Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

A Nine Foot Tall Coffee Cup Comes to Town

We love coffee.  It’s a fact, and we realize that.  We also realized that everyone has something to say, and we want to hear what that something is.  So combining our love for coffee and our desire to hear the revelations of our fellow Green Mountain Coffee fanciers, we built a giant coffee cup.  It’s true; we built a huge, 9’-tall replica of our Ecotainer hot coffee cup.

No mere prop, this oversized coffee cauldron has a fun and interactive component.  You can actually step inside our enormous coffee cup, lovingly dubbed the “Revelation Booth”, and share your message with the world via a text message, a digital photograph, or a short video.  Your revelation can be big or small as you want, and you could win fabulous prizes for sharing it.  Everyone that sees or reads your revelation has the opportunity to vote on it, and top vote getters are being rewarded for their cleverness and originality.

The Revelation Booth is currently on the road, giving out coffee at fairs, festivals, and on the street.  We hope you’ll have a chance to enjoy it at an event near you (while you’re enjoying that free hot or Brew Over Ice Green Mountain Coffee sample).  But if your schedule doesn’t coincide with ours, no worries – you can also enter your revelations online from the comfort of your own computer (just pretend you’re in a giant coffee cup while doing so, okay?).  For tour updates or to leave your own revelations - or just to see what others are saying and vote for your favorites - log on to  Hope to see you at an event (or online) sometime soon…


New Nesting Grounds

They say, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”  But, as I’m sure we’ve all wondered, how much is it worth if it’s in a K-Cup box?

We’re about to find out, thanks to Mike from New Hampshire, Green Mountain Coffee fan and avian enthusiast, who sent our Customer Care team a most surprising and heartwarming story of his rescue of baby birds fallen from their nest:

[I] have an Eastern Phoebe build a nest under my deck. Something last night turned it over and dumped the baby birds onto the ground.  In order to try to help, I put the babies back in the nest and put the nest in one of your K-cup boxes and now they have a new home.  I have been monitoring them with a remote camera and have video of Mama and babies using your box as a nest.

And here’s that very video:

Everyone together now, “Awwwwww!” Our heartfelt thanks to Mike for sharing this with us and for being so creative in his search to help out animals in need.  Keep up the caffeinated cause!

UPDATE: According to Mike, the birds have all successfully flown the "box" – yes!


Food Security and Coffee Quality at GMCR

Rick Peyser, Director of Social Advocacy and Coffee Community Outreach recently attended the Sustainable Agriculture Partnerships Conference in San Francisco, CA. While there he spoke about the work we've been doing around food security in regions where we purchase coffee.

As we've discussed before on our blog, through research we discovered that there are coffee farming families that experience a few months every year where they have to alter their diets or borrow money to feed their families. These are called "los meses flacos" or "the thin months". We see a direct link between the quality of coffee and the quality of the farmer’s life and work with these communities to find solutions.

Below is a video of Rick Peyser being interviewed at the conference about this work by Martin Smith, CEO of JustMeans.


Pumpkin Spice is Back!

Every year, around this time, it happens: I get my first whiff of autumn and I savor it. I always remember my first brush with autumn whether it’s as subtle as noticing the chill on a foggy morning, or as obvious as the Oktoberfest brews in the beer aisle. For others, the words “Pumpkin Spice Coffee” kick off their autumnal season.  There’s no denying the intense aromas of this coffee. When I smell this coffee, I can’t help but think of throwing on my coziest wool sweater and wandering the farmer’s market under an umbrella of changing leaves.  The flavors can send me into a daydream of a cool weather hike up Mt. Mansfield followed by a scenic drive through Smuggler’s Notch.

Pumpkin Spice’s seasonal sister, Autumn Harvest is not to be forgotten. This coffee is my morning cup from September through early November.  Its medium body with smoky notes reminds me of my usual French Roast, but with a twist. I also find myself indulging in a second afternoon cup when Autumn Harvest is available. It’s a perfect warm me up, wake me up combo and is even more enjoyable while I’m leaf peeping on my commute home.


A Little Good Fortune - GMCR Ranks #2

Good fortune for our parent company is good fortune for us here at Green Mountain Coffee.

It was just announced today that Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., has ranked #2 on Fortune's list of the 100 Fastest -Growing Companies.  That's up from #11 on the list last year. From a worker-bee perspective, it's really rewarding to be recognized in this way.  Whether we've been at the Company for 29 years, or just came on board, we are all feeling the excitement of being part of the Company's growth and success right now.  Of course, we're not doing this alone.  Everyone along the supply chain - from coffee growers to consumers who buy our brands like Green Mountain Coffee - has been part of our exceptional growth.  We feel fortunate and grateful... and busy!

We raise a mug of coffee to our fellow Company employees - and to you, for helping us all get to this point. Thank you!

Here's  a link to the Fortune article and a video that goes along with it.


The Tasting Team Strikes Again: Iced Tea

It happened this week – on my way to work, I saw a section of woods that was no longer bright, glorious green but was beginning to take on a yellow-orange hue. That change in color only means one thing: Autumn is only a hop, skip, and a jump away.

While autumn signals the countdown to the arrival of our Limited Edition Autumn Seasonals for many, it also means the warm Vermont days are coming to a close here in Waterbury. In an attempt to cling to the sweet joys that summer bring, we asked a few members of our Customer Care department (and now members of the Green Mountain Coffee Tasters Guild) to give us their take on the Celestial Seasonings® Brew Over Ice Sweet Berry Lime and Brew Over Ice Sweet Tropical Breeze Perfect Iced Teas.  And, as always, they did not disappoint.

First, Meghan takes her green thumb (and tea) to the garden to ruminate on a tumbler of Sweet Berry Lime Green Iced Tea:

Psst! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not a coffee drinker! So when we came out with this amazing Sweet Berry Lime Iced Tea, I couldn’t help but assume it was all for me! But luckily for you, my fellow tea buddies, I share :-) So sip and relax, your on Green Mountain (Tea) Time!

And what about the men and their love for tea, too?  That’s where Craig comes in, letting his Sweet Tropical Breeze White Iced Tea take him on a sweet retreat.

Some people still call it an afternoon break.  With Sweet Tropical Breeze in my cup, I call it an escape to paradise.

The leaves may be changing, but we’re still in the spirit of summer around here.  Let the summer Brew Over Ice spirit stay strong!


Ask the Coffee Lab: What's this story about goats and coffee beans?

Welcome to Ask the Coffee Lab !  If this is your first time with us, welcome! Each month our crack Coffee Lab Team tackles your questions about coffee – from what makes a good coffee bean 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, Susan asks via Green Mountain Coffee's Twitter page :

What's this story about goats and coffee beans?


A few years back, Mark Pendergrast wrote a great book about the history of coffee called "Uncommon Grounds". If you go to page 4 and 5, you can read a good account of the fable which has become kind of a discovery myth of coffee. An Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi spends his days with his goats out grazing . Then one day he notices the goats eating the waxy leaves and red cherries of what we now know of as a coffee tree. The story goes that the goats get a coffee buzz – I mean, why else would they dance about and be that frisky? So Kaldi decided to eats some leaves, too, and then HE gets a coffee buzz and decides that this coffee things may have something to it .  A couple of hundred years later, everyone is making jokes about how it's hard to turn around without bumping into a coffee shop.

That's the folk tale, at least.  Probably many people in Ethiopia discovered the unique properties of coffee at the same time. If you were hungry and roaming around and saw some red ripe berries, wouldn't you want to try them? Honestly, they're not bad when ripe , but they taste nothing like a fresh raspberry or strawberry, more like honey dew melon with some lemon mixed in. 

I own goats - 5 French Alpines named Brandie, Blacky, Rhu, Lulu Bell, and Dixie . Before owning them I had always been impressed with word of "dancing goats". Then I became a goatherder myself and saw my own goats "dance". They get up on their hind legs sometimes to reach up higher to get at tree branches and leaves. They LOVE to browse. When I am out in their pasture walking them around (yes, we go on hikes), they will dance around sometimes, in our case withOUT any caffeine. They dance about and act frisky as a general rule, so I'm a little skeptical about the dancing goats on a coffee buzz.  I'm not going to question the legend of Kaldi, the most famous goatherd, just adding some "perspective" from a very amateur fellow goatherd.


Drying out and Cleaning up: River Cleanup Recap

Well, it's been a few days since our River Cleanup Week wrapped up. Liz Dohrman, our Enterprise Volunteerism Specialist and Paul Comey, VP of Environmental Affairs spent all week on the river, 12 hours a day and are just starting to dry out.

This year's River Cleanup saw the largest amount of employee turnout with 153 employees volunteering throughout the week and contributing over 700 CAFE-hours (CAFE is our company sponsored volunteer program - click here for more info).

The River is over 120 tires cleaner, less one stove, one recliner, one loveseat, one toilet, a couple car axels, and much much regular household trash. A big thank you to Umiak Outdoor Outfitters and specifically our guide John Wolfe for his exuberance and expertise on the Winooski River.
See the sampling of pictures below of the cleanup throughout the week.

Group shot of Employees after River Cleanup

Employees canoeing down river with loveseat in canoe

Employees canoeing down river with Recliner in boat

Employees cleaning trash in front of Bolton Dam

Loading Trash into Truck from River Cleanup

Trash from River Cleanup in Dumpster

Tires after Cleanup


For the Love of Coffee

I hope it doesn’t surprise you, be we love coffee here at Green Mountain Coffee.  We love it from bean to cup: from the faint ‘snap’ of coffee cherries getting plucked from the tree in source all the way to that first cup in the morning to help us focus and get the day started at home.  We love what coffee can do and the joy it can give. But sometimes, just sometimes, we wonder if we’re going overboard in our adoration for this little bean, and then...well, we see things like this:

We’re pleased to introduce Morgan, a Green Mountain Coffee fan who, in her own words, “absolutely LOVE[s] Green Mountain Coffee, so I thought that I would dedicate a video to my fondness of it.”  We spotted this on YouTube and knew that we had found a coffee fan that had as much love for great coffee (and good deals) as we do! Our caffeinated thanks to Morgan for sharing her extra bold passion with us and the coffee-verse!  Keep your java passion percolating!

Of course, I know you all have a joy for java - feel free to tell us about what you love about coffee!


Summer Interns Share Favorite Brew Over Iced Teas

With all of the new Brew Over Ice Tea K-Cups rolling out, we interns thought it would be nice to take some time to remember two go-to favorites: Half and Half Perfect Iced Tea and Southern Sweet Perfect Iced Tea.  John, my product marketing intern-in-arms, and I, an exuberant, coffee-tasting Public Relations intern, took our cool tumblers to a favorite park in Waterbury and reminisced on exactly what makes these delicious brews so reliable (and refreshing) in the taste department.

First, a little Half & Half.  Just like Vermont weather, I sometimes can’t seem to make up my mind! That’s why I often reach for Brew Over Ice Half and Half: half lemonade, half iced tea. Two great beverages in one, so I don’t even have to make a decision! Now, if only the weather had an easy way of deciding what it wants to do…

John spent some of his growing years in Atlanta, Georgia, so when he feels nostalgic for his childhood, he jumps for a tumbler full of Southern Sweet Tea.  Swings, sunglasses, and a refreshingly familiar cup of sweet tea make for a very happy intern!

We at Green Mountain Coffee can’t get enough of these updated classics. What is your favorite summer standby?


Tires, Stoves and Car Axle pulled from Winooski River!

Liz and Amanda pull tire from River

We're closing out Day 4 of our Vermont River Cleanup week on the Winooski River. Although we had some rain in the beginning of the week,the skies have been clear enough for us to be on the river morning and afternoon.

We've already hauled some interesting objects from the river - (a stove, car axle, bicycles). I even got a tire of my own (look at that proudface!) Each day we've had around 40 employees participate, which is the largest turnout for the clean up ever! We even made it into the Burlington Free Press today with a picture of our floatilla coming down the river!

We're keeping our paddles in the river throughout tomorrow and next week we'll have an update with all our totals.

GMCR employees pull stove from River

GMCR Employees pull Car Axel from River


Welcome Winooski River Cleanup Week!

Green Mountain Coffee employees pull a couch from the banks of Winooski River.

August is here – which brings mixed feelings in Vermont. August is one of my favorite months, but also signals the slow close of our short summer. Another earmark of August is that its River Cleanup time. As we announced this morning in a Press Release, Green Mountain Coffee has joined a nationwide effort to keep America’s waterways clean for a 6th year. As a sponsor of American Rivers’ National River Cleanup™, employee volunteers will use paid time off to clean a section of the Winooski River this whole week (August 2-6th, 2010).

This is our largest Company organized volunteer event in Vermont – and employees look forward to it throughout the year. Last year, over 125 GMCR employees participated in the River Cleanup, and the group removed 194 tires and one ton of trash from the Winooski River. Additional GMCR employee river cleanup efforts recently took place

Liz Dohrman, our Volunteerism Specialist coordinated this year’s cleanup, with well over 100 employees signed up for various shifts and tasks throughout the week. Paul Comey, VP of Environmental Affairs, has been involved with the cleanup since it’s inception and revels in the opportunity to whip out his kayak. water-shoes and waterproof -camera. As Paul puts it “Clean water is important for both healthy communities and a good cup of coffee, so we are happy to support the River Cleanup for the sixth year in a row.”

Green Mountain Coffee Employees pulling garbage from Winooski River 2009

We’re also working again with the folks from Umiak, who help us out with canoes for the cleanup and a guide to navigate the waters of the Winooski.  Others from Corporate Social Responsibility, Facilities, Production and a host of other departments all work to make this event a success.

If you’re interested in learning more about the National River Cleanup, visit the American Rivers’ website for ideas on how to coordinate your own event.

To learn more about our company volunteer program, CAFE, visit the Employee Volunteerism section on our Corporate Social Responsibility website.

Learn more about the history and other events on the Winooski River, check out the Friends of The Winooski River.