Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Reflecting on our Coffee-Community Outreach in 2010

The New Year is a little over 24 hours from now and as most of us are doing at this time of year – I’m reflecting.

Last week we had a Country of Origin team lunch to relax and come together as a group. The team is made up of GMCR employees in various departments who meet throughout the year to review funding for projects in our coffee-growing communities. Being part of the team is an honor but takes dedication and time – each quarter we read, review and discuss each grant request.

During that lunch I started reflecting on what makes the work worth the time – seeing that the commitment makes an impact – in coffee-growing communities, in our supply-chain. That impact is difficult to quantify through dollar amounts, geographic reach or even number of people touched. The impact of these projects, especially food security projects, cannot be captured in the snapshot of 2010 alone. Even though I know that, when I look at those numbers I’m proud – proud to be a part of the process that helped fund over 60 projects in 2010 and in food-security projects alone touched 124,159 people. I’m excited when I look at these numbers – excited to keep reading and working with our great partners - both non-profits and cooperatives that make these projects come to life!

Below is a list of organizations we granted and worked with in 2010. Thank you for your contribution and dedication to the sustainability of our coffee-growing communities in 2010!

Grounds for Health

Coffee Kids

Root Capital

Finca Triunfo Verde

CESMACH –Coffee Cooperative

Finca Triunfo Verde

Heifer International

Chajulense – Coffee Cooperative

Save the Children

Starfish One by One

Union Regional - Huatusco


Planting Hope

Freeplay Foundation/Coffee Lifeline Rwanda

CECOCAFEN – Coffee Cooperative


Café Femenino Foundation

Pueblo a Pueblo

The Coffee Trust (Fundacion Ixil)

CAC Divisoria


Catholic Relief Services(CRS)

UCPCO – Coffee Cooperative


San Juan del Rio Coco

Community Agroecology Network (CAN)

Medicines for Humanity

FairTrade USA

Let's Talk Coffee


Partners in Health (PIH)

The Coffee Trust

PRODECOOP – Coffee Cooperative


New Year’s Eve Recipe: Fair Trade Coffee Marinated Steak

I don’t know about you, but New Year’s Eve is a stay-at-home kind of night for our family. We rent B-movies, build a fire, and settle down with our dinner on the couch.  At 11:59 PM, we count down the seconds to the New Year and let out the obligatory, “Happy New Year!” as the ball drops in Times Square and fireworks go off in our neighbor’s backyard.

With such a no muss, no fuss evening, we like to have a no muss, no fuss, but oh-so tasty meal for dinner.  Thankfully, this year Gina De Roma of The Philosopher’s Spoon has us covered with her coffee marinated steak recipe – made with Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend!  Here’s what she has to say about this Fair meal:

“This recipe for Coffee Marinated Steak is a perfect opportunity to vote with your wallet.  Green Mountain Coffee…is committed to brewing a better world through fair trade, environmental sustainability and a focus on reducing poverty and hunger.  Their outstanding Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend makes a sensational cup of coffee and a perfect steak marinade.”

Coffee Marinated Steak


This simple marinade produces a tender, melt-in-your-mouth steak.  The flavor of the coffee enhances but doesn't overpower the flavor of the meat.  I let mine marinate for about six hours.

1 lb. of Certified Humane ribeye steaks

1 cup cold, strong, Fair Trade Certified coffee

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Fair Trade Certified golden brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a glass baking pan.  Mix with a fork or wire whisk until sugar is dissolved.  Add steaks and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.

Grill over medium heat to desired doneness.  Turn steaks half-way between cooking time (5 to 7 minutes for rare, 9 to 11 minutes for well).  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving (steaks will continue to cook after removing from the grill so stop cooking a little bit before your desired doneness is achieved).

Serves 2



Be sure to upload picture on our Facebook page if you make this recipe! We’d love to see your Fair meals in action!

Have a coffee recipe you’d like to share?  E-mail us at social[dot]media[at]gmcr[dot]com

Happy New Year!


Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very happy, safe, and memorable Christmas from all of us at Green Mountain Coffee.

Enjoy a little slice of a K-Cup winter wonderland made by our team. :-)


How Can I Donate to Troops Overseas

Last week, we posted a story sent in from a solider stationed in Afghanistan about his wonderful, DIY coffee set-up on base.  His story truly inspired many of you to donate to our troops overseas and the question was asked, “How can we donate coffee to the troops?”

First, you all have huge hearts! Thank you for being so enthusiastic about donating!

Second, there are a lot of options on how to donate, but none are quite as simple as just sending a bag of coffee, unless you know someone personally.  There are a lot of rules and procedures on how to donate to members of the Military and the last thing we (or anyone else) want to do is get someone in trouble.  We’re not even able to send coffee directly to bases – we work with a network of non-profits who specialize in doing just that.  In the end, we’re experts in coffee; they’re experts in logistics – and kindness, in this blogger's humble opinion.

Here is a list of organizations that we or our employees work with to support members of the Military and their families.

  • Holy Joe’s Café: A non-profit that provides coffee in a café setting at bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. You can find them on Facebook, too.

  • Pease Greeters or their affiliates: A group who welcomes troops passing through Pease International Airport on their way to, or from, Afghanistan or Iraq, or any other areas of conflict in any part of the world.  Pease Greeters also has a localized donation drop off for care packages here.

  • Fisher House: Foundation that provides a home away from home for Military families to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease, or injury.

  • USO:  USO aims to lift the spirits of America’s troops and their families wherever they may be. From Operation Care Package to Wounded Warriors, there are many ways to contribute. You can also find them on Facebook.

  • Local National Guard Unit or Military Base: Many units have a foundation arm that welcomes donations.  Through our Vermont National Guard and Holy Joe's, GMCR was able to coordinate the delivery of coffee to our Green Mountain Boys in Afghanistan. Thankfully, they’re home now.

  • Individual servicemen and women: If you know of a soldier overseas, see if you can get their base shipping address and send them a care package of coffee personally.  As a GMCR employee, we get 2 lbs of coffee a week for free and there are many that send this coffee to loved ones overseas. We know a simple thing like coffee can mean a lot when you’re far away from home.

The thing to remember with any of these organizations is to contact or research them to know what their need is.  They may need coffee and a bag or box would do just fine, but there’s also a chance they’re in greater need of financial support for shipping supplies or logistics.

Thank you so much for your kindness and thoughtfulness.  Our thoughts are acutely with our servicemen and women and their families this time of year.


Top Ten Office Gifts of the Season


#10 Small Revelation Travel Mug $2.95

We here at Business Coffee Express are often asked, "What is the best way to take my Green Mountain Coffee wakeboarding?" The answer is this cute little 12-oz. Revelation Travel Mug with a spill-proof, screw-on lid. It features a beautiful scene of the Vermont Green Mountains, and is the perfect size to grab and go whether you are free soloing, sky surfing, or even wakeboarding.  At this price you should buy one for everyone in the office!

#9 Logo Backpacker Thermos $19.95

The sleek, slender shape looks like you after the holidays, thanks to all the wakeboarding you've been doing! This compact, no-leak Thermos®, made by Nissan™ is so stylish it might just put mugs and tumblers out of style. Features an easy-to-open, spring loaded lid. Completely leak proof perfect for backpacks and travel. Double Insulation means your coffee stays hot for hours.

#8 Stoneware Logo Mug $14.95

Perfect for the boss who needs to be reminded on a daily basis that every office deserves great coffee! Each is individually hand-thrown by American master potters. Slight color and size variations showcase the unique properties of each one-of-a-kind mug. Solid and sizable, each of these mugs can stand on its own, but two make a nice pair.

#7 Bodum Milk Frother $19.95

The next time someone in your office tells you not to get worked up into such a lather, say "Why Not?" and show them this! This easy-to-use, battery-powered frother is perfect for foamy milk for your coffee without the hassle of an espresso machine. You will probably decide to keep it for yourself so buy two.

#6 Lake Champlain Chocolates Organic Truffles $22.95

Lake Champlain truffles— on the list because it's made in VT of course, and because they are the best Truffles I've ever had. Sorry Belgium, but cheer up, GMCR will probably never make a $25 raspberry beer aged in oak. Lake Champlain Chocolates has reached new heights with this collection of 15 all-natural, preservative-free truffles. Includes Ethiopian Coffee, Honey Fig, Ginger Lemon, Aztec, Mango, and Vanilla.

#5 Better World Gift Bag $59.95

Isn't dreaming of a better world what the Holidays are all about? Our exquisite chocolates, cocoa, coffees and tea help actually make it happen— plus they taste amazing. Includes 7 fabulous products contributing to a better world and a reusable shopping tote.

#4 Organic Breakfast Crate $37.95

Why a Crate? Because "Crate" just sounds cool, and who wouldn’t rather have a "crate" of something they love rather than just a box? Besides, it doubles as an "In" box. Filled with Fair Trade Organic coffee and Cocoa and Organic pancake mix and maple syrup, all from Vermont.

#3 K-Cup Ultimate Gift Basket $44.95

C'mon, "Ultimate" is right there in the name, of course it has to be in the top 10! The perfect gift if their office already enjoys a Keurig® Brewer. If not, get them one of those too! Our K-Cup Gift Basket gives you great coffee right away, and wonderful sustenance for the rest of the day. Includes 24 Green Mountain Coffee Sampler K-Cups.

#2 The Ultimate Office Gift Basket $49.95

Is it possible for two Green Mountain Coffee gifts to be called "Ultimate" at the same time? Yes, it's a holiday miracle! Packed full of delicious treats, and there’s more than enough to share. Brew up a pot of Breakfast Blend or French Roast while everyone in the office digs in to sweet granola, delicate shortbread, maple candy, or chocolate indulgences. It’ll be the most memorable Holiday coffee break ever!

#1 Keurig Office Pro Coffee Brewer $129.95

Not only the greatest invention in the history of humankind, but perhaps the greatest gift since frankincense and myrrh. (Gold is still hard to beat.) Even small offices deserve great coffee and the B145 Office Pro delivers. Designed for offices with 15 or fewer people, its small footprint makes it a perfect fit for conference rooms, board rooms and reception areas. Guaranteed to ward off office revolts, palace coups, passive-aggressive behavior and Monday sick days. They should rename it "Ultimate."


Homemade Coffee Central in Afghanistan

UPDATE: For those who wanted to know how to donate to our troops, we have a blog entry talking about that very subject here.


No matter where you are, it’s always nice to have a piece of home with you – even if it’s just a fresh cup of coffee, made by your very own Keurig® Single-Cup Brewer, in the middle of a war zone.

Dear Green Mountain Team,

We have enjoyed your coffee and the Keurig coffee maker since last fall.

In the spring of this year my husband was deployed to Afghanistan and crushed at the thought of not being able to have his K-Cups anymore.  I bought him another Keurig machine and shipped it to Afghanistan. He LOVES having it and today he sent me an e-mail and a photo of his "Coffee Central" he created. Every morning his buddies come over to his CHU (Containerized Housing Unit) to enjoy a wonderful cup of coffee.

We thought you would enjoy seeing that even over there you are revered!!

Kind regards,

Annette and Tuck

Welcome to Coffee Central, courtesy of Maj. John “Tuck” of the 2D Stryker Cavalry Regiment and his wife, Annette:
FOB Lagman is in the middle of Zabul Province, Afghanistan and it is the last spot anyone would expect to find a great cup of coffee.  I decided to change that and give my friends a place to get away and enjoy a great cup of coffee.  I even constructed a coffee selection case for the varieties I have.

May I be the first to say, "That’s a huge mug!"  All the better to enjoy a great cup of coffee in!  Plus, a homemade K-Cup cabinet?  Wow!  Thank you so much for sharing Coffee Central with us!  And, from all of us at Green Mountain Coffee: Thank you so much for your service!


Green Mountain Coffee Top Holiday Gift Picks

With so much of the holidays already dedicated to the stresses of the season, we’re here to provide you with trouble-free gift giving to even the pickiest person on your list.  Yes, even the pickiest person on your list.  You know the kind: The friends you love dearly but have expensive tastes (that’s Luxury Larry), your restaurateur neighbor (Foodie Fran), you socially-conscious coworker (Advocating Anne), or your sibling who has absolutely everything (Been-there-Done-That Ben).  Have no fear this year – Green Mountain Coffee’s got you covered.

Give something truly exceptional this holiday season with Green Mountain Coffee’s Special Reserve coffee.  Four times a year, we seek out some of the rarest coffees from around the world and batch roast them to display the coffee’s fullest flavor and aroma.  Each Special Reserve comes from a single origin – like our latest Papua New Guinea Wahgi Valley – and produces a very limited batch, only around 1,000 bags.  Our Special Reserve selections pair the farmers’ best work with the art and craft of our Master Roasters – all so true coffee connoisseurs can experience the unique qualities of these origins in their morning cup. This website exclusive is available for $17.95 for 10-12 ounce bag or you can join the Tour to get the latest Reserves shipped right to your door before anyone else.

Be the toast of the breakfast table by giving a delicious breakfast that will fill those on your list with good feelings and food. Start with our own Organic House Blend coffee or Lake Champlain Hot Cocoa— both are Fair Trade and organic. Follow up with organic treats from Highland Sugarworks: multi-grain pancakes topped with exquisite maple syrup.  Share this gift with your holiday hosts and they’ll be asking you to come back as soon as possible! Available for $37.95.

If variety is the spice of your loved ones life, Green Mountain Coffee has a coffee selection for you.  This sampler includes three 10-oz. bags of coffee to fit every mood – bold and dark with French Roast, sweet and swanky with Sumatran Reserve, and bright and vibrant with our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Each certified Fair Trade and Organic, our sampler is perfect for the socially-minded with a coffee habit that’s never routine. Available for $24.95.

Keurig® single-cup brewing is the latest trend in coffee – bringing fast, affordable, and café quality hot beverages to the home. Each of the over 200 varieties of K-Cup® portion packs make the perfect cup of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, hot cider, and iced coffee and teas at the touch of a button. There's no measuring, grinding, or mess.  With five Keurig brewers available, from the red hot Mini Plus Personal Brewer ($99.95) to the luxury Cuisinart® Keurig Single-Cup Brewer ($199.99), there’s a style and price point for everyone. Even the gadget guru with everything will want to thank you every time they push the button.  Available at (and there’s free shipping on all brewers when shipping within the continuous US).

No matter the stresses this season may bring, we’re here to make your holidays a happy one.


Employees Collect eWaste for Non-Profit

A few weeks ago, we posted an update from one of our non-profit partners, Cup for Education. Well a couple of GMCR Employees with donated itemsemployees saw that Cup for Education works with Recycling for Charities to rid the environment of e-waste while supporting people in developing countries and decided to try to help. Each item received by Recycling for Charities is recycled properly and the monetary value is donated back to the non-profit that originally donated the items.  This partnership accepts donations of old/not working cell phones, iPods, cameras and laptops to raise money to provide children in rural Central and Latin America with the school supplies they need to create a better future for themselves.

Tina and Lesley thought it would be a great opportunity to clear out the junk drawer and donate items that they no longer used - items that would make a difference in someone's life. Deb Crowther, also a GMCR employee and a long time member of Cup for Education, worked with us to understand the process and what we needed to do to organize and send our donation of electronics to support this program.

The Continuous Learning team along with Deb Pakbaz in Customer Care, together, collected 17 cell phones, 2 cameras and 2 laptops. A total of six  people donated their old electronics. Donated tech items for Cup for Education

Inspired by their first drive, Tina and Lesley want to spread the drive through the whole company. These types of employee-led initiatives happen often at GMCR. It is great to work at a company that supports employees' efforts to give back and to work with coworkers who care to do so.


Caramel Gingerbread Cream Recipe

Who doesn’t enjoy the aromas and flavors of fresh-baked gingerbread? Alone, our Fair Trade Certified™ Gingerbread coffee offers the zesty ginger and spice aromas of Mom's old-fashioned gingerbread pastry and warm oven-fresh flavor.

With a little steamed milk and caramel added to the mix, this coffee offers a new form of holiday indulgence for your taste buds.

Caramel Gingerbread Cream Recipe

  • Brew a pot of Fair Trade Gingerbread coffee.

  • Combine 2/3 coffee and 1/3 steamed light cream in a mug.

  • Add caramel syrup to taste. Top with whipped cream and a swirl of caramel syrup.

For Keurig Single-Cup brewers:

Now that’s a revelation worth trying.  (And try it soon - Gingerbread is a Holiday Seasonal and will only be available until December 24!)



Have another coffee recipe you want to share with our caffeinated crew?  Leave us a comment and we may share your recipe!


Sand Water Filtration on Bolivian Coffee Farms

Rick Peyser, Director of of Coffee-Community Outreach recently traveled to Bolivia to visit coffee farmers and communities where Sand Water Filtration Systemthere are Save the Children projects. While on the road he sent this update on a water filtration project:

"We drove to the municipality of Chijchipani (Chee-chee-pon-ee) and visited a number of communities and projects in the area, including a project that constructs "Filtros Bioarena" (sand filters).  As part of the Save the Children (STC) project, a new local business has been started in this rural community to build these filters, install them in homes and train the families on how to use them.

The units stand about 4 ft. tall and are constructed of cement that is poured into a mold and is removed when it is hardened.  Inside are layers of sand with different levels of coarseness, and a layer of gravel size stones.  Once the sand is cleaned, it is placed in the unit; the first water is added and remains in the unit for a 30 days to fully saturate the sand and activate, and then families can start using the unit, pouring as much water in the top of the unit as they want to use.
The filters are extremely important to the health of young children, as well as adults.  Almost 80% of the children in the area have intestinal parasites, due largely to the lack of potable water.  This has a significant impact on health over the long term.  Parasites may be treated by medication (at significant cost to families), however they only return unless the cause is removed.

The STC project expects to build and distribute up to 570 of these units this first year of the project.  The filters usually need to be cleaned 4 times a year, and they will last 30 years.  Families invest about $25 for the system (50% of the cost).  Most seem to agree that it is well worth the price. "

Sand Water Filtration System

Sand Water Filtration System