Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Happy National Coffee Day!

It’s National Coffee Day!  While you know we’d use any excuse – finished breakfast, found a lost sock, waiting for a haircut, you get the idea – to enjoy a good cup of coffee, today is the day that no excuses are necessary!  To celebrate, we’re all brewing up our favorite coffees, just the way we like them.  But how does our blogger team like to take their coffee?  We weren’t so, so we asked!

Roger - "I like very strong, dark roasted coffee and I drink it black as night."

Missy "I like iced coffee year-round and take it as follows… strict guidelines, you know."


Winston - "My wife says I am an old man and stuck in my ways. I'm only 47 and I disagree, I just like what I like. At night before bed, I put out my French press, my whipped honey, the blue mug that my aunt made, and I fill the kettle with enough water for the pot. When I get up (and I get up pretty early) it's all ready for me. I like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe in a French press, served with honey and half and half. I know, it's heresy to use condiments in such a nice clean coffee like that. But I'm 47 and I can have my coffee any way I like it."


Amanda - “I love the unaltered taste and aroma of black coffee. No sugar, no cream masking the flavors of a great Sumatran or Kenyan. Every now and then though, I enjoy a splash of almond milk (lactose and I don’t mix), whose nutty flavor brings out the earthy notes in my coffee.”

Kristen - "I don’t drink coffee, but I’ll happily say that I take ice cream with my coffee – who doesn’t love an affogato?  Coffee and ice cream? The perfect combination."


6 New Ways To Enjoy Your Vue Brewer

We are excited to introduce 6 new ways to enjoy your Vue® Brewer. Green Mountain Coffee® Hazelnut, Pumpkin Spice, French Vanilla & Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve bring flavor and character to the Vue® line, while Barista Prima Coffeehouse® Decaf Italian Roast and Celestial Seasonings® Lemon Zinger® bring great variety. Shop these wonderful new additions to the Vue® line of beverages today! 


It’s now 8 O’Clock on Your Keurig Brewer

We are very happy to announce yet another addition to our Family of Brands. 8 O’Clock® Coffee is now available in K-Cup® packs. With coffees such as Dark Italian Roast, Colombian and Hazelnut, you are sure to find the brew that is right for you!

Eight O'Clock Coffee


$2.96 Million in Grants and Donated Product to Local Communities!

At GMCR we have a long history of supporting the communities we live, work and do business. 

GMCR Grantee The Food Project

As our business evolves, we are evoling what that support looks like. In addition to contributing $2.96 Million in grants and donated product to local communities:

- We expanded our employee community grantmaking programs via locally focused teams that promote strong local systems, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity. In fiscal 2011 we provided grants in communities surrounding our Castroville, Knoxville, Reading, Sumner, Toronto, and Vermont facilities;

- Through our employee volunteerism programs, we contributed more than 29,000 hours of volunteer time, an increase of nearly 100% from fiscal 2010; and 

- We match individual employee donations 100% up to $1,000 per fiscal year. Overall, GMCR matched $130,134 in employee contributions in fiscal 2011.

For more information on how GMCR is supporting communities in the United State and Canada, visit the Supporting Local Communities page on



Announcing Pumpkin Spice Vue® Packs

Just in time for autumn, the ever popular Pumpkin Spice from Green Mountain Coffee® is now available for your Vue® Brewer! Shop Pumpkin Spice Vue® packs and bring the flavors of autumn to your Keurig® brewer.



You’re Invited to a Newman’s Own® Organics Coffee Tasting on Monday!

Did you know next Saturday is National Coffee Day?  For us, that means this week is an invitation to embrace our java joy and revel in our roasts as we work up to the ultimate celebration.  So, what better way to start the work week than to sip Newman’s Own® Organics coffee with Nell Newman? 

Did we mention you’re invited, too?

Newman’s Own Organics has a lot of proud partners: Green Mountain Coffee® is proud to source and roast a line of world-changing, Fair Trade Certified™ coffees for our friends at Newman's Own Organics and New England McDonald’s are proud to serve this exceptional coffee every day in most of its restaurants.  So, we’re sharing that pride with fans who love this coffee with a live virtual tasting.

Here are the details:


  • WHAT: Newman’s Own Organics Coffee Tasting with McDonalds; live and interactive!
  • WHEN: This Monday, September 24, 2012, 10:00 to 10:30 AM EST
  • WHO: You and Nell Newman, Lindsey Bolger, GMCR’s Senior Director of Coffee, and Wayne Lebrun and Lou Provenzano, owner/operators from McDonald’s in New England. 
  • WHERE: From the comforts of your computer on for you; Live from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.’s Coffee Lounge, in Waterbury, Vermont for us


If you want to taste along with us, follow the conversation, or ask a question of the tasters, follow @McDEasternNE  and #McDCoffeeChat on Twitter.


Chat with you soon!


Ask the Coffee Lab: How Do You Know When Coffee Is Good?

“When you at Green Mountain buy coffee to roast, how do you know it’s going to taste good?”

We drink a lot of coffee here as part of our jobs. And even better, we get paid to drink and then evaluate it. Even though a lot of evaluating any beverage you drink for pleasure is subjective, there are still some objective ways to judge coffee for purchase. By the way, I should explain: I'm talking about the Coffee Department in Waterbury, Vermont, where we shop for and buy the millions of pounds of green coffee that we then roast and package and ship all around the United States and Canada.

We can't taste every single pound of coffee we buy (though that would be fun), but we do taste a lot. And when I say taste, I'm really talking about cupping, which is the professional version of tasting. (Want to know more about cupping and slurping, go here: “Why slurp?”).

We buy coffee by the container, which is the big metal box you see on large shipping vessels. Generally speaking, you can put about 42,000 pounds of green coffee in one container. When we evaluate that lot of coffee, the seller sends us a composite sample from that huge pile of green coffee. A few beans from this bag, a few from that bag, a few from that bag over there, until we have one pound of green coffee ready for us to roast and cup.

Before we roast it, however, we measure how wet or dry the coffee is in terms of moisture level. If it comes in too wet, it might not have been properly dried at origin, or maybe it got wet on the boat ride over the ocean. If it's too dry, it might be old coffee. We still cup it, but that's an example of an objective way to evaluate coffee.

We do a visual inspection of each sample as well. It should generally be a uniform color and size, without foreign material, bits of stone, twigs, and beans with insect damage (among other issues.) Even if a sample looks sub optimal, we still cup it, but note the state of the sample. Some coffees look beautiful, but don't taste that great while some coffees don't look so great but taste amazing.

Penny Raymond in our Coffee LabWe roast the samples ourselves so that we can control that important stage. And then the real proof is in the cup. We use the Specialty Coffee Assosication of America cupping sheet to tally our scores, average up the scores and then decide if the coffee passed the grade or not. The cupping sheet lets you score based on fragrance/aroma, flavor, acidity, body, aftertaste, balance, uniformity, clean cup, sweetness, and then there are ways to score defects and taints in the coffee as well. If it seems like a lot to keep track of, after the first 1-2,000 samples, it gets easier. Our supply chain uses the same scoring system so that we can all communicate in the same language, in spite of everyone speaking so many different languages.

We like metrics here and so we keep track of a lot of our activities:

  • I can tell you that I have cupped 3,779 samples of coffee this year.
  • For every sample (1 sample represents a container), we put out 6 cups of brewed coffee to evaluate. So in the past 12 months, I have "put a spoon" in 45,348 different cups of coffee.
  • Two of my coworkers, Brent and Penny, cup more than I do (4,613 and 3,756 respectively).

So, if you ask how we know if the coffee will taste good, it's because we drink so much of it. We drink the bad stuff so that you won't have to. On top of that, every sample that we cup was also cupped by the importer, by the exporter, and even by the co-op or farm. There are many, many ways for a coffee to shine or receal itseld as an imposter of great coffee.

Next time you have a nice cup of our coffee, don't forget how much work went into making it a nice cup of coffee, and also don't forget all the work that went into making sure it's not a bad cup of coffee.


More than 200,000 Individuals Impacted through Food-Security Support

GMCR Supply-Chain Project by Outreach Area Fiscal 2011

We have a long history of working with our supply-chain communities, which now expands beyond coffee-growing communities. We are proud to report that in fiscal 2011 we allocated over $8 million in resources to help suppliers receive a fair price for their products, make business decisions that support their families, and build healthy, environmentally sound communities through monetary grants.

Since the research that led to the production of the documentary “After The Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands”, we’ve focused much of our outreach in coffee-growing communities to food-security projects. In fact, in fiscal 2011 we started or expanded 20 food-security projects that reached approximately 19,000 families in our supply chain. And since 2008 our support of of food-security projects have impacted more than 200,000 individuals within our supply chain.  

We continued that focus but also funded other supply-chain projects in the areas of water, environmental stewardship, education, economic development, and health.

You can read more about our supply-chain community outreach and our other sustainbility programs by downloading our full fiscal 2011 CSR Report.




Looking Back at Summer in the Visitors Center

The summer season has come to an end at the Visitor Center & Café in Waterbury, Vermont. We had a wonderful season with spectacular weather and lots of visitors.

As I think about putting my deck furniture away and taking my sweaters out from storage, I remember our amazing summer season, yet look forward to fall and winter in Vermont. We celebrated our Music on the Porch series every Sunday, including a performance by Grammy Award winner and native Vermonter, Dave Keller; commemorated the one year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene and the tremendous progress the town of Waterbury has made; and began supporting the Vermont based non-profit  Food 4 Farmers whose mission  is to facilitate the implementation of sustainable food security programs in coffee-growing communities.


Wow, what a feel-good summer for Waterbury and the Visitor’s Center!  We are so happy to be part of such a great community. We hope you come and visit us soon.  To entice you, our Limited edition Pumpkin Spice Maple Supreme is now on the menu. What is it, you ask?  We start with Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice coffee, add a little steamed light cream, and a shot of Vermont maple syrup. If you really want to make it special we add a dollop of whipped cream to top it off!  It's a crowd favorite!



Fiscal 2011 CSR Report: $15.2 Million!

We’re proud to announce the release of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) fiscal 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report! On this blog we mostly discuss our efforts around philanthropy and volunteerism, but our sustainability efforts as a company reach beyond those two areas of outreach.  As our business grows, our opportunities to make a difference are growing. Looking back at fisal year 2011, we’re proud of where we’ve been and where we’re going.

GMCR Philanthropic Giving 2011

Some highlights from fiscal 2011 include:

- Allocating approximately $15.2 million in resources to our sustainability program
- Funding or expanding funding for 20 food-security projects that reached 19,000 families in our supply chain.
- Contributing more than 29,000 hours of volunteer time through our employee volunteerism programs.
- Exceeding our targets for waste reduction at two of our facilities. Knoxville, TN cut its waste metric by 49% (versus its goal of 15%) and Sumner, WA reduced its waste metric by 37% (versus its goal of 30%).

The full report is available as a downloadable PDF on GMCR’s CSR website:



Announcing Our Fall Catalog

For those of us in New England, the fall season conjures up images of brilliant fall foliage, apple picking, pumpkins, and a hint of chill in the air.  With the onset of this glorious season comes another highlight to fans of the Green Mountain Coffee® Family of Brands: our fall catalog! The fall edition of our catalog is jam-packed with a large assortment of coffees, teas, and beverages, as well as a variety of food, mugs, and gift baskets to help get you started with your holiday shopping.

A few highlights, for your reading pleasure: 

1. Our catalog opens with a Hot Apple Cider from Green Mountain Naturals®. Nothing says fall quite like a cup of hot apple cider—now available in both K-Cup® and Vue® packs.

2. Wellness Brewed™ Beverages:  A new collection of K-Cup® packs, created with your wellness in mind.  Included in this collection are two new coffees, two new teas, and Vitamin Burst™ fruit-brewed beverages.

3. The Gift of Discovery:  We are bringing you a few handicrafts from artisans that live and work in some of the world’s finest coffee-growing regions.

4. Vue® Brewer, the next generation Keurig® brewer!

5. Accessorize your Keurig® Experience:  Featuring a full range of storage solutions for K-Cup® packs.

6. Lot and lots of gifts: The catalog closes with six pages of ideas for just about everyone on your list.  No excuses this year - the perfect present awaits!

For those of you who may not have received a catalog in the mail, it’s not too late to get your hands on one!  It is available to you in a digital format that you can read online. Or, if you’d like to receive a print copy, please fill out the catalog request form.

Happy shopping!


Brewing with Green Mountain at Hampton Beach

Imagine a lazy late-summer weekend, with warm winds whipping the white caps up and down the New Hampshire coast, and acres of options for fresh-from-the-ocean culinary delights. Not too bad, right? The only thing that would improve the image is an oasis of free freshly brewed hot and iced gourmet coffee served up by our knowledgeable and enthusiastic sampling team.


Now you’re in the frame of mind – you’re walking along Ocean Boulevard at the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, and there, like a mirage, in stark contrast to the multiple white tents of vendors selling everything from driftwood art to emu oil soap, is our giant green and blue Green Mountain Coffee® tent, doling out thousands of complementary cups of great Keurig® Brewed® coffees.


Green Mountain Coffee at Hampton Beach! By Nick Lockwood


The tent is alive with activity as many people, like you, were drawn there, enticed by the lure of specialty coffee. You enter the massive booth, and read about coffee harvesting and processing.  Who knew?  You choose from one of the 12 Green Mountain Coffee® varieties being offered (ooh, Dark Magic®, good choice – I was thinking the same thing!). You take a goofy picture with your friends inside our 9 ft. tall My Coffee Moment coffee cup-shaped photo booth, and can’t wait to share the picture on your Facebook wall Monday morning. You take a caffeinated coffee quiz and get some fun prizes for showing your java knowledge. Suddenly your good day just got a whole lot better…nice! So good to see you, thanks for stopping by.


And if we missed you at Hampton Beach (maybe fried dough and lobster quesadillas aren’t your thing), hopefully we’ll see you in our backyard, Burlington, Vermont, for a rocking good time at this weekend’s Grand Point North Festival!


6 Ways To Experience Wellness Brewed Beverages

These days, a healthy choice doesn't have to be a hard decision between what's good, and what's good for you. 

That's why we're thrilled to introduce Wellness Brewed™ beverages, a new line of K-Cup® packs that are a delicious complement to your wellness lifestyle. Taking care of yourself can be as easy as the touch of a button on your Keurig® brewer, and as satisfying as knowing you've done the right thing.  Because when wellness is balanced by goodness, both your body and your tastebuds benefit.

This new collection of six beverages includes two new Brew Over Ice favorites, Strawberry Pomegranate and Acai Berry from Vitamin Burst™, as well as Fair Trade Certified™ Green Mountain Coffee® Antioxidant BlendGreen Mountain Coffee® Focus Blend™, and two Celestial Seasonings® Antioxidant Max™ Green Teas that are available in Blackberry Pomegranate and Blood Orange Star Fruit flavors. Shop now and explore these wonderfully craveable beverages!



Green Mountain Coffee Brew Over Ice Hazelnut & Cream Ice Pops Recipe

They're here: the dog days of summer. If you're like me, you're craving fall (and Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice K-Cup® packs) like crazy. But we're not quite there. These last few weeks of summer's warmth and late sunsets are just the time to savor Green Mountain Coffee's Brew Over Ice flavors.

Around our house, we adore all the Brew Over Ice choices, from Nantucket Blend Iced Coffee to Strawberry Pomegranate Vitamin Burst™, but we decided to harness the inherent dessert qualities of Brew Over Ice Hazelnut coffee to make one last summery treat - Brew Over Ice Hazelnut and Cream Ice Pops! Just a few simple ingredients and one press of your Keurig® brewer's button will have you on the way to an indulgent sweet treat that's easy too. We love this novel approach to "iced" coffee. I can see making many more ice pops this way with all the Brew Over Ice flavors! I used my Zoku Pop Maker to create these ice pops, but you can use any ice pop mold you like. It'll just take longer to freeze each layer.



Green Mountain Coffee® Brew Over Ice Hazelnut & Cream Ice Pops

makes 4 ice pops


6 oz Green Mountain Coffee® Brew Over Ice Hazelnut coffee

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

6 oz Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Vanilla Creamer


Brew one 6 oz cup of Green Mountain Coffee® Brew Over Ice Hazelnut coffee in your Keurig® brewer. Pour the cup into a small saucepan and add sugar.

Stir the coffee-sugar mixture frequently over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Pour the coffee back into a ceramic mug and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the coffee to cool completely before you make the ice pops. When the coffee is cool, use a measuring cup or funnel to pour coffee into each pop mold about 1/3 of the way up.

Place in the freezer and allow to freeze completely before starting the next layer.

When the first layer is frozen, repeat this step with Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss creamer, pouring it on top of the first layer, another 1/3 of the way up the pop mold. Place back in the freezer and allow to freeze completely.

Once the second layer is frozen, finish with another coffee layer.

If you'd rather have ice pops in a hurry, and don't care about the striped look, simply mix the coffee and creamer together and freeze all at once.


A Flavor Journey Through The World of Coffee


I personally like to drink my coffee black, however I understand that the robust, powerful flavor of a French roast isn't for everyone. In fact, it took me many years of experimenting with different varieties and roasts of coffee before I eventually developed my current taste for black coffee. The closest thing I can compare my taste for black coffee to is the diverse taste of chocolate. With that in mind I encourage you to take your own "flavor journey" and explore all of the unique flavors the world of coffee has to offer. Listed below are examples of profound flavor profiles found in coffees that we source from around the globe. Enjoy!

The Americas

Coffees from the Americas come from a very wide variety of climates and growing conditions. From as far away as Hawaii and Central/South America. The flavors present in this coffee are often as diverse as the land in which they are grown. From rich, spicy Guatemalans to mild, sweet Peruvians, American coffees are often thought of as "classic." They tend to be both smooth and very balanced, with a perfect sparkle on the tongue and rich aromas that enchant the nose.

American Coffees To Try

Colombian Fair Trade Select K-Cup®

Guatemalan Finca Dos Marias (Bag Only)






African coffees are native to the steep mountains of the continent, fed by the sun, rich soil and rushing rains they possess what can only be described as a "primordial" feel to them that is often manifested in wild, winey, berry-like flavor.

African Coffees To Try

Kenyan AA K-Cup®

Kenyan Highland Co-operatives (Bag Only)

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (Bag Only)





Indonesian coffees often feature a rich, smooth taste and heady aroma. Their full body makes them very unique. Flavors associated with Indonesian coffees are complex, earthy and lush. These coffees also tend to hold their flavor very well with milk.

Indonesian Coffees To Try

Sumatran Reserve K-Cup®

Sumatran Lake Tawar (Bag Only)