Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

DIY K-Cup Pack Easter Baskets

K-Cup Pack Easter Basket

While I’m no glue gun goddess, I’ve been known to enjoy a good crafting session.  With Easter just around the corner, I have my DIY Easter list narrowed down to one project: K-Cup® pack Easter Baskets!  This little beauty came from Karen on our Sustainability team.  Cute and bunny-sized, how could I not give it a try?  Here’s how to do it: 

1. Brew your favorite Keurig Brewed® coffee – perhaps Green Mountain Coffee® Island Coconut® to welcome in spring?  Sip, savor, and enjoy that cup!  (And let the brewed K-Cup® pack cool down a touch.)

2. Once cooled, carefully remove the foil lid, filter, and coffee grounds.  Your soon-to-be planted garden will appreciate a little coffee ground compost.

3. Gently wash out and towel-dry the empty K-Cup® pack.*   

4. Poke two small holes on each side of the K-Cup® pack below the lip and thread each end of your pipe cleaner through to create a handle.

5. Fill with Eater grass and your favorite candies.  Jelly beans and candy coated chocolate eggs are our favorites. 

6. Delight your family with this bunny-sized treat on Easter morning!

*Psst - If you want to add more color, grab some paint, glue, rhinestones, - you name it - , and decorate the pack before putting in the pipe cleaner handle.

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Island Coconut is back

Island Coconut Coffee is Back for Spirng and Summer 2013

Your wait is over: Green Mountain Coffee® Island Coconut® is back for the spring and summer!   It’s time to brew yourself into a tropical getaway – even if you never leave your cubicle.

We’ve captured the lush aroma of fruity, exotic coconut and blended it with the subtle sweetness of a lightly-roasted, Central American coffee. The result is as refreshing as it is unexpected.  Enjoy it in bags, K-Cup® packs, and, for the first time, Vue® packs for your Keurig Vue® brewer!  Remember: It’s Limited Edition – brew it while supplies last!

Are you going to take a trip to paradise with Island Coconut this season?

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Three of Our Favorite Coffees

Here in our PR team, we love our coffee. Is anyone really surprised? It’s our life’s work! Even though we have so many different varieties of to choose from, each of us has that one blend that brews up something special in our hearts. Take a look at some of our teams' favorite coffees:

Elizabeth- “My go-to coffee is Green Mountain Coffee® Nantucket Blend.  I think it’s well-balanced and combines my favorite flavor notes from each region - berry from Africa, citrusy from Central America, and full-bodiedness from Indonesia.  It’s neither too light nor too dark, so it’s a good go-to in the morning when I’m not awake enough to decide what I want!”

Jessica- “My favorite right now has to be French Vanilla by Green Mountain Coffee®. I love vanilla as a flavor in general and it adds a creamier body to the coffee, which you don’t get with a lot of other blends."

Amy- “My favorite coffee is Green Mountain Coffee® Colombian Fair Trade Select. I’m a little personally biased on this one, because I was lucky enough to visit several coffee farms in Colombia last year, and meet the producers and their families. My experience was incredible, and it makes that cup of coffee all the more delicious.”

What's your go-to blend?

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Food From Source: Guacamole and Corn Tortillas in Mexico

I’ve lead over 15 source trips for our employees to Costa Rica and Mexico since I've started working at Green Mountain Coffee.  During our time in Mexico, our employees get to experience the life of coffee producers from coffee picking, traveling, and, of course, eating real, authentic Mexican cuisine – made fresh from recipes that have been around for generations.  Picaditas, sopa azteca, enchiladas, enfrijoladas, and more.  Everything is delicious. Despite the tough competition, my favorite dish was definitely the freshly made guacamole on with warm corn tortillas. I ate this every day of the trip. When we sat down in a restaurant, we immediately asked for a few orders of guacamole and tortillas to keep all the employees (including me!) happy.

The name for guacamole comes from the Nahuatl language – the language of the Aztecs, āhuacamolli, which literally translates to “avocado sauce.”  You can thank the Aztecs for other words you know well and use daily such as tomato, chocolate, and chili.

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8th Annual Sustainability Report Now Live!

We are excited to announce the release if our eighth annual sustainability report, outlining our environmental and social performance for fiscal 2012. The report details the our long-standing commitment to sustainability and unveils a new focus on three specific practice areas: Resilient Supply Chain, Sustainable Products, and Thriving People and Communities.

In the report, we announce that purchases of Fair Trade Certified™ coffees represented over 50 million pounds, or five million more pounds than fiscal 2011. In 2011, Fair Trade USA ranked GMCR the largest purchaser of Fair Trade CertifiedTM coffee in the world for the second year running.

We delivered a 46% increase in net sales in 2012 while also improving energy efficiency, recycling more waste, and reducing the proportion of waste sent to the landfill. Highlights of the fiscal 2012 report include:

  • - We more than tripled the amount of waste chaff, burlap, coffee, powder, and tea that it composted, and increased recycling of corrugated boxes, boxboard, paper, and plastics by 50% in its facilities, compared to the previous year.
  • - Over $10 million in grant money was allocated to supply-chain communities, including food security projects for over 20,000 coffee-farming families around the world.
  • - The Company maintained an employee retention rate of approximately 90%.
  • - Sixty-five percent of full-time employees volunteered through a company-sponsored program called Café Time, which allows employees up to 52 paid hours per year to volunteer.

 

The report also highlights our goals for fiscal 2013, which include continuing financial support for projects addressing food security in coffee-growing communities, increasing the sourcing of sustainable coffees, and further reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills.

 

Read the full Sustainability report our website at www.gmcr.com/sustainability.

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The Cafe Staff Goes to Source

Missy at Source

At the Green Mountain Coffee® Café and Visitor Center we enjoy sharing experiences with the community.  Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. provides employees an opportunity to visit coffee growing communities on source trips. This gives us the chance to see where the process of tree to cup begins and meet the farmers who produce the very same coffee we roast everyday.

In December, my coworker Michele was given the opportunity to go to Nicaragua with fellow employees in the company, including east coast to west coast American and Canadian teammates.  Not only did she have the chance to meet and create bonds with the farmers who influence our lives even here in Vermont, but she had the chance to get to know people within the company she may not have had a chance to meet otherwise.

In February two of our coworkers, Christiane and Joshua, had the chance to travel with members of the International Woman’s Coffee Alliance to Guatemala. The International Women’s Coffee Alliance (IWCA) strives to create a difference in the world of coffee. With a mission to “empower women in the international coffee community to achieve meaningful and sustainable lives; and to encourage and recognize the participation of women in all aspects of the coffee industry,” the IWCA, from its inception, has remained focused on promoting possibilities for women in coffee communities throughout the world.  

After our trips to our coffee growing regions we, as a whole department in the Green Mountain Coffee Café and Visitor Center, found a deep respect for the people in our supply chain. We created long lasting bonds with our coffee growing communities and our international team members who keep this company running strong.  The in-depth opportunity to see and experience the tree to cup experience and have the chance to share with our community has given a life changing view of the coffee sitting in our cups.

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Happy Pi Day!

Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th to celebrate Pi (π); the symbol used in math to represent the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, which is approximately 3.14 (or March 14th!). What better way to celebrate Pi Day than with pie paired with a mug full of Green Mountain Coffee®? We asked a few members of our Coffee Department what their favorite pie/coffee combinations were – and we have 3.14 responses for you!

Patrick, Coffee Generalist - “My favorite pie would have to be chocolate cream pie with a big mug of  Dark Magic® to wash it down.  The robust chocolaty roast notes from Dark Magic compliment the sweet, creamy, chocolate pudding in the chocolate cream pie perfectly to me. “

Brent, Coffee Generalist - “I’m all about the pumpkin pie with a nice large mug of the Kenya AA.  They balance each other perfectly.”

Patty, Coffee Product Manager - “I love banana cream pie with a nice crisp, flaky, butter pie crust to it, and some Organic Sumatran Reserve  or Fair Trade Organic French Roast. I love to drink my coffee from a China cup and saucer or a porcelain mug.”

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Three Teas to Prep for Saint Patrick’s Day

T-minus 5 days until Saint Patrick’s Day, a glorious 24-hour period when everyone recalls their Irish roots – even if their family tree goes nowhere near the Emerald Isle.  As a holiday filled with cheer, camaraderie, and, yes, just a little libation, we thought it would be handy to start your preparations now, with spirited green teas! 

1. Feeling traditional in your green-ness?  Then brew Celestial Seasonings® Green Tea – available in K-Cup® and Vue® packs: A traditional green tea blended with delicate white tea for smooth taste.

2. Seeking cooling refreshment before you embrace the Luck of the Irish?  Say hello to Bigelow® teas’ Mint Medley Herb Tea – a perfect blend of fresh-picked cool garden spearmint and peppermint that soothes and delights. 

3. Know some activities on Saint Patricks’ Day may require your system to have a little antioxidant boost?  Celestial Seasonings Antioxidant Max® Green Teas are your answer.  Traditional green tea leaves and potent green tea extract (two natural sources of flavonoids) plus 20% of your daily antioxidant Vitamin C per 8 fl. oz. serving – go with Blood Orange Star Fruit or Blackberry Pomegranate.

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Ciao Miami Beach from Barista Prima

 

If you’ve ever spent a February in Vermont, the answer to “Are you available to work at event in Miami Beach this month?” is always a resounding “Yes!” Nothing against Vermont, mind you. After all, I’ve called it home for 13 years and counting, but yikes it can get mighty cold up here sometimes!

So with high hopes the Barista Prima Coffeehouse® team and I prepared for several days of sampling at The Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. Upon arrival, we were thrilled – and somewhat taken aback – by the setting and scope of the event. Against a backdrop of cosmopolitan sheen, art deco elegance, and miles of white sand and blue water, the SOBE WFF (as it’s so called) is in a class by itself. Under huge white tents, right on the beach, dozens of vendors prepared themselves for 3 days of sharing samples of fine wine, mouthwatering food, innovative accessories, and in our case, amazing European coffee house-inspired Barista Prima® K-Cup® packs

When the gates opened on Friday, our preparation was put to the test, as a rush of attendees kept us engaged and busy while we doled out cup after cup of complimentary Barista Prima samples. During the equally busy sampling days on Saturday and Sunday, we met quite a few loyal customers (people who already have a love-love relationship with Barista Prima), and we made some new friends as well. The pace was fast and furious, but our team tackled the challenge with energy and enthusiasm.  With stylish fedoras like ours, how could we not?

Between the setting, the atmosphere, the throngs of interested attendees, the celebrity sightings (foodie royalty like Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay, Andrew Zimmern, Anne Burrell, Gail Simmons, and many others), the stellar support staff, and the non-Vermont temperatures, this south Florida “event of the year” was a great showcase for Barista Prima’s elegant cup of coffee. 

Are you a South Beach Barista Prima fan? 

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Employee Source Trip to Costa Rica 2013

   
Luis Campos from Altura de San Ramon, with Laurent and Winston looking on
Manuel Antonio Quiros, the coffee farming, car repairing bonsai gardener.

It is easy to imagine how nice it is to go to Costa Rica in January especially if you are leaving behind a climate that includes a down jacket and snow shovel.  Every year employees get to leave their home climates to go on source trips to warm coffee producing countries, like Costa Rica.  And that's what I first got to do in 1996.  I was a trainer in what would now be called Continuous Learning and our 'classrooms' were in the old Java U in Waterbury, VT.   The building was torn down years ago and very few remember the building, but I'll never forget the day my boss and her boss asked me to follow them into one of the classrooms to tell me I was selected to go on the employee trip to Costa Rica.

Fast forward to 2013 and I have led four trips to Costa Rica (15 in total between there and Mexico) and I never get tired of bringing employees there.  One of my favorite groups to visit in Costa Rica is Altura de San Ramon in San Ramon.  One reason is Luis Campos (upper left), their General Manager, who I adore and admire.  He's been to Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. in Vermont many times sporting his leather hat, soft spoken manner, and just plain tallness.  As well as a coffee farmer and cattle rancher Luis runs the Association of more than 500 farmers.  Another reason it is a favorite group to visit is the other friends we have made over time there, like Manuel Antonio Quiros (bottom), who has also been here before. Manuel is a coffee farmer, but also runs a car repair garage and dabbles in bonsai.

This year instead of going to Luis' house like we usually do, we went to Sergio Hernandez's farm for a short tour and snacks made by his wife Martha.  Sergio is a coffee farmer but he also raises day old chicks to sell to chicken farms that raise them for fried chicken and broilers.  He proudly pointed out that those little chickens gross him $90,000 per year.  When we got to the top of the hill full of coffee trees, he pointed out (again not without a certain amount of pride) the coffee farms that his many sons own.  It was at the end of the day, and I can't tell you exquisite the light was; it was the kind of light that has no humidity to it, no bugs to it, just light and fresh air, and warmth (upper right).  It’s the kind of view and company that encompasses how the employee source trips make people feel.

 

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Italian Peppermint Mocha Coffee Recipe

Italian Peppermine Mocha by Green Mountain Coffee; Photo credit Green Mountain Coffee

Have a passion for coffee? Crazy for chocolate? Have a minty swish in your step as you imagine yourself on a piazza in Italy?  Then our resident K-Cup® mixologist in has a recipe for you:

Italian Peppermint Mocha

Ingredients

 

Directions

Brew 6-8 ounces (make it Strong brew on your Vue® brewer if you're in for a tres forte mocha) of Barista Prima® Italian Roast into a large mug

Add peppermint extract

Add 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup

Add Half & Half, gently stir

Top with whipped cream

Drizzle chocolate syrup and sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top

Enjoy!

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