffee for the Fair Trade Spring Revival Blend.

So this year I decided to take a vacation to visit these beautiful women in the far-away hills of Rwanda.  I’ll spare you the details of my entire journey through East Africa (though the 30-mile walking safari we took through remote mountain villages in Uganda was unforgettable).  Instead, I will just focus on one day - the day we spent with Hinga Kawa.  It was one of the most humbling and joyful days of my life thus far.

At this point, my travel buddy Jenna and I had been in Africa for a little over a week.  One thing we were already used to was getting up early so that all of the day’s activities could be accomplished before the afternoon rains came. This morning was a little different; it had been raining all morning.  Christine picked us up at our hotel in Kigali in a rugged SUV at 8am sharp, and we began the drive to Gakenke.  What an experience that was!  The road started off paved in Kigali, but soon pavement gave way to a rocky dirt path (hard to call it a road!) that we followed for another two hours, winding through small villages and farms.  When we arrived at the cooperative, we met Ernest, the manager of Abakunda Kawa.  He proudly showed us the coffee washing station and coffee beans from the last harvest.  And he was equally proud to show off the cooperative’s new copy machine, purchased with Fair Trade premiums.

The members of Hinga Kawa began to arrive one by one at the cooperative office.  The president of the group introduced herself to me and explained “the rain this morning made the women late.”  When you depend on the sun as your alarm clock, an odd rainy morning would cause delays!  Finally, all of the women had arrived, and they filed into the coffee storehouse for their monthly meeting.  That’s when I found out that I was to be a guest speaker!

Because of translation issues (Christine translated to Kinyarwanda), I kept my message short.  I told them that my job at TransFair USA is to listen to their stories, document their lives, and share this information with the world.  Americans love their daily cup of coffee, but it is very rare that we stop and think about where it came from: Who grew the beans and what were the unthinkable challenges associated with this seemingly ordinary act?

They received this message well.  They thanked me, and then the secretary of the group stood up to share her story on behalf of her colleagues:

“Our lives are not easy,” she began. “We wake up very early with the sun, strap our babies to our backs and head to the field where we tend to the coffee.  We then make sure that our older children get to school on time, and we begin searching for food to prepare for lunch.  In addition to gathering food, we must also find wood for a fire.  Because food is scarce and not easy to prepare, lunch is generally the only meal we eat all day.  After lunch, we return to the fields and tend to the coffee until the sunset.  At night we take care of the children, and after they fall asleep we work on applications for scholarships to help pay for their education.  Then we start all over again the next morning.”

“Many of us are widows or orphans [because of the genocide], and those who are married are still responsible for all of the work at home and in the coffee fields because our husbands spend the days in the villages trying to earn money.  This is why we formed Hinga Kawa; it is a way for us to sell the coffee that we grew.  It allows us to take pride in our work, and it is also a support network.  It is a time for us to come together and talk about our hardships with other women who have experienced the same challenges.  And it is a time for us to sing and dance… and laugh.  For many women, this meeting might be the only time they’ve smiled all day.”

And with that, the women began to clap as they sang a beautiful song.  This song wasn’t beautiful because all of their voices were on key, or because it was accompanied by interesting instruments.  It was beautiful because of the way that the women were able to let go of all their worries and just pour all of their energy into the song.  And then they began to dance!  As they danced, the women approached me one by one to hug me and thank me for visiting them.  Tears poured down my face.  I had never experienced anything so sincere and passionate.  I could go on and on about this part of the meeting, but this video I recorded really says it best:

At that moment, I realized that all of the work I’ve been doing at TransFair USA for the past year-and-a-half has been for these women:  women who work so hard every day just to feed their families, to grow their coffee sustainably (100% organic) and to simply survive.  Fair Trade has not made them rich.  Not even close.  But it has given them enough additional income to pay for their eldest child to go to school and still have money left over to feed their other children.  With our help and the continued sales of Rwandan Fair Trade Certified coffee, these women will soon be able to pay for all of their children to go to school… through Fair Trade, not aid.

I promised these women that I would share their story with you.  I also promised them that I would help sell more Rwandan Fair Trade Certified coffee.  All you have to do is order a bag of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Spring Revival Blend.  Trust me, it would mean so much to the women of Hinga Kawa if you did.

You can see more pictures from my day with Hinga Kawa right here.


Fair Trade….Far out in Mexico

Each year, groups of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc (GMCR) employees get the opportunity to travel to the very beginning of our coffee supply train: They travel to Source.  Susanne, one of our lovely Green Mountain Coffee marketers, offered to share her experience this past March as she ventured to coffee cooperatives in Mexico.  This is her story:


I recently returned from a Mexican source trip sponsored by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

A source trip is a unique opportunity for a select group of GMCR employees to visit several remote coffee farms and cooperatives to better understand their coffee growing practices. Since I spend each day sitting in my “Vermont” office trying to “Market” coffee, it seemed only fitting that I was chosen to better understand the true value of specialty coffee by actually visiting its source!

While traveling throughout Mexico, one of my favorite coffee growing regions that I visited was the Chiapas region. I quickly became educated on Fair Trade coffee practices. I also learned the art of patience, humility and harmony with nature.

Here is excerpt from my journal:

"After a five hour van ride from Tuxtla, I was ready for a sitz bath, foot massage and tequila shot! Instead, my colleagues and I hopped in the back of a pick up and set off on a 2 hour ride straight up the mountain. Holding on for dear life, we gasped our way to the top of a cloud-filled rainforest where coffee beans sunned themselves on the edge of the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, one of the most important nature reserves in the world because of its size and biodiversity. Home to over 400 different species of birds, this area also grows some of the finest Fair Trade Organic coffee.

I strolled over to the concrete patios where rows of coffee beans sat baking in the sun. I bravely peeked over the mountain’s edge to view the steep terrain. (It reminded me of the double black diamond ski trail I begrudgingly tackled the week before with my 8 year old son!) There, below me, I saw several farmers handpicking select red coffee cherries from the lush green bush they clung to. Excited to give it a try, I managed to pick a couple handful of cherries in approximately 30 minutes - a mere portion of what the farmer next to me was able to pick. I concluded I was not going to be offered a new job anytime soon!

After picking, sorting, washing, fermenting, processing, and drying (I might have forgotten a verb or two) the coffee beans and I made our perilous way back down the mountain. I couldn’t help but think that both the coffee and I (now close friends) were a long way from our final destinations.”

As I sit back down at my desk in Vermont, I ponder this moment in time. I now have a better understanding of the micro-climates that create high quality coffees. I have seen how farmers can co-exist with the environment and how buyers like GMCR can establish long-term relationships and stability with coffee growers through contracts and Fair Trade premiums. It gives me a real appreciation for the company’s purpose:

“We create the ultimate coffee experience in every life we touch from tree to cup – transforming the way the world understands business”.


Concrete Fair Trade Social Premiums

Take a 9,000 farmer member coffee co-op in Sumatra , mix in a Fair Trade Certified™ social premium, and the pay-off for producing Fair Trade coffee adds up really fast. At KBQB in Aceh, Sumatra in Indonesia it's to the tune of 5,132,160,000 Indonesian Rupiahs in one year, (about $570,000 USD). We visited the KBQB Koperasi Baitul Quiradh Baburrayyan Cooperative this past March and got to see up close and personal what the benefits of Fair Trade coffee are.

The name KBQB is Arabic – Koperasi: cooperative , Baitul: house , Quiradh: capital , as in money , Baburrayyan: door to heaven . Loosely translated, it means “ getting to heaven through the wealth of our children.”

We were very privileged to see some of the 123 different projects that social premiums can bring.  Some were modest and hand written and some much more involved. The biggest project was the purchase of land near their mill to build a massive office, laboratory facility, as well as dormitories.   Enjoy:


To support these kinds of investments all over the world, buy Fair Trade coffee. To support these kinds of investments in Sumatra, try our Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve.


Fair Trade Coffee Training in Nicaragua

Welcome to World Fair Trade week at Green Mountain Café! With World Fair Trade Day on Saturday and our World Fair Trade Day e-Tasting on Thursday, it’s only fitting to take the time to talk about this fundamental part of our Green Mountain Coffee make-up.  We have stories from Sumatra, Mexico, and Rwanda to share – but today we’re starting with a follow-up from Nicaragua.

Last spring, our Coffee Department’s own Stacy Bocksor traveled to Nicaragua with Sustainable Harvest, one of our Fair Trade Organic coffee importers, to meet with a number of co-ops in our Nicaraguan supply chain about how to better evaluate their coffee.  Take a peek at the video from this training Sustainable Harvest created below:

Can’t see the video?  View the it here: