Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Win a Free Keurig Vue Brewer From Café Express

That’s right coffee fans, Café Express® is brewing up a bold “THANK YOU” with a Member Appreciation Sweepstakes! In appreciation of our loyal members, Café Express® is giving ten lucky winners the chance to brew like a barista with their very own Keurig® Vue® Brewer. But we couldn’t just stop there, no sir! There are also twenty five first prizes and fifty second prizes to be won. So don’t be bashful, check out the Official Rules and Enter Here!


Over $2 Million to Help Nicaraguan Coffee-Growing Communities Gain Access to Clean Water

We are proud to announce our pledge for over $2 million to support two clean water projects in communities where the we source coffee in Nicaragua. GMCR has joined forces with two non-profit organizations in northern Nicaragua to fund two potable water projects over the next five years. Both projects intend to increase community access to clean water, improve food security, and provide education on sanitation, nutrition, and environmental protection. According to the most recent Joint Monitoring Report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization, only 68% of people in rural Nicaragua have access to safe drinking water. Many families are forced to collect water from streams and unprotected wells. "Water For People" will work in the communities of San Rafael del Norte and partner with the local government, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, and three coffee cooperatives. GMCR will provide $1,250,000 over five years for Water For People's ambitious plan to provide full water coverage to the entire municipality of San Rafael del Norte by 2017.

According to Ned Breslin, Water For People CEO, "This strategic investment by GMCR will help change the lives for thousands of people in San Rafael del Norte, and more importantly, it will serve as a model that can be replicated throughout the country so that the entire nation of Nicaragua can meet its water challenges in the future."

At the same time, GMCR will provide $961,359  over three years to a water project coordinated by CII-ASDENIC, the Association of Social Development of Nicaragua. The project's goal is to improve the quality of life for 800 rural families in 10 coffee-producing communities. If the project meets its goals, by the end of the third year 90% of the families will have access to potable water, 30% will have improved food security due to better access to water, and all communities will have a greater ability to adapt to climate change. Together these interventions will revitalize, strengthen, and diversify the smallholder farmer's local economy.

"This partnership supports CII-ASDENIC's continued efforts to improve the quality of life for those living in Northern Nicaragua," said Raul Diaz, Director of CII-ASDENIC. "Access to clean, potable water is essential for improving the health and food security of these vulnerable families."

Together, the water projects are expected to improve the lives of almost 3000 families. "Our strategic grant making is designed to help source communities address the root of local challenges while enhancing supply chain stability," said Michael Dupee, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for GMCR.


Ski Season at the Visitor Center

Inside the Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center and Cafe

In Waterbury, Vermont, the Green Mountain Coffee® Visitor Center & Café located at the historic train station is bustling with activity. The café is nestled in between five ski resorts and the energy is high this time of year. The holidays have passed and many are working off those extra calories on their skis or snowboards. In the morning, we see many energetic faces gearing up for a day at the mountain by starting it off with a hot Golden French Toast® Maple Supreme. We start off with hot Golden French Toast coffee, steamed light cream, and a shot of pure Vermont maple syrup. Of course, a dollop of whip cream can be added for those planning to hit the slopes hard. Although ,if you prefer a good ol’ cup-o-joe over a specialty drink, we have seven daily brews of the day to choose.  A mug for every mogul you tackle that day?

Being a stop before and after skiing has its perks for us. Skiers and riders are happy to tell us what the conditions were on the mountain that day, and we make sure to pass that information on to our other guests. Most recently, we had a skier coming back from one mountain report that as he was just getting off of the lift and about to rip down the mountain and he saw a moose chasing a fellow skier. Yes, a moose! Fortunately, the skier was able to get good speed quickly and the moose gave up the chase and retreated to the woods.  Wonder if the mountain will now put up a moose crossing sign at the top of the lift…

The Visitor Center & Café also serves as a stop on the Amtrak Vermonter line. If it’s not the skier and riders stories that keep us entertained daily, it is the periodic visits we receive from major news outlets. Just last week, CNN visited the train station with the Vermont Department of Tourism for an interview to discuss the improvements on the high speed rail and Vermont being the first state to complete the improvements. Vermont certainly has a lot of firsts and this is just an example of the progressive nature of our state.

There are still many powder days ahead of us in Vermont which powers our local economy and helps make us a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of cities like Boston and Montreal. Won’t you come and see us soon?


Hot Apple Cider Receives a Perfect Score


Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider

Earlier this month, gave Hot Apple Cider by Green Mountain Naturals™ Vue® packs a perfect score: 100-out-of-100!  But who’s really surprised? With a total of five all natural ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives, this drink should be at the top of the list for hot apple cider lovers (Like me!).

The review was sure to highlight the “rich notes of sweet apples with bursts of spicy cinnamon” and the “silky smooth” consistency. Overall, it was decided that Green Mountain Natural’s Hot Apple Cider was, “spot-on with real mulled apple cider.”

Don’t just read about how great the apple cider is, taste it!  Hot Apple Cider by Green Mountain Naturals is available in both in Vue® packs and K-Cup® packs on our website, as well as in grocery stores and retailers nationwide.


Ask the Coffee Lab: Our Top Cuppers of 2012

Who's the top cupper in the Coffee Lab?

The Cupping Table

We tallied up the number of cuppings we did in Waterbury, Vermont for 2012 and the big number is 7,142 cuppings! That number represents the samples that we cupped in Waterbury alone, with a sample representing a contract for green coffee which is normally in the size of 42,000 pounds.  You can see that these cuppings represent a lot of coffee.  One sample has six cups put out on the table; multiply that by the number of cuppings and that’s 42,852 cups of coffee.  Since every sample should have three people cup each cup, we’re now looking at 128,556 cups cupped, or “spoon dips” for lack of a better phrase.

But now...for our top cuppers!  Brent, Coffee Generalist, cupped the most cups this past year clocking in at 5,610, or 33,660 different cups he dipped a spoon into.  Getting the “silver” medal was Penny at 5,088 samples and your humble correspondent who won a “bronze” at 4,966.  If you see any of us vacuuming the drapes at 11:30 at night, now you’ll know why.


Vermont Grantmaking: Water, Food and Education

Our connection to Vermont as a company runs deep. In addition to being founded over 30 years ago in Waitsfield, Vermont, we continue to grow and invest in Vermont communities. This week we were named the largest Vermont-based business for the second year in a row by Vermont Business Magazine. We are commited to Vermont to grow our business, but are also dedicated to improving the sustainability and quality of life of the all the communities where GMCR employees live and work.Photo of Lake Champlain, Vermont during Winter

Through Employee Community Grant Programs at each of our employee sites in the United States and Canada, we provide grants to organizations and projects that address specific issues aligned with environmental stewardship, strong local systems, and economic prosperity. Each employee site has its own grant program and review team, and each directs their philanthropic efforts and resources to a set of specific focus areas that are meaningful for their employees and relevant to their unique community.

In Vermont, we provide funding to organizations working within the focus areas of Clean Water, Access to Quality Education, and Sustainable Food Systems. As we start a new year, we thought we would reflect on some of the grants awarded our fiscal 2012.

Clean Water & Healthy Rivers, Lakes and Shorelines:

  • Composting Association of Vermont Filter Sock Project II: Two demonstration projects and post implementation workshops. One project will take place in Jamaica, repairing a 6,000 sq. ft. area of steep sidehill that collapsed during Irene, taking out a section of road and stream bank. 
  • Vermont Natural Resources Council support for a one-day River Conference organized after Irene to bring together multiple sectors to learn about and discuss science-based river management practices in order to properly educate about the best decisions in emergency situations.
  • Friends of the Mad River support for Watershed Restoration and Resiliency effort. Funding will support planning efforts, public education, riparian buffer improvement and more to mitigate flood damage in the future.

Sustainable Food Systems:

  • VT-FEED is a collaborative Farm to School (FTS) project of Shelburne Farms, NOFA-VT and Food Works with the goal to have well-supported FTS programming in every Vermont community by 2020.  When all Vermont schoolchildren to have multiple, repeated exposure to quality food, farm, and nutrition education throughout their schooling, they will not only will learn and appreciate where food comes from, but they will also internalize healthy eating habits that contribute to their overall health and the wellness of their communities. 
  • Center for Sustainable Systems works with local high school teachers to use the food system to deliver purposeful, experiential lessons to all students, across a variety of academic disciplines. Teachers are developing curriculum to use in the classroom to be paired with field work in school-based gardens and at Food Works' Two Rivers farm.

Access to Quality Education:

  • Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) program support for the Year of the Book for Johnson Elementary school, two rural author/illustrator presentations, and two at-risk literacy and storytelling presentations.
  • Young Writers Project  general operating support. Funding will support improvement of YWP Schools Project including improvement of ongoing training of teachers, expansion of a graduate course for teachers and efficacy study of its work; website redesign; and development of a strategic plan.
  • Audubon Vermont support for the "Opening New Eyes to Nature" program, which will help to support outdoor programs year round for 80 schools. 

Golden French Toast Coffee Is Back!

During this time of year I often find myself sleeping in as late as possible on those Saturday mornings when I clearly have an agenda filled with errands to run and tasks to complete. In fact just the other weekend, I was awoken by the aroma of French Toast wafting up the stairs and down the hallway. I immediately knew it was going to be the start of a good day. However, for those of us who do not have a personal chef (or significant other), we have good news. Golden French Toast® coffee is back in K-Cup® packs and bags! Featuring a maple aroma, and buttery, golden toasty flavors, there is more than one reason to start off a busy weekend morning with this cold weather classic from Green Mountain Coffee®. Stock up on this sensational flavored coffee before its too late!


Our 5 New Year’s Resolutions



New Year, new you.  Or me.  Or us.  You get the idea.  It’s 2013 and it’s a new start.  Clean slate.  Blank sheet of paper.  An open road.   But we don’t want that slate/paper/road to be empty for long: we want adventure.  We want stories.  We want triumph.  That’s why we make resolutions – to be able to look back at the past year and have exciting tales to tell in the next.  In preparation for those stories, here are a few of our goals for 2013 (with a little Keurig Brewed® twist):

1. Take one small step toward a more balanced life.  Make a small change that helps our wellness – like choosing Wellness Brewed™ beverages like Green Mountain Coffee® Antioxidant Blend.

2. Embrace “me” time.  Stress is so last year – now is the moment to savor the moment.  Even if that’s just enjoying an indulgent cup of Café Escapes® Café Caramel (and it’s only 70 calories).

3. But don’t overlook the family.  Make time to be together – craft, hike, bake, and watch a family movie with some Green Mountain Naturals® Hot Apple Cider for the kids.

4. Appreciate the beauty around us.  Stop, look, and listen to the artistry that surrounds the everyday, may it be the beauty in a hand built gazebo, the tang of handcrafted cheddar, or the brightness of a mug of Tully’s® House Blend.

5. Learn a new language.  Bonjour, ciao, hola – expand your vocabulary so travel to your new favorite destination isn’t as intimidating.  And do it all with a mug of Barista Prima® Italian Roast by your side – bellissimo!  

What stories do you want to tell about 2013 next year?