Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Are you a K-Cup Mixologist?

You know we love to get creative with our coffee. In fact, you know that we know that you love to get creative with your coffee, too. Some days you just feel inspired to mix it up – maybe add a little cinnamon to your Nantucket Blend®, throw a dash of whipped cream in your French Vanilla, or maybe even scoop a little pistachio ice cream into your French Roast. And then there are days that you take a look at your Keurig® brewer and think, “Caramel Vanilla Cream would make a great mocha…” Fast as a flash you’ve brewed a Caramel Vanilla Cream and then a Café Escapes® Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa into your favorite mug – and with that you’ve just become a K-Cup® mixologist.

Are you a K-Cup® Mixologist?

Here are a few favorite combinations from our team to get your mind perking on the mixing possibilities:

What coffees do you mix for your perfect cup?

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Save The Children's Outreach in Haiti

We recently received this “thank you” video from one of our non-profit partners Save The Children. We work with Save The Children on food-security projects within our coffee - growing communities, but we also frequently direct Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.’s disaster relief, both corporate and employee-funded, to them. Their emergency response work focuses on children – who are severely affected by disasters and their aftermaths. In this video Save The Children provides an update on the work and progress that’s been made after the devastating earthquake in Haiti two years ago.



To learn more about Save The Children’s emergency response and disaster relief efforts around the world, visit Save The Children’s webpage.

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My Journey to Source - Nicaragua

By: Liz Dorhman, CSR department volunteerism maven Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. offers its employees the opportunity to visit the communities we purchase our coffee from. Each year different groups of employees travel to these communities to visit farmers, pick coffee and follow its journey from tree to your cup. I was lucky to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity and traveled to Nicaragua with twelve co-workers from different departments and locations. We spent six days together learning about coffee and the communities that grow it. One of the things I’ll remember most about this trip is how much work is behind my morning cup of coffee.


Coffee Cherries on Selva Negra in Nicaragua

Our first day in Nicaragua we traveled to a sustainable coffee estate called Selva Negra. Selva Negra was the first place most of us had ever seen a coffee tree. Picking coffee is more challenging than you might think. Each cherry (the coffee bean is inside it), needs to be the perfect shade of red. When picking that perfectly ripe cherry you had to be careful not to remove the stem. The stem is where the next flower and then cherry will grow. Remove the stem, remove the chance for a new cherry and bean to grow. Picking was done by hand on each farm we visited, no matter the size. Most workers can fill a basket in an hour. It took me 45 minutes to just cover the bottom of my basket.

Turning the green beans on a drying patio at Selva Negra
 

After picking, the pulp or fruit of the coffee cherry needs to be removed. Then the coffee needs to be washed and is partially dried at the farm. Next, it’s transported to a dry mill and spread on large cement patios where it is periodically turned to ensure uniform drying. It’s then bagged and moved to a warehouse where it needs time to rest. Throughout this rest period, samples are taken from each bag. The coffee is roasted and tasted on site at a lab, where cuppers can tell if it needs to rest for longer. Once it’s ready, the coffee is sorted by size and quality and re-bagged for export.
 

Green Coffee Beans


Every cup of coffee I drink for the rest of my life will be a reminder of the hard work of coffee farmers around the world.
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Grounds For Health Continues and Expands Work in Coffee-Growing Communities

Yesterday, Grounds for Health announced that they will be able to further develop their existing cervical cancer prevention programs in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Tanzania, and expand its program into Peru thanks to a three-year $900,000 grant from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. We've supported the Vermont-based non-profit through past grants as well as through the annual Grounds For Health Carwash. We're excited to continue to support Grounds For Health's efforts to establish sustainable and effective cervical cancer prevention and treatment programs in coffee-growing communities.

The announcement of this grant is particularly meaningful as January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. August Burns, the Executive Director of Grounds For Health says "It’s important to recognize that the greatest cancer killer of women in developing countries worldwide is cervical cancer, despite it being nearly 100% preventable".

“We are proud to contribute to Grounds for Health’s important work in coffee-growing communities,” says Colleen Bramhall, GMCR Coffee Community Outreach January is Cervical Cancer Awareness MonthManager. “The partnerships Grounds for Health forges with coffee cooperatives help break down barriers that stand between women and the care they need. We are proud of the accomplishments of our Waterbury neighbor and look forward to continuing our collaboration.” 

In the words of Fatima Ismael, cervical cancer survivor and general manager of the Soppexcca coffee cooperative, a long-time partner of both companies, “I think until my last breath, I will be eternally grateful for what [Grounds for Health] has done for us.” You can find out more information on Grounds for Health on their webpage, Facebook or Twitter.

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Let’s Savor the Cup

Cupping coffees is one of the most unique aspects of our craft. When we “cup” coffees, we formally evaluate their qualities using very precise sensory criteria. But cupping is not just the realm of coffee experts. You can use some of the same techniques when judging your morning brew. Here’s how:

    Single Coffee Cup
  1. Breathe deep. If you have a bagged coffee, smell the ground coffee before it’s brewed. The fragrance speaks volumes about the coffee’s origin and the care of its processing.
  2. Brew. Breathe deep again. The aroma of brewed coffee also varies dramatically from origin to origin. Coffee can be: woodsy, earthy, citrusy, fruity, smoky, or nutty.
  3. Take a sip. Is it bright? This pleasing tang on the tongue is acidity. (Remember: Acidity does not refer to the PH level of the coffee.)
  4. Take another sip. Is the coffee earthy, nutty, fruity, toasty? There is huge diversity in the flavor of coffee from region to region, or even within a specific region. Try a few different blends or regions and see for yourself!
  5. And another sip. How does the coffee feel? What is its weight or texture? Full-bodied coffees may be buttery or even syrupy. Light-bodied coffees are more tea-like.
  6. Now you’re really starting to enjoy the coffee. How does each sip finish? The sensations that remain in the mouth when the coffee is gone are the finish, or aftertaste. Some coffees impart a sweet, lingering finish; others are more direct, even abrupt.

Before you know it, a full cup has elapsed, and you’ve been immersed in the wonderful wealth of sensoral information held within a single cup. Think about that coffee’s balance, how all of its individual flavors and taste sensations come together. Great coffees are balanced – great coffees have a whole composition that is greater than the sum of its parts.

So go ahead – savor your cup of coffee.  We’ll be right there with you.

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5 Projects in 5 Countries: Heifer International and GMCR

Heifer Project in Mexico - Livestock Program

Heifer International is an organization working to improve the livelihoods of those strugglingaround the world with issues of hunger and poverty. With gifts of livestock and training, Heifer projects help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways.   Heifer’s 12 cornerstones guide all they do, such as the well-known policy of “Passing on the Gift.” Passing on the Gift requires families who receive Heifer gifts, such as a pig, to donate offspring of that gift, in this case, piglets, to another family in need, creating ongoing benefit to the community.

GMCR has partnered with Heifer on several projects over the years. Currently, we support five Heifer projects in five different countries: Honduras, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Each project with different activities, but the same goal of improving the lives of those in our coffee supply chain. These projects represent a better future for over 30,000 people, nearly 5,000 families, and a combined effort of 24 years of development work.

In Honduras and Peru, the project provides training and support for “Passing on the Gift” so that farmers and their families are not only able to care for the animals they receive, but also to help families that receive offspring of that initial animal.  The farmers and their families learn to care effectively for the animals, such as what foods to feed them and how to build a pen or fence. These animals improve food security for the entire family and, ultimately, the community.

Heifer Project in Mexico - Family Garden Program
In addition to sharing livestock, projects in Mexico, Guatemala and Nicaragua include activities focused on farm diversification. One way diversification is achieved is through family gardens. These gardens increase the variety of foods in the family diet and, therefore, lead to improved nutrition.  Gardens also offer an opportunity to sell excess crops for profit, and Heifer helps these farmers by strengthening linkages to local markets.  In order to ensure the success and sustainability of the project, Heifer includes strong educational components around nutrition, farmer technical assistance, and ecosystem sustainability through improved watershed management and reforestation.

GMCR is a proud partner of Heifer International. With each new project we choose to support, our relationship grows and strengthens our commitment to improving the livelihoods of those coffee farmers. I encourage you to check out Heifer yourself and see what they are doing both in the US and abroad

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Deal of the Week – $3-off Green Mountain Coffee Hazelnut

What’s better than creamy, buttery hazelnut coffee in your mug?  Nothing, well, except if you bought it when it's our Deal of the Week.

That’s right: Our Hazelnut coffee with the toasted, buttery hazelnut flavor that everybody loves is $3-off in 24-ct K-Cup® pack boxes and bags this week on GreenMountainCoffee.com!  Can’t you just smell that  nutty-sweet aroma now? Mmm ...

Green Mountain Coffee Hazelnut K-Cup® Packs

Hurry- offer ends Sunday, January 15th (or while supplies last)!

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Golden French Toast Returns!

We reminisce around the office about those lazy Saturday mornings in winter when everybody sleeps in. About the only thing that can open our eyes (other than the smell of just brewed coffee, of course) is the mouth-watering aroma of buttery French toast and warm Vermont maple syrup.

Yum.

Thankfully, it looks like today may be our new “lazy Sunday morning” because Fair Trade Golden French Toast® is back for the winter!  The aromas and flavors of our favorite weekend treat are layered in this favorite Fair Trade seasonal flavor and ready to drink. It's all here: the maple aroma, and buttery, golden toasty flavors, warmed with just a touch of cinnamon.

Double yum.

Golden French Toast is here for the winter season, available in K-Cup® packs for Keurig® brewers and in bags online and in stores near you, so grab yours today!

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