Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Green Mountain Coffee Tasting Team

Once a year, Green Mountain Coffee employees get the chance to try out for the Tasting Team, a group that provides a second level of scrutiny for quality assurance and new product testing in our Coffee Lab.

As someone who tried to prep for it, let me tell you: it’s a test you can’t prepare for – no flashcards, mnemonic devices, or cramming will help your nose pick up on the subtle earthiness of green peas or your tongue define the intensity of a salty slurry. You can help yourself by avoiding the urge to put on musk cologne that day or eating an onion pie the night before, but when it comes right down to it, this is a test for your senses and nothing else.

While you can’t study for it, you do get to know exactly what’s on the exam. The screening itself tests the sensory sensations of olfaction and gustation (smell and taste for those not accustomed to organoleptic jargon).  You taste sour, salty, and sweet slurries to rank intensities, identify solutions, and determine the ratios of blends.  You also take the French based tool kit called “Le Nez Du Café” (the nose of coffee), where you identify a fragrance (from vanilla to rubber) in a blind exercise.

In order to pass the screening, you must get a passing grade for each of the three graded sections (100% being one passing grade for the first taste test).

Eek.

Oh, and did I mention? There’s no coffee involved in this test.

Double eek.

Despite my initial concerns, this was one of the most entertaining and edifying tests I have ever taken.  In under an hour, my taste buds were completed saturated and my nose a twinge runny, but my mind was a buzz with a new mantra: “Tasting Team. Tasting Team. Ra, ra, ra!”

So it should not be unexpected that I jumped for joy when I received my results: I made it.

As a new member of the Tasting Team, I’ll be learning more about coffee, teaming up with other members of the company, sharing ideas and insights on our coffees, and actually impacting product decisions.

If that’s not a perk of working here, I don’t know what is.

Take a look at the Tasting on our Flickr account for full descriptions here or in the slide show above.

-Kristen

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Limited Time Offer for Cafe Express Members

If you're one of our Café Express members, we’ve got a great limited time offer for you. Purchase any Donut House ™ Coffee K-Cup® with a delivery date before 3/5/2010 and get an extra $1.00 off your existing discount. Sign in to your account or join Café Express today to receive great member benefits.  Share the Donut House discount with a friend when you Drop a Donut House on a friend.

Drop a Donut House

Our Donut House™ coffees  are good, straightforward coffees that remind you of the days when you could just order a “regular” cup of joe and never be disappointed.  These coffees offer rich, bold flavors and a little kick to get you going.

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Web Sale

Even though the holidays have passed, the winter wonderland continues with web sales everywhere! Well, Green Mountain Coffee is joining the chorus! Some of our stylish mugs, sleek equipment, and tasty treats are on sale now,  just for you, at up to 50% off.*

winter_web_sale_10

*Cafe Express Members: Discount will be combined with your 10% Cafe Express Membership discount. Non-coffee items cannot be added to your recurring Cafe Express shipment.

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A Momentary Glitch

I want to to briefly note that, yes, we *are* experiencing some technical difficulties with the Green Mountain Coffee web site today.

It seems a routine publish event got a lot less routine and a lot more unruly. We expect to have things squared away quite soon... meanwhile, we suggest a lovely cup of coffee. :)

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A Seasonal Winter Fairytale

Once upon a time, in the far away land of Vermont, there lived a coffee roaster called Green Mountain Coffee®.  The Roaster made wonderful coffees all year long – dark French Roasts, vibrant Breakfast Blends, lush flavors like Southern Pecan, and so much more.

Once a year the Roaster felt so inspired by the falling snow, dropping temperatures, and skiers on the mountain tops that it decided to roast an ode to Winter.  And so, it sourced, roasted, packaged and said, “Eureka! We have it: Limited Edition Winter Seasonal Coffees have arrived!”

With that cry of joy, Wicked Winter® Blend K-Cups and Fair Trade Golden French Toast® K-Cups entered the world.  (Don't forget our coffee bags, too!) Now, for the limited time they’re here, these Seasonal Coffees bring the spirit of Winter with them wherever they go.

And so they lived, happily ever after.

The End – er, the beginning!

W10SeasonalDuo

Author: Kristen Mercure

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What are you getting to the Source of in 2010?

Green Mountain Coffee 2010 CalendarAt 12:01 a.m. today, the bouncing New Year of 2010 came into our lives, heralding new opportunities, goals, and adventures in a cloud of confetti, bubbly, and cheers.

With so many possibilities open to us in the next 365 days, 2010 feels like a year of discovery, of getting to the root of something.  Inspired by our Green Mountain Coffee 2010 Calendar’s theme of “Getting to the Source of Great Coffee,” this year comes down to one question:

What are you getting to the source of in 2010?

Personally, I’m getting to the source of my graduate school procrastination by planning to take the GRE by year’s end.

That’s my plan for discover this year; what about yours?

As an incentive to share, we have 100 of our calendars** ready to ship to your door for the first 100 who leave a comment with their answer before noon EST on Friday, January 15, 2010.

Happy New Year!

-Kristen

** Only one calendar per household.  First 100 unique comments are eligible to receive a Green Mountain Coffee 2010 Calendar; eligible commenters will be contacted via e-mail for shipping information.  If shipping address is not received within one week of initial contact, commenter forfeits prize.

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