Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Making your Iced Coffee Uniquely Yours

Having survived our first 100-degree spell this summer, our iced machine has certainly earned its keep.  We’ve brewed, brewed, and brewed some more – and have stumbled upon some n’ice ideas to make this summer’s iced coffees – like Brew Over Ice Nantucket Blend® or French Vanilla -  even more brew-tiful.  Here are some of our favorites:


  1. Vanilla Infused Simple Syrup: No sugar clumps and it adds an extra burst of vanilla flavor?  Yes, please!  Here’s how to do it:

    1. Split a vanilla bean lengthwise into halves and place in a heatproof jar or bottle.

    2. In a saucepan combine 1:2 ratio of sugar and water.

    3. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves.

    4. Pour the hot syrup over the jar/bottle and let it soak up the vanilla-goodness for up to 10 hours.

    5. Store in the refrigerator (up to a week – but it doesn’t last that long around here anyway).


  2. Coffee iced cubes: Okay, you’ve heard us extol the wonders of this little cube before.  As Brew Over Ice coffee is made so the flavor won’t be diluted when the ice melts, this a great way to plus-up your coffee kick for those who have other coffee makers– or even add a different flavor to your go-to iced brew.

    1. Brew your favorite blend (love to use Fair Trade Wild Mountain Blueberry™ for this one) into a cup.

    2. Pour the coffee into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer.

    3. Pop the cubes out when you’re ready – just brew over it like you would with ice (Brew Over Ice (coffee cubes)).


  3. Iced (cream) coffee:  Lots of people reach for cream and sugar when they make their iced coffee – so why not add a scoop of ice cream as a shortcut?  We love to use a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade Vanilla, or, if you’re into a adventure, Coffee HEATH® Bar crunch!


What do you do to make your iced coffee uniquely yours?

 

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Notes from Peru: Organic Fertilizer Production

Last week Colleen from our Supply-Chain Outreach team traveled to Peru. While down there she sent updates of her travels, which we then shared with our

At Chirinos in a recently rehabilitated plot seeing great results

Twitter followers. We even had a little competition to see if our followers could guess where she was traveling - and the winner got a free bag of Fair Trade Organic Coffee! Below are her notes from her first day in field, visiting GMCR funded projects focused on enhancing soil quality.

I traveled to Peru with Stacy from our coffee team. Stacy is a coffee buyer and incredible “cupper”. Since we are buying a lot of coffee in this region Stacy was there to cup and calibrate with the coffee cooperatives.

The purpose of MY trip to Peru was to visit projects that we are supporting in the Northern Region and reconnect with our partners face to face.  In particular, I wanted to see firsthand the impacts of the Organic Fertilizer Plant that we funded in Chirinos, since there have been several proposals to GMCR from other cooperatives for projects modeled off of this one.

We spent a day and a half in Chirinos visiting the plant and many farms that had been rehabilitated using the fertilizer from the plant – the impact on coffee yields was incredible!  Farmers were reporting double production on rehabilitated plants that had been cut back and

Coffee being washed in Chirinos

with fertilizer vs. older plants without the treatment.

This project was clearly a source of pride a the cooperative and many other projects have sprouted up around the plant (a guinea pig nursery whose waste was used for the fertilizer, a vegetable garden which was a model for the area on how fertilizer could be applied for great results, etc.).

The Supply-Chain team will be back in the field in August and sending live updates so be sure to follow @BrewBetterWorld for another chance to win coffee!

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Green Your Office Part 1: 10 Easy, Low-Cost Tips

According to a TIME Magazine article, heating, air conditioning, and electricity for American businesses produce about 40% of our nation’s CO2 emissions and account for around 70% of our power consumption. The following first steps will not only yield a greener office with a smaller carbon footprint, but also promote a happier workplace, and a healthier bottom line. These 10 are just a start. I'll share more in the coming months


1. Use Power Strips


“Phantom loads” occur when devices that appear turned off still draw electricity — such as appliances with digital clocks and electronics with instant-on capability. Office equipment can be bundled onto one power strip for easy switching off when not in use, but make sure the power strips are accessible and visible so everyone remembers to use them.



2. Kick the Bottled Water Habit


It is estimated that Americans toss out over 35 billion plastic water bottles annually, and workplaces are some of the largest sources of that plastic bottle trash. Consider using a water delivery service or buying a water filter for the kitchen faucet along with a supply of reusable cups.



3. Buy Recycled Paper


Opt for 100% recycled content paper, paper towels, and toilet paper. For printed sales and marketing brochures, investigate alternatives in post-consumer recycled paper. Luckily, many recycled paper vendors now sell high post-consumer content recycled products at prices comparable to traditional paper products.



4. Stop Stapling


Use reusable binder clips or paper clips to join pages, or buy a “stapleless” fastener to avoid buying staples altogether. You will keep tons of steel out of landfills.



5. Go Paperless


Employing a cloud-based project management system as much as possible allows team members access to key information resources, without the need for lots of printouts. Some examples of these systems include Jive, BaseCamp, Google Docs, and Wave.



6. Think Outside the Cubicle


Carpools and public transit benefit both the environment and the employees. Initiate some of these simple ideas if you are the business owner or suggest them to your boss:



  • Suggest four-day work weeks or telecommuting. (Working fewer days per week or telecommuting can substantially reduce transportation and fuel expenses.)

  • Ask your employer to offer carpool-matching plans connecting employees with co-workers who live nearby or on the same route to the office.

  • Provide parking incentives such as prime parking spots for carpoolers.

  • Encourage bicycling and walking to the office by conveniently locating bike racks near the workplace.

  • Offer financial incentives for these options.




7. Use Laptops


ENERGY STAR qualified computers can use up to 90% less energy than desktop models so, whenever possible, ditch the desktops.



8. Give the Gift of Green
Whether you are buying a special gift for a client or a present for an office baby shower, try to buy environmentally friendly or Fair Trade items to show that you care about your customers and co-workers as well as the planet.




9. Offer Organic Coffee & Tea


This is our favorite. Ask your office manager to stock organic or Fair Trade coffee for the break room. Ask your co-workers to bring in their favorite coffee mug or water glass and get some mugs (preferably with your company logo) for visiting clients to eliminate disposable cup waste.



10. Track and Celebrate Your Success


Last but not least, post explanations of what you’re doing and how much you’ve accomplished near each “greened space” — and include how the changes make sense environmentally and financially. People tend to respond more favorably when they know the reason behind a decision and feel they are included in the effort rather than having it imposed top-down. Share these and any other green office tips you find with your office mates and consider electing a “Sustainability Manager” to oversee recycling, energy usage, and research more green office alternatives.

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Our First TV Commercial is Live

It may have taken 30 years, but we’ve finally done it.  Feast your eyes on our very first television commercial for Green Mountain Coffee!

It’s hitting the waves all over the country this summer, so keep your eyes ears open during the breaks in your favorite daytime talk show or Thursday night comedy for this little phrase:  "So all the inspiration we put into our coffee, helps you get a little inspiration out."

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Bringing Financial Literacy to Aceh

This is a guest post by Colleen Bramhall. Colleen works in our Supply-Chain Outreach Team focusing on Coffee-Growing Communities.

My dad worked in a bank, so I’ve had a bank account for as long as I can remember.  I’d go into the branchMercy Corps Training of Trainers in Financial Literacy – Aceh, June 2011 in our village, fill out the little piece of paper with my account number and the $5 I earned walking the neighbor’s dog, or the $20 check I got from my aunt for my birthday.  I would hand over my money and I would get a receipt back telling me how much I had saved so far, and I trusted that it was there whenever I absolutely needed it for some critical purchase (e.g. a new Cabbage Patch Kids®).  This was the best part – there would be extra money that I didn’t even have to earn that the bank just gave me for free (aka interest).

Most Americans have had a similar experience with financial services – for the most part, designed for convenience, operating fairly, and ingrained in our culture.  In other parts of the world, access to basic financial services is rare and when available, seldom understood by would-be customers.  Can you imagine a life without a bank?  Your mattress might be good at holding savings, but how’s its interest rate or loanMercy Corps staff collecting baseline data for the maternal and child health survey June 2011 policy?

To address this issue with coffee farmers in Aceh, Indonesia, GMCR has partnered with Mercy Corps, an international nonprofit that ‘helps people turn the crises they confront into the opportunities they deserve.’  In the community assessments carried out by Mercy Corps, farmers indicated that they were most interested in learning about household financial planning and wanted savings and loan services.  Mercy Corps is working with four GMCR coffee cooperatives on a three year “Community Health and Investment for Livelihoods (CHILI)” program.  They are helping to increase financial literacy in the community through trainings on household expenses, cash flow, savings plans, by leveraging materials created in Western Unions Our World Our Family program.  They have also started working with the cooperatives on establishing savings and loans systems.

Through a community health survey, Mercy Corps found another way to help mothers in Aceh save money – by breastfeeding instead of purchasing expensive formula.  Mercy Corps has created mothers groups where they provide information on financial literacy and healthy practices, including the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding (for child health and financial).

Planning for life’s ups and downs is getting a little easier for those wonderful people picking your Sumatra Reserve coffee!

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Grounds for Health: 15 Years of Service

Last week, I was honored to have been invited to Grounds for Health 15th Anniversary Celebration last week.  Grounds for Health is a non-profit organization with a mission of bringing healthcare to women in coffee growing regions. Located down the street from our Visitor Center, Ground for Health focuses on training, screening and treating cervical cancer.  Cervical is the number one cancer in women living in developing countries, a disease that is both preventable and treatable.  It’s an organization that Green Mountain Coffee has been involved with since the beginning and continues supporting in various ways.



One way that I have personally been involved with is the annual Grounds for Health car wash that Green Mountain employees organize.  It’s amazing how much support and money can be raised on a summer day for a great cause.  Not to mention it’s a lot of fun, too. This year the car wash is scheduled for August 17th, so if you are in the area, I encourage you to stop by and get your car washed…we have music and interior detailing as well, so you won’t want to miss it!  For more information on Grounds for Health (or a short video of our car wash fun) check out their website, GroundsForHealth.org.

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Volunteering at St. Mary's Foodbank

In this blog we talk a lot about food insecurity in coffee-growing communities and the organizations andGMCR Employees sort oranges at St. Mary's Foodbankprojects that are working on solutions to address this issue. We focus our funding on this issue because we know that food security is a key element in improving the quality of life for farmer’s and their families.

However, food insecurity is not  isolated to a country or community – it affects every nation and a diverse population. Food Insecurity affects the communities where our employees work and where we sell our products - from Waterbury, VT, to Sumner, WA, Reading, MA and even the communities we visit.

In May, our annual Sales Meeting, which brings together GMCR employees from USA and Canada,Employees sorting food at St. Mary's Foodbank, AZtook place in Phoenix, AZ. While there, 60 employees took an afternoon away from the conference rooms to volunteer at St. Mary’s Foodbank, the world’s first Foodbank. St. Mary’s serves two-thirds of the counties in Arizona, distributing more than 72 million pounds of food last year to food shelves and individual clients.

While volunteering employees sorted oranges, onions and other items that were collected during the National Association of Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger™ Food Drive. Some employees handed out supplies directly to clients, who, when they come to the Foodbank, receive a 3-day supply of food.

We’re grateful to St. Mary’s Foodbank for organizing this event, giving GMCR employees an opportunity to give back to the Arizona community during our visit.

Volunteering at a Foodbank is a rewarding and eye-opening experience. To find a Foodbank in your area visit Feeding America’s Website.

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Brewing a Better BBQ with Coffee and Tea Recipes

Last weekend, a team of Green Mountain Coffee and Brew Over Ice foodies rolled into Washington, D.C. fueled with the idea that coffee, tea, and BBQ would make for a winning combination at the Safeway Barbeque Battle.  After three days of late nights, early mornings, and more coffee around the brewer than we can count, the results are in:

 

Flatlander BBQ’s Celestial Seasoning Sweet Southern Tea Perfect Iced Tea-rubbed and Brew Over Ice Nantucket Iced coffee sauce-smothered pork ribs took 3rd place in the Barbeque Battle!  These caffeinated ribs garnered our team a pig-topped trophy and $500, which will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Washington, D.C., the marquee charity of the event.  To top it all off, it turns out we placed 9th out of 41 teams, competing among some of the top teams in the country. “Wow,” would be an understatement.

 

 

Wanting to spread BBQ coffee revelations around and to thank you all for cheering us on, it’s time to share our recipes in time for everyone to enjoy them during the Fourth of July.  Look below to learn how to make our Coffee-Rubbed Brisket, Half-and-Half Chicken, Nantucket Blend-Rubbed Pork Shoulder and award-winning Sweet Tea Ribs.  Not to mention our Jalapeño Coffee Barbecue and Tricky Barbeque Saucel!  Read the recipes below:

 

 

Coffee-Rubbed Brisket


RUB:
2 Tablespoons Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve OR Nantucket Blend K-Cup® Portion Packs

2 Tablespoons paprika

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar (Fair Trade Certified™)

2 Tablespoons coarse salt

4 Tablespoons ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon ground ancho chili powder

1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Open the portion packs and empty the contents into a bowl with other ingredients.  Mix well.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Trim a full packer brisket of most exterior fat and silverskin, or you can use just the brisket flat

Coat the brisket with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then coat with coffee rub, rubbing it into the meat.  Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large resalable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the brisket, fatty-side up, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the brisket with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour. Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.

After 4 hours of cooking, put the brisket in an aluminum foil pan, fatty side up; return brisket to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. Continue mopping the brisket if it looks dry. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until severely browned and blackened in spots or very well-done (about 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the brisket), 6 to 8 hours total.

Remove the pan from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Trim any excess fat; slice brisket across the grain. Serve with barbecue sauce.

 

Sweet Tea Ribs

 

RUB:

4 Celestial Seasonings Southern Style Sweet Tea Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

1 Tablespoons paprika

1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon Tiny Spice Company Citrus Pepper OR substitute 1 teaspoon black pepper

Peel the foil off the portion packs, empty into a spice or coffee grinder, and grind until powdery.  Mix with the paprika, salt and pepper.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Pat ribs dry and trim the membrane from the underside.

Coat ribs with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then rub the tea mixture into the ribs

Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large resalable plastic bag and let marinate for at least 4 hours.

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 30 minutes. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the ribs, bone side down, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the ribs with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour.  Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.

After 3 hours of cooking, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and return ribs to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until the ribs are flexible when you try to pick them up using tongs or oven mitts, 5 to 6 hours total.  They should not be falling off the bone, but tender and flexible.

Remove the ribs from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Place on grill directly above coals and baste generously on both sides with sauce, turning frequently to prevent burning.  Remove from grill and cut into portions.

 

Chicken Rub

2 Celestial Seasonings Half & Half Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

4 Tablespoons Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Seasoning

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Empty the portion packs into a coffee or spice grinder and grind until powdery.  Mix with other ingredients.

TECHNIQUE:

Use the rub on your favorite cut of chicken or a whole chicken: if using a cut with skin, be sure to get under the skin.

Barbecue or grill chicken as you normally would.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nantucket Blend-Rubbed Pork Shoulder

RUB:

1 Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

3 Tablespoons light brown sugar (Fair Trade Certified™)

1 Tablespoon Tiny Spice Company Citrus Pepper (or substitute black pepper)

½ teaspoon anise seed

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon anise seed

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Open the portion packs and empty the contents into a bowl with other ingredients.  Mix well.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Trim a pork shoulder (Boston Butt) of  most visible fat and silverskin.

Rub with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then cover with coffee rub

Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large plastic bag and let marinate overnight

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the pork shoulder, fatty-side up, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the brisket with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour.  Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.
After 4 hours of cooking, put the pork shoulder in an aluminum foil pan, add ½ cup apple juice and cover tightly with aluminum foil; return shoulder to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until severely the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 6 to 8 hours total.

Remove the pan from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Using heat-proof gloves or forks, pull pork apart in foil pan, using the jus in pan to moisten and flavor the meat.  Remove any connective tissue or fat that didn’t cook out.  Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.

 

Tricky Barbecue Sauce

 

2 Tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard (we use Fox Meadow Farm 3-Peppercorn Dijon from Vermont)

2 Tablespoons yellow mustard (we use Fox Meadow Farm Vermont Maple Mustard)

1 cup cider vinegar

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

¼ cup regular soy sauce

2 cups ketchup

2 cups honey (Champlain Valley Apiaries Honey)

1 Nantucket Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Pack brewed on 6-oz setting without ice

3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon maple sugar OR 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a light boil.  Boil while continuously stirring for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.

 

 

 

Jalapeno-Coffee Barbecue Sauce

2 Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs brewed on 4oz setting

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup molasses

2 Tablespoons orange juice

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 jalapeno peppers, pierced all over with a fork

3 shots hot sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except hot sauce.  Cook, stirring frequently, over low heat until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes

Remove from heat and let cool.  Discard peppers and season with hot sauce to taste.

 

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