Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

The Sampling Train Stops at Tubbs Station

Like a cyclone of warmth and good cheer, the Green Mountain Coffee events staffers have been criss-crossing New England and other parts of the country, sharing delightful wares at a whole host of special events. During the last month we’re been found at many different events, but one of the most exciting ones was the Tubbs Snowshoes Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer series.


This year we provided coffee for 'Stompers' at fund raising events in Vernon, NJ, Stratton Mountain, VT, Salt Lake City, UT, Snoqualmie, WA, Mt. Hood, OR, and Frisco, CO. As an extra incentive, we also provided new Keurig Brewers to all individuals who raised $1,000 or more to support Tubbs' fund-raising efforts benefiting the Susan G. Komen foundation. Across the six events, over $220,000 was raised, and we’re proud to play a small part in that remarkable achievement.

If you’d like to help in the effort to fight breast cancer, please feel free to donate to Susan G. Komen for the Cure here.

No rest for the weary, though, as we're packing up the van and keeping the caffeine train rolling. I hope to see you next month at the Boston Marathon Finish Line Festival on 4/19, two separate Earth Day events in Boston on 4/22, and a multitude of other locations!  Just look for the coffee van.

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#Revelation2Action Highlight: Brooklyn Young Mother's Collective #NYC

Amazing.

In just under 7 weeks, individuals from New England and New York have managed to not only nominate more than 60 innovative ideas, but have also produced over 80 concrete, meaningful, and inspirational entries to help support their local communities.

I repeat: Amazing.

One of these inspirational entries that's been well trafficked (even before we started publicizing the discussion possibilities with each entry) belongs to the Brooklyn Young Mother's Collective, an organization in New York City that “provides disadvantaged young mothers with a comprehensive set of services focused on their educational attainment and social development to help them to become self-sufficient adults.”

Let’s hear from their founder, Benita, on how BYMC came about:

“In 1999, when I was practicing law, I noticed a surge in my caseload among young mothers who were in foster care accused of neglecting their children. Often, there were no services available to these young women and as a consequence simple cases became complex and the cases languished in court. Desiring to help outside of court, in 2003, I launched “street law for moms” workshops in a school for young mothers…I held these workshops in the school’s library and one day I needed to show a YouTube video and the girls laughed and for the first time I noticed that they only [had] a few outdated books and no computers for the girls to use. Despite their history of education failure or disconnection from school most young women upon discovering their pregnancies tend to try to improve their lives through education. Unfortunately, the very system society believes allows everyone an opportunity to experience improved self-efficacy and economic outcomes does little to encourage them and in many instances discriminates against them …. So bringing all of me to bear, I launched The Brooklyn Young Mothers' Collective.”

What do you think about Benita’s organization?  Jump over to her entry to join the discussion.

Know of an organization that could do with a $5,000 grant?  Nominations and submissions are open until April 21, 2010 at Changemakers.com/Revelation.

-Kristen

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The Call of a Giant Green Mountain Coffee Cup

Billboard advertisements.  Some choose to look at them, some choose to walk by, and some – well, some choose to pose next to them, take pictures, and post them on the brand’s Facebook page.  Enter Travis and his friends, students from the University of Rhode Island, who walked by a Green Mountain Coffee advertisement in the Providence Place Mall and did just that:


“The story behind the picture is actually relatively simple. The four of us were walking to Dave and Busters through the mall after a dinner at Fire and Ice and we noticed the ad painted all along the wall. As soon as I saw it I said something to the affect of "Oh my god! Giant Green Mountain coffee cup, Whitney take my picture!" After Whitney took a couple of me posing, she had the brilliant idea for Kenny and I to boost Anthony up making a pyramid so he could "drink some coffee." People that were walking by us were laughing so hard when they saw what we were doing, and Whitney was laughing so hard she had a hard time taking the picture!”

And the laughter continues!  Thanks for sharing this with us – guess the giant Green Mountain Coffee cup was more alluring than we ever imagined!

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Meet our #Revelation2Action Judges

Wondering who would be selecting the Revelation to Action finalists for the Changemakers’ online community to vote on starting June 9?  Wonder no more – the Revelation to Action judges are here:


This panel represents some of the most innovative social entrepreneurs in the U.S., with expertise spanning the corporate, non-profit, environmental and academic sectors.

To give you the low-down, the judges will select a slate of ideas from submissions entered through the Changemakers online community based upon entry criteria.  On June 9, finalists will be announced, and between June 9 and June 30, the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite entries.  Winners will be announced during the week of July 12, and will be awarded prizes totaling $50,000. For complete rules and regulations of this competition, visit www.Changemakers.com/Revelation and click on “Eligibility, Criteria and Prizes.”

Want to submit your innovative, community changing idea for New England and New York?  You’ve got until April 21, 2010 to enter at  www.Changemakers.com/Revelation.

Remember: Change is brewing.

-Kristen

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Save $2.50/box with Cafe EXPRESS!!!

UPDATE 3/23/2010: Great news!  We have extended the improved Cafe EXPRESS discount through to May 1st!!!  Enjoy your savings, Cafe EXPRESS members.  Not a member?  Click here to learn more.


ORIGINAL STORY from 2/4/2010: For now through April 1st, all Cafe EXPRESS members will save $2.50 per box of K-Cups instead of our usual $2 discount.  That means the typical the 4 box order will save $10 plus receive FREE Shipping.  This is our best offer yet, so act now.




If you are not a member of Cafe EXPRESS, now is the perfect time to join.  If you are a member, sit back and enjoy the extra savings.  If you are a member and your next order is scheduled to ship in April, change your next order to February or March.  And if you are a Platinum member, you'll save $3 a box.  What's Cafe EXPRESS Platinum?  Click here to learn.

We hope these extra savings make Cafe EXPRESS that much more of an enjoyable experience.  We think it's the most convenient way for Keurig brewer owners to buy K-Cups.    Cafe EXPRESS is free to join, offers better prices, greater variety and the freshest direct-from-the-roaster taste.  Click here to read how current members love Cafe EXPRESS.

And over the next few months, we'll have even more innovative K-Cups to choose from.  Stay tuned!

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Island Coconut: Let the Coconut Love Begin!

I was trying to come up with a witty introduction for the arrival of our flavored Spring Seasonal (“Time to get Island Coconut-ty!” “First sign of spring: crocuses, baby birds, and Island Coconut.” “Time to put the cream in the Island Coconut, and stir it all up!”), but, let’s be honest: the excitement, thrill, and anticipation for this coffee’s annual debut doesn’t require fanfare.  It all comes down to two little words that set flavored coffee lovers taste buds afire:

Island Coconut®.

Don’t believe me?  Take a peek at the buzz:








This Fair Trade tropical treat captures the aroma of freshly grated coconut and is blended with the subtle sweetness of a lightly-roasted, Central American coffee. Unexpectedly refreshing.

Fair Trade Island Coconut is here in bag and K-Cup® single portion packs until June 4th!

-Kristen

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Spring Revival™ Blend: A story of Rwandan survival and revival

I was thrilled when I went to our Factory Outlet this morning and saw Spring Revival™ Blend as one of the featured coffees. This coffee has sweet aromas, balanced flavors, and a compelling story of hope behind it.

The floral top notes of this Fair Trade Certified™ blend come from Rwanda, a country still recovering from a brutal civil war. I had the honor of traveling to Rwanda with our chief coffee buyer, Lindsey Bolger, a few years back and it was a life-changing experience. I saw how our business, and the relationships we have with producers, are making a difference to people who survived unimaginable horrors. When you choose Spring Revival Blend, you join us in supporting Rwanda’s economic revival, and the small farmers who are recovering by producing extraordinary beans.

Our connection to Rwandan coffee began in 2002, when we hosted a group of Rwandan farmers and industry leaders in Waterbury, Vermont. They toured our roasting facility, participated in a cupping, and explored ways to connect with U.S. consumers.

Our chief coffee buyer, Lindsey, then made the first of six trips to Rwanda to train farmers in cupping and sensory evaluation. She helped them detect defects and understand the quality expectations of the demanding specialty coffee market. In 2008, Lindsey’s protégées were asked to be judges for Africa’s first Cup of Excellence® coffee competition. Their participation was a dramatic illustration of Rwanda’s meteoric rise on the international coffee scene.

Today, Rwanda is one of the hottest origins in specialty coffee, with a well-deserved reputation for high-quality beans. Fair Trade prices, and the training offered by industry experts like Lindsey, are allowing farmers to make a living off their small plots of land.

We are proud to work with the Clinton Global Initiative, TransFair USA, the Cordes Foundation, and the hardworking, small farmers of Rwanda to bring you Fair Trade Certified Spring Revival Blend.

Spring Revival Blend offers a fresh flavor profile evocative of spring, bursting with aromatic floral and dark chocolate notes. Kenneth Davids, editor of the independent Coffee Review, awarded Spring Revival Blend an outstanding score of 90 on a 100-point scale. The coffee is available in 10-ounce bags, 2.2 ounce fractional packages, and K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® Single-Cup Brewers through June 4, 2010 at participating retailers and at http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/.

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Energy in K-Cups

Need an extra boost in your day but don’t care for all those foreign, sugary ingredients in an energy drink? Green Mountain coffee has you covered with the introduction of revv™ K-Cup® portion packs for your Keurig Brewer.

revv packs more coffee in each K-Cup to offer a stimulating, richer, smoother cup of coffee. Whether you’re pulling an all-nighter or grinding through the third shift, revv will get you where you need to go.  If you’re looking for an extra kick in your coffee, try revv pulse™. Nature’s original energy drink, revv pulse™ boosts alertness without compromising on taste. Ginseng and Guarana are natural additives to revv’s high- performance power.

For a limited time,  get $1.00 off any revv or revv pulse K-Cup purchase when you use IGNITE-REVV in your shopping cart. Cafe Express members automatically receive the discount.

Check out www.revvcoffee.com for a chance to win a Burton snowboard, a Keurig brewer or an Apple ipad.


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#Revelation2Action Coffee Break #SXSW Edition

Yesterday I got back from an amazing conference called South By SouthWest (SXSW) Interactive. Although SXSW is known for its film and music festivals, it also hosts a five day conference on emerging media. Myself, along with Kristen and Paula were lucky enough to be sent to this exciting, fun, and exhausting conference. We came back with great ideas, fond memories, and documentation of how we spread the Green Mountain word all the way down in Texas.

This wonderfully edited (go Kristen!) episode shows our Revelation2Action “Coffee Bomb" of the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Although the contest is only for those organizations impacting New England states and New York, we knew SXSW folks would know of someone in those states who are strengthening their communities!  Without further ado, episode five:

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Need Coffee for your Office? Our New Small Business Site is Finally Live!

business coffee express home pageAs you are certainly aware, good coffee is vital to a happy workplace!  Coffee jump starts the day and fuels creativity - no matter how many people you have on staff.

With this in mind, we're proud to announce the launch of our newest family of sites; www.BusinessCoffeeExpress.com!

For small offices and business of 20 or fewer, Business Coffee Express is your source for K-Cup Portion Packs & Keurig Brewers.  From our 1-click Starter Kits or our new coffee club discount program "Office EXPRESS," Business Coffee Express has everything you need to outfit your small business or office.  By joining Office EXPRESS we'll automatically deliver your coffee on a schedule you choose.  Plus, if you sign up today you'll save $2.50 per box of K-Cups and 10% everything else including brewers!

And, if you have any feedback about the site (good or bad!) I'd love to hear from  you.

Office EXPRESS Coffee Club

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Introducing…Travel Mug K-Cup® Portion Packs!

Your K-Cup® favorites are now ready for your morning commute! We’re launching three coffee varieties in a new Travel Mug K-Cup®, made just for coffee lovers who can never get too much of a good thing.

Travel Mug K-Cups® are specially designed portion packs that create perfectly-brewed coffee on the largest brew size setting of the Keurig® Single-Cup Brewer. New technology allows more coffee to be packed into each K-Cup, which means the coffee is as strong and rich when brewed at 10- or 12-ounces as a conventional K-Cup is when brewed at 6- or 8-ounces.

Travel Mug K-Cups are available online at www.GreenMountainCoffee.com in three varieties:


And they are $1 off per box until 6/17/2010 with the key code TRAVEL-MUGS.  (Cafe EXPRESS members will automatically save an additional $1 in addition to their $2.50 per box savings)

Can’t wait to fill your travel mug?  Neither can we!  That’s why today Wednesday, March 17 through Friday, March 19 we’re giving away a box of not one, not two, but all three varieties of Travel Mug K-Cups (plus two Green Mountain Coffee Travel Mugs) each day to one of our Twitter followers that has a travel mug ready to be filled.

Here’s how it works:


  • Follow @GreenMtnCoffee on Twitter.

  • Between 8 and 11am EST, @reply us with a picture of your empty travel mug and the hashtag #FillMyTravelMug.

    • Example Tweet - @GreenMtnCoffee #FillMyTravelMug http://yfrog.com/ev3f9j

      • And no, you can’t use my picture ;-)



    • The daily winner will be randomly drawn and announced on @GreenMtnCoffee and our Facebook page.

    • For Official Rules, see below:


    Travel Mug K-Cup Sweepstakes

    OFFICIAL RULES

    NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE THE CHANCE OF WINNING. INTERNET ACCESS NECESSARY TO ENTER AND WIN.  RESTRICTIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED.

    ENTRIES POSTED TO THE GIVEAWAY ACCOUNT ARE NOT EDITED BY SPONSOR AND ARE THE VIEWS/OPINIONS OF THE INDIVIDUAL ENTRANT AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SPONSOR.
    ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia ("U.S.") who are 18 years of age or older as of March 16, 2010. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. This Sweepstakes is subject to the laws of the United States and Vermont and all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Employees of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., and Keurig, Incorporated and each of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, sweepstakes and fulfillment agencies, and members of the immediate family or household of each of the above are not eligible to participate.

    SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this Sweepstakes is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., 33 Coffee Lane, Waterbury, VT 05676 (“Sponsor” or “GMCR”).

    ENTRY PERIOD: The Travel Mug K-Cup® Portion Pack Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) runs daily from 8:00:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) to 11:00:00 AM EST  on each of  March 17, 2010, March 18, 2010 and March 19, 2010 only (the "Sweepstakes Period").   Entries must be received no later than 11:00:00 AM EST March 19, 2010.  No entries will be accepted outside of the 8:00:00 AM EST to 11:00:00 EST daily entry period.

    HOW TO ENTER: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE THE CHANCE OF WINNING. To enter, visit www.twitter.com and log-in or create a free Twitter account. Then become a follower of @GreenMtnCoffee and reply to @GreenMtnCoffee with a link to a picture of an empty travel mug and the given “hashtag” (#FillMyTravelMug).  Winner will be notified from the @GreenMtnCoffee page (or as otherwise determined by Sponsor in its discretion).  All entries must be received by 10:59:00 AM EST to to 11:00:00 AM EST daily from March 17, 2010 until March 19, 2010.  All entries must be uploaded via a Twitter Image Sharing Service (suchas Twitpic or vfrog) for posting to a tweet via tinyuri.   NO OTHER FORMATS OR METHODS OF ENTRY ARE ACCEPTABLE.

    ALL ENTRIES BECOME THE PROPERTY OF SPONSOR.  BY SUBMITTING AN ENTRY, ENTRANT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HIS/HER ENTRY (INCLUSIVE OF THE PHOTO) WILL BE OWNED BY SPONSOR, AND MAY BE POSTED ON SPONSORS' WEBSITE OR DISPLAYED ON SPONSOR’S OTHER PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS IN ANY MEDIA THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IN PERPETUITY IN SPONSOR’S DISCRETION WITHOUT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO ENTRANT. Sponsor reserves the right to, but may or may not, monitor or screen entries and may or may not edit any entry in its sole discretion. By entering, you acknowledge that Sponsor has no obligation to use or post any entry or any entry in its entirety.  You assign all rights in the entry to Sponsor, its successors and assigns in perpetuity.  You waive any moral rights in your entry.  You warrant that your entry is your original work, has not been previously published, is not defamatory, scandalous, offensive or unlawful, and does not infringe on the intellectual property, privacy or other rights of any third party.  Your entry does not endorse any commercial product or service other than Sponsor’s products and services.   You entry does not disparage Sponsor or any third party.

    Limit one (1) entry per person/twitter address/day.  No person/twitter address can win more than one time for the duration of the Giveaway. No mechanized, programmed or robotic entries are eligible, and use of illegal entry mechanisms may result in disqualification of the entrant.

    All entries are subject to verification by Sponsor.

    PRIZE: Three (3) twenty-two (22) count boxes of Travel Mug K-Cup® portion packs and two (2) Green Mountain Coffee-branded travel mugs (each a “Daily Sweepstakes Prize”); ARV of each Daily Sweepstakes Prize is $72.  ARV of all prized to be awarded hereunder (collectively, the “Prizes”) is $216.  All Prizes will be awarded. Prize includes shipment to winner’s address in the US.  Taxes are the responsibility of the winners.

    ALL PRIZES ARE AWARDED “AS-IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE EXCLUDED. WINNERS AGREE TO ACCEPT THE PRIZE “AS-IS.”

    ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning are dependent upon the total number of eligible entries received.

    RESTRICTIONS: No assignment, transfer, cash redemption, or substitution of prize is permitted, provided that Sponsor reserves the right to substitute any listed prize for one of equal or greater value if the designated prize should become unavailable for any reason.

    Sponsor's failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules will not constitute a waiver of that provision.

    DRAWING: The three (3) Daily Sweepstakes Prize winners will be selected by Sponsor in a random daily drawing from among all eligible entries received in the day prior to such drawing. Daily Sweepstakes Prize drawings will be conducted on or about Wednesday, March 17, 2010; Thursday, March 18, 2010; and Friday, March 19, 2010 by GMCR.

    Winner notification will be by Twitter or any other method chosen by Sponsor.  Potential winner will be required to contact Sponsor by direct message to Green Mountain Coffee via Twitter or as directed within forty-eight (48) hours of winner notification (the "Response Period").   Return of a prize notification as undeliverable or failure to respond within the Response Period will result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. If the winner chooses not to accept a Prize, an alternate winner will be chosen. In the event of a dispute, entries will be declared made by the authorized account holder of Twitter account submitted at time of entry. Unless otherwise noted, allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of a Prize following completion of notification and prize acceptance process. Prizes will only be delivered to addresses within the United States.

    PUBLICITY: Except where prohibited, participation in the Sweepstakes constitutes the winner's consent to Sponsor's use of winner's name, photograph, image, voice, opinions, biographical information, hometown and state for Sponsor’s purposes in any media in perpetuity without further payment or consideration.

    GENERAL RELEASE: By participating and/or submitting an entry in this Sweepstakes, entrants agree: (a) to these Official Rules and all decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final in all respects relating to this Sweepstakes; and (b) to release and hold harmless Sponsor, and Keurig, Incorporated and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers and employees and agents from and against any claim, cause of action, liability or expense (including attorneys' fees) arising out of participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use of any Prize.   SPONSOR MAY REQUIRE EXECUTION OF A SPECIFIC RELEASE PRIOR TO AWARD OF ANY PRIZE.

    LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY, DISPUTES: If, for any reason, the Internet portion of the program is not capable of running as planned, whether due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. In the event of termination, a random drawing to award the Prizes will be conducted from eligible entries received up until the time of termination, if such a drawing can be fairly conducted in Sponsor's judgment.

    Sponsor is not responsible for (i) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software, printing or typographical errors or lost, illegible or incomplete entries; (ii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any providers, transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iii) unauthorized human intervention in or unauthorized alteration to any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (iv) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; or (v) any injury or damage to persons or property, including but not limited to entrant's computer, hardware or software, which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant's participation in the Sweepstakes.

    CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY A PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKESIS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

    Entrant agrees that as a condition of entering the Sweepstakes: (i) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, or prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the state and federal courts of the State of Vermont; (ii) by participating or submitting an entry in the Sweepstakes, entrant consents to the personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction of such courts for such purpose; (iii) the parties waive any right to trial by jury; (iv) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred by entrant, including costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes but in no event entrant's attorneys' fees; and (v) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and further waives any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE RESTRICTIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

    GOVERNING LAW: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Vermont, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law Official Rules.

    ENTRY INFORMATION: Entry information becomes property of Sponsor subject to Sponsor's privacy policy as posted on its website at the following Internet address: www.GreenMountainCoffee.com.

    WINNERS LIST: For a list of winners, mail a self-addressed stamped envelope by May 1, 2010 to: Travel Mug K-Cup Portion Pack Sweepstake Winners List Request, 33 Coffee Lane, PO Box 370, Waterbury, VT 05676-9927. Limit one request per envelope. Vermont residents do not need to include return postage.

    COPY OF RULES:  For a printed copy of these Official Rules, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Travel Mug K-Cup Portion Pack Sweepstakes Rules, 33 Coffee Lane, PO Box 370, Waterbury, VT 05676-9927. Limit one request per envelope.  Vermont residents do not need to include return postage.

    ©2010 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.  K-Cup® is the registered trademark of Keurig, Incorporated.   Green Mountain Coffee is the registered trademark of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.


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Coming Back to Vermont

I just wanted to share this really nice email we got last week from a Vermonter who now works in Boston, but has fond memories of Vermont and Green Mountain Coffee.

[printed with permission from Graham Wingate]

Hello,

This past weekend I escaped to the green mountains to disconnect from day to day chaos of living in the city.  My twin brother and I retreated to the beautiful wilderness of Stockbridge, Vermont.  It was a great reminder of where I came from, and the overall splendor of the Vermont's beauty.  Growing up in rural North Troy, Vermont, the home of many blue collar natives the nostalgic feeling of what it was like to be a Vermonter had taken control of me once again.  I remembered all of the jobs that I had done throughout my years, and more importantly; I remembered what kept me going each day while working these jobs, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.  I remember specifically one job, and that was when I worked concrete construction for an outfit out of Derby, Vermont.  One of the jobs that I'll never forget was when I was going back to do some final touch-ups on the concrete flooring in the GMCR location in Waterbury, Vermont.  The aroma of your coffee was majestic, and it made my days quite pleasureable despite having to sweat through the grunt work.  As you may know, the weekend was spectacular (weather-wise), and my brother was able to snap a great shot of me relaxing, enjoying my Green Mountain Coffee while I contemplated my upbringing as a Vermonter.  Though I now live and work in the Boston area, I turn my nose up at any other coffee but GMCR.  I simply wanted to share my story and picture with you as a mere token of my appreciation for your great coffee and company.  Thanks.

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Could your town be a Fair Trade Town?

Today, we’re proud to announce our support of TransFair USA’s Fair Trade Towns movement, with a $50,000 grant from Green Mountain Coffee®, and a three-year commitment of $925,000 from the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Foundation.

 

 This past October, during Fair Trade Month, we had the pleasure of working with two Fair Trade Towns. The first is close to our HQ in Burlington, VT, which was declared a Fair Trade Town on October 17. We also worked with the Boston Faith & Justice Network to lend awareness to the campaign in Boston -- Boston is on track to become a Fair Trade Town in 2010.

 

 Why Fair Trade Towns?  More and more of us care about where our food comes from and how it is grown and processed. We feel a responsibility to better understand the impact that our consumption has on the communities that produce the goods we purchase. So many of us join CSAs, visit our towns’ Farmers Markets, and seek out local foods. Fair Trade provides an opportunity to extend these same concerns and values to foods and other products that are not grown locally – like coffee.

 

We believe the Fair Trade Town movement can be an important vehicle for educating local communities on the benefits of Fair Trade. It creates a powerful connection between our local and our global communities. And it can also support the growth of vendors in our local communities who purchase ethically-produced goods and services.

 

We hope that this additional funding will help the Fair Trade Towns movement continue to grow. There are now 13 U.S. municipalities that have been recognized as Fair Trade Towns, and there are 30 additional towns working towards this status. Could your town be a Fair Trade town?
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A Green Mountain Winter

Up north in the Green Mountain State, Vermonters are well known for their love of snow, which goes hand-in-hand with 'the cold'.  During the first big snowstorm of 2010, here at Green Mountain Coffee, we  were celebrating the snow,  by enjoying a nice round of creemee's. [A creemee is a soft-serve ice cream delight for all of you 'out-of-staters'] No, for the record, we are not crazy... and as much as we love our coffee here... in sticking with the cold weather theme, we traded in the caffeine that afternoon for some sweet and frigid yumminess!





Just another snowy day here in the mountains of Vermont.

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Ask the Coffee Lab: What Makes a Good Coffee Bean

Welcome to Ask the Coffee Lab!  Each month our crack Coffee Lab Team will tackle your questions about coffee - from what makes decaf coffee decaf to why coffee tasters slurp - and help to bring you another step closer to being the coffee expert you know you are inside.  If you have questions to ask us, leave a comment here, on Twitter (Follow us: @Coffee_Lab), or Facebook.

--

Without further ado, Peter asks via our Facebook page:

"What creates a good coffee bean?"


--

Great question. I’m a new Dad. What creates a good kid?

My brother said that before my daughter was born, he thought his own 3 kids came out fully formed, personalities intact and that his job was just to make sure they got three square meals a day and that they didn’t get run over by a car.

Are some beans born good? Kind of. The job is usually to pick the beans at the height of ripeness and then carefully process them so that the bean stands on its own and isn’t impacted by any rough, careless, negligent handling at the mill where it’s processed.

Coffee beans have lots of parents. Some people say that a coffee gets handled by up 150 different people before it goes down the gullet. (Don’t worry – not always literally handled.)

It helps to have cultivators of Coffea Arabica that produce better tasting coffee (as opposed to producing just lots of coffee). Typica and Bourbon are common older varieties (you could almost call them heirlooms) that produce good tasting coffee beans.

Some coffee beans can look lovely and yet have no taste. Some beans can look awful and taste delicious. Some ripe coffee cherries can look great – but be really light and low quality – so looks ain’t all that matters. It’s what’s inside!

It helps to grow at higher altitudes (above 3,500 to 5,500 feet) so that the bean doesn’t get too hot or grow too fast and take on more water. As higher grown beans, good beans are denser – (they grow slower) and are better able to handle the intense heat in a roaster

It helps to be picked when the beans are super ripe – big, red, and meaty – mature and fully developed. Normally they should be milled right away so that the inherent quality of the bean can stand on its own and not be influenced by the fruit or the interaction of the fruit with water and warm weather and microbial activities that can impact (usually in a negative way) the bean.

Good beans will come from diligent and careful handling in the mill in order to not have the good ones compromised by the bad beans in the mill. Good segregation means the good ones get set aside.

Essentially any good bean starts out good and the trick is not to have it compromised on the way to your cup. There’s generally very little anyone can do to improve the quality of a coffee bean – but there are lots of ways to deleteriously affect the quality of the coffee. Imagine a long slow battle hammering away at beans – the barbarians of carelessness, inattention, thoughtlessness and inexperience.

Other things that help:


  • For the farmer to have vision, hope, knowledge and a steady buyer with clear expectations and a ready check book.



  • For the cooperative to be able to get pre-harvest financing to help pay for a farmers’ beans so that it can compete for the best coffee.



  • A roaster that is willing to pay attention to the potential a coffee has and not just cook and bake it or roast the heck out of it.



  • A convenience store manager that is willing to use a separate airpot for Hazelnut so that the Nantucket Blend that comes next doesn’t get contaminated.



  • You the customer – taking care to use a nice brewer, clean water, cleaning it regularly, serving and enjoying it fresh.



  • You the customer – caring about good coffee and being willing to pay for it. (Thank you for that, by the way).


Most mornings, my 5-month daughter sits on my lap when I start my day with my FTO Ethiopian Yirgacheffe with a little organic half and half and a little raw whipped honey. If she grows up to be sweet, clean and bright like my favorite cup of coffee, I’ll be happy.

-Winston

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UPDATE: Hot Cocoa is back!

3/4/2010 Update:  GMC Hot Cocoa and all the Cafe Escapes cocoa items are now available!  Please use the links below.  Thanks.

3/2/2010 Update:  Well, we've got some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that Green Mountain Coffee Hot Cocoa will be available very soon.  We expect to have this available Thursday evening, March 4th.  And we will have a steady supply so that you can feel good about adding this product to your recurring Cafe EXPRESS orders.

As for Cafe Escapes, we will have a limited quantity of all four items available for sale this Thursday evening, March 4th.  Due to the limited quantities, we can NOT let folks add these products to recurring Cafe EXPRESS club orders.  We believe we have only 3 weeks worth of product for all four Cafe Escapes products.  We are VERY sorry about this.  If you enjoy our Cafe Escapes products, please get them now!

2/4/2010 Update:  I am told by our Production folks that we can expect Hot Cocoa products to be available by March 1st.  Wahoo!  A big THANK YOU to all our Hot Cocoa k-cup loyalists who have waited so patiently for these products.

1/20/2010:  It pains me to type this, but I'm afraid all of our Hot Cocoa K-Cup products are out of stock.  Due to incredible demand, we're told we will not have any Hot Cocoa K-Cups to sell from our web site until mid-February (at best).

Let me assure everyone that we are NOT discontinuing these products.  We love these products - and clearly you do, too!

On a personal level, my two kids ask me everyday when I'll be able to bring home some new Hot Cocoa.  Hopefully, in a few weeks, I'll have good news for them and you!

These are the Hot Cocoa K-Cups that are out of stock:


-Ken

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Coffee Break: Episode 4 – Walking Thru #Revelation2Action Submission

Welcome to Changemakers Wednesday, also known as Changemakers Tuesday 3.0.  We’re a day behind, but we have another episode of Coffee Break ready for your viewing pleasure  - this time coming straight from the green space - which is more snowy than green at the moment  - behind our Waterbury campus.

This week, Amanda and I are taking a behind-the-scenes approach, showing you exactly what the idea submission process looks like once you click the “Enter Your Idea” icon to submit on Changemakers.com/Revelation.

And don't forget, this Friday is another opportunity to win some of our revelation-ary coffee through Changemaker’s on Twitter.  Follow us @GreenMtnCoffee and @Changemakers and stay tuned on Friday for more details!

If you missed previous episodes of Coffee Break, take a peek at past episodes in our Coffee Break playlist. Next week, Coffee Break is back with Noelle and Sarah from Changemakers – don’t miss out!

-Kristen

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GMCR named one of the “100 Best Corporate Citizens”

We’re extremely proud to share that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. is included on the list of “100 Best Corporate Citizens” released today by Corporate Responsibility Magazine.  The “100 Best” list is known as the world’s top corporate responsibility ranking based on publicly-available information. 

The 100 Best Corporate Citizens List evaluates companies in seven categories: Environment, Climate Change, Human Rights, Philanthropy, Employee Relations, Financial Performance, and Governance.  The list is selected from among the large-cap Russell 1000 companies, based on data provided by leading ESG investor data firm IW Financial.  GMCR ranked 39th overall and was among the top ten food and beverage companies on the list.

The list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens was first published in 1999 in Business Ethics Magazine, and has been managed by CRO and Corporate Responsibility Magazine since 2007.  In 2008, the eligibility criteria and ranking methodology for the list was revamped, limiting the list to companies in the Russell 1000 index.  GMCR’s size at that time prevented it from being considered.  Because of GMCR’s financial growth, this is the first year of eligibility under the new criteria and methodology.

We are excited and humbled to be recognized for our efforts in corporate social and environmental responsibility, and we are honored to be included with the other companies on this prestigious list.  It reflects the passion and work of our employees and our efforts to contribute to positive change in the world.  Visit us at Brewing A Better World for more information on GMCR's CSR initiatives.

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