Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Community Garden Provides Nutritional Education

GMCR Knoxville TN Employee Community Grants

As February ends and March begins, I start dreaming of tulips and a freshly planted garden. Unfortunately, Vermont still has six weeks left of winter, but our Knoxville, Tennessee facility will be thawing out much sooner. During our fiscal 2012 grantmaking, we provided financial support to The New Harvest Park Community Garden in Knoxville. The Garden is a partnership of the Knoxville Area Coalition on Childhood Obesity, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and Knox County Parks and Recreation. The Community Garden promotes a healthy lifestyle through education about real food – where it comes from, how it grows, the nutritional benefits, the many unique flavors – while providing physical activity in the garden. Groups of children attend a ten week program, Junior Master Gardener, which offers horticulture and environmental science education through fun and creative activities. GMCR’s funding provided the equipment, supplies, and an instructor for the program.

The first graduates of the Junior Master Gardener program received their completion certificates at the garden dedication ceremony which was featured on the local news and on Knox County’s website. Members of the Knoxville Grantmaking Team attended the dedication ceremony and spoke to some of the Junior Master Gardeners.  They spoke highly of the program and were proud to share their favorite experiences in the program which included weeding, manually tilling the ground, picking the harvest that they worked hard to grow, and eating the yummy vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and herbs. More information and pictures from the Community Garden can be viewed on their Facebook page.

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 stewardshipstrong 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. 


Food from Source: Seafood Layover in Singapore


During a layover in Singapore on the way to Sumatra to meet with some of our coffee producers in the region, our team had the chance to dig into some of Singapore’s famous cuisine. Late in the day and a little groggy from the time change, we headed to a restaurant recommended to us to have the best crabs around.

This country loves their seafood. Although one of the most popular dishes in Singapore is the chili crab, the group went for the crab dish with white pepper, with spring onions, and garlic, an original recipe by the owner.  I'm a devout vegetarian - I didn't get to eat the crabs - but had to listen to everyone ooh and ahhhing over their own. I had a great meal of mushrooms and noodles! We joined the clean plate club during that meal; rave reviews from a sleep-deprived, time zone shocked coffee buyers!

Have you ever been to Singapore?


Our Latte Artist at the Visitors Center and Cafe

Kiley's Lattee Fish design at the Green Mountain Coffee Visitors Center and Cafe

Kiley at the espresso machine


My name is Kiley and I have been working at the Green Mountain Coffee® Visitor Center & Café located in Waterbury’s historic train station for about three and a half years. Over the course of these few years I've developed an interest in working with espresso-based drinks. Most recently I have been refining my latte art skills, which I find challenging and rewarding at the same time.

Lattes are humble beverages made on an espresso machine that consist of espresso shots and steamed milk. The art itself is made with the espresso crème and milk crème. The method of pouring the milk (height and quantity of the pour, affecting the velocity) effects which crème raises to the top. Accents, such as the fins on my fish above, can be created with a tool like a thermometer stem or a coffee stir stick.

I've been showing some of my latte art to customers as they come in to the Visitor Center & Cafe. I now receive requests for me to use art in beverages which allows me to refine my newly adapted skill. So far I have done some simple and traditional works such as traditional swirl designs and flowers. I have also done a few more advanced options such as animals, the night sky, and even a few unicorns! I’m currently working on my calligraphy and am always experimenting and expanding options for requests.

If you’re in the area, stop in and ask for me. You can request a latte or leave it up to my imagination! Hope to see you soon!


Exploring the Coffee Region of San Lorenzo

GMCR Colombia, La Vereda

Colleen, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.'s Coffee Community Outreach Manager, recently traveled to Colombia to visit the region of San Lorenzo. Below is a report of her trip:

"I had the opportunity to visit an incredible community in San Lorenzo, Colombia with some of my colleagues from GMCR Canada.  These are the farmers behind the delicious “Colombian La Vereda” product within the Timothy’s® World Coffee brand.  Timothy’s® World Coffee has developed a relationship with the producers in these 15 veredas, or hamlets, over 10+ years of buying commitments and funding social projects. In fact, in 2006 they won an SCAA Sustainability Award in recognition of this relationship coffee model. As the manager of our coffee community outreach work, I was excited to meet the various actors along this supply chain and to see the impact of our partnership on the coffee producers. 
I was moved by the pride of the Embera-Chami people who are native to this area as they displayed their “La Vereda” membership card showing they were producers of this exclusive, designated region of quality.  They know they grow great coffee!  Even the young people are showing interest in continuing the tradition, which is a good sign of a sustainable livelihood that is unfortunately becoming rarer in the coffeelands.
Our hosts gave us all sombreros aguadeños – the kind of hat you might see Juan Valdez wear – and we took off for the coffee farms loaded up on the roof of a truck.  We were met at one village entrance by a parade of children who walked us past the school and into the community center – both construction supported with funding from Timothy’s® World Coffee – where we watched a cultural performance and heard from members of the community about changes in the community since the beginning of our buying relationship.  We then had the opportunity to visit farmers in the area who described the improvements they are making in production practices and shared their concerns related to costs, climate change, and pests.  Throughout the visit, it was clear that the relationship between the roaster and the producers was for the long haul.
Before the visit, I could talk your ear off about the tasty flavor profile of the coffee we call La Vereda – now, my story would start with these warm and welcoming producers in San Lorenzo. These are the kinds of communities where our sustainability funding can complement our commercial relationship to create something truly special."
After their trip, Timothy's® World Coffee produced and released the following video which highlights Gilberto, one of the proud leaders within this coffee growing region. To keep up to date with Timothy's® World Coffee, follow their Facebook page

Golden French Toast Shortbread Recipe

Golden French Toast Shortbread

Cozy Sunday afternoons by the fire. That's what February means to me. We're hunkered down here in New Jersey, where it was 16°F when I woke up this morning. That's some serious cold, my friends.

When it's that cold, there's just nothing for it - except maybe that cozy fire, a hot cup of Fair Trade Golden French Toast® coffee, and the scent of delicious, buttery shortbread studded with coffee wafting from your oven. 

The recipe is simple - no eggs required. You might want to grab your coffee or spice grinder. While Fair Trade Golden French Toast comes pre-ground, you might want a finer grind for your shortbread. We used as-is from the bag, and the tender shortbread is perfect in my opinion. Just know that it's your call to make a finer grind.

Traditional shortbread also contains oats, did you know? Don't skip them here. They take on buttery notes from the Fair Trade Golden French Toast coffee, and make this shortbread an extra special treat. 

Fair Trade Golden French Toast Shortbread

Makes one 8" x 10" pan



1 cup oats (not quick cooking)

1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), cut into smaller chunks

1 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/8 to 1/4 cup ground Green Mountain Coffee® Fair Trade Golden French Toast coffee



1. Pour oats into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3 to 5 times, until oats have been somewhat pulverized. 

2. Add chunked butter, sugar, kosher salt, and all purpose flour to the food processor. 

3. Pulse ingredients 3 to 5 times, then add your desired amount of coffee. Remember to separately grind the coffee finer, if you prefer the grounds to be smoother in your shortbread. 

4. Process all the ingredients together for 1-2 minutes, until a smooth dough forms. You will hear a change in the food processor when everything suddenly comes together in one large piece of dough. 

5. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, or overnight if you prefer. 

6. When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8" x 10" baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly spray a shortbread mold with cooking spray. 

7. Press the dough into the baking sheet or shortbread mold, taking care to make the dough as even as possible across the pan. Sometimes it can help to use a drinking glass like a rolling pin to push the dough where you need it to be. 

8. If using a baking sheet, score the cookies into rectangles using a knife or bench scraper - press all the way through the dough, making rectangles that are about 4 inches long each. (One division of the dough down the long side of the pan, in the center, and then smaller, 1" wide cuts horizontally is what I did.)

9. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. 

10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then turn the cookies out onto a clean surface and cut through the score marks. It is easier to cut the cookies when they are slightly warm. Allow them to cool on a wire rack after cutting. 


Want to win some Golden French Toast to try in your own shortbead recipe?  Go on over to my blog, Bluebonnets & Brownies, to see how to enter!


Coffee Companies Team Up to Combat Seasonal Hunger

For several years, we have worked with our partners to address seasonal hunger by supporting “food-security” projects at the household level —  that is, projects that help farmers grow or have the means to buy sufficient, nutritious food on a day-to-day basis. We're excited to announce that we've now joined with four other coffee companies along with Mercy Corps and Aldea Global to work on this issue together. 

The Coffeelands Food Security Coalition, made up of Counter Culture Coffee, Farmer Brothers, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., Starbucks Coffee Company and Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers, is a collaborative project that aims to develop, enable and disseminate solutions to seasonal hunger in coffee producing countries. Mercy Corps is partnering with the Coalition to fight hunger in Nicaragua, beginning in February 2013, through the Empowering Food Securities Project. The Coalition aims to expand participation within the industry and with other NGO and government partners, and will be announcing opportunities in early spring 2013. For more information about the Coalition and opportunities to get involved, please visit Mercy Corps' Food Security in the Coffeelands webpage
In related coffee food security news, Susan Sarandon's op-ed "Helping Small Coffee Growers Fatten Up the 'Thin Months' " ran in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend. Within the article she discusses the issue of food insecurity among coffee farmers and the projects that Heifer, along with funding from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, are implementing to help combat this issue.
Learn more about seasonal hunger in the coffeelands by watching the documentary below, "After The Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands", narrated by Susan Sarandon:



Single Awareness Day The Single Serve Way

Today marks Single Awareness Day. While couples take time to show they care for their other half on Valentine’s Day, singles everywhere should take today to show some love to themselves. And what better way than to brew something just for yourself, one cup at a time?  Here is a list of our teams’ favorite K-Cup® packs that will make your Single Awareness Day the best it can be.

  1. 1.  Café Escapes® Chai Latte is a black tea blended with spices and sweet and creamy milk. It’s okay to take a little "me-time" for once and fully enjoy a delicious beverage, just for you.

  2. 2.  It’s all about you and your wellness when you brew a cup of Green Mountain Coffee® Focus Blend™. Part of our Wellness Collection, this coffee helps make sure you are primed to get the most out of your day.

  3. 3.   Take a sip of Barista Prima® Italian Roast  and close your eyes. Instantly, you will be transported to one of Europe’s finest coffee houses. Who doesn’t love a mini vacation?

  4. 4.   Green Mountain Coffee® Special Reserve Colombia Geisha  is the rarest coffee that we offer. Try a cup of this limited edition brew and treat yourself to the finer things in life.  

  5. 5.   Celestial Seasonings® Sleepytime® K-Cup® Herbal Tea is the perfect way to help you unwind and get a good night's sleep. Nothing is more important than getting that full seven hours a night, so you can be the best you can be!


Which will you treat yourself to today?



Perfect Pairings for Valentine’s Day

Oh, Valentine’s Day. You can smell the love in the air! Or is it just Green Mountain Coffee® brewing? While a mug of one of our coffees is delicious alone, when put together with the right foods, they are irresistible – much like your special someone, we’re sure. Here is a list of some of the food and coffee pairings we love, and we're sure you’ll love, too.

Green Mountain Coffee® Breakfast Blend and blueberry pancakes are a morning delight.  Breakfast is in the title of this light roasted coffee for a reason! This duo is perfect for starting your morning off right.

Green Mountain Coffee® French Roast  and almond biscotti are a perfect snack to get you through the day. The almonds in this treat play very well with the full-bodied and smoky taste of this coffee.

Green Mountain Coffee® Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve  is at its best when paired with dark chocolate and cherry cupcakes. Is your mouth watering yet?  The rich taste of the Sumatran coffee’s chocolate and dark fruit undertones will only magnify with the help of these cupcakes.

Green Mountain Coffee® Guatemalan Finca Dos Marias™ goes nicely when matched with apples with a caramel dipping sauce. The sweetness of the caramel and the spicy notes of the Guatemalan roast will knock your socks off.

Green Mountain Coffee® Tanzanian Gombe Reserve is a great with a slice of cheesecake. Only a deep and rich cup like this could match the thick and creamy goodness of this dessert.

Take our advice and surprise your Valentine this year with one of our perfect pairings. What’s not to love?

Do you have a food that you love to drink with your Green Mountain Coffee®?


Brew Over Ice Twitter Trivia Contest


Do you have what it takes to answer all of our icy trivia? Visit our Twitter page to test your knowledge on our first Brew Over Ice Twitter Trivia for a chance to win cool prizes! Download the official contest rules here. The first round kicks off next Wednesday, February 13th!


Why Does My K-Cup pack Look Different?

Every once in a while I find that it is good to change things up. Whether it’s reorganizing my living room or going to a restaurant I wouldn’t normally frequent.  At Green Mountain Coffee we’ve found the same to be true with our K-Cup® and Vue® packs. That said, we have taken the time to add some serious pizzazz to K-Cup® and Vue® pack lids across our family of brands so that you can enjoy the same great beverages with a new and exciting twist! Have you seen the new lid art? Let us know what you think!