Best Tasting Coffee

Maximum Brewing Action Satisfaction

 

 

So, maybe you got a new Keurig® brewer over the holidays. Or maybe you’ve had a brewer for years. Either way, there’s a lot more than just a simple cup of coffee that you can get out of this terrific little machine. Here’s some inspiration from GreenMountainCoffee.com and Keurig.com to help you think outside the bean.

 

  1. Explore new varieties of coffee. Sure you have your go-to blend, and no one’s going to take that away from you. But did you know, there are over 150 different K-Cup® and about 50 Vue® pack varieties of coffee out there? From light, medium, and dark roast to extra bold, flavored, or special reserve – you might just discover a new favorite or two.
     
  2. Try other hot brews. Coffee’s not the only cup in town. The best-loved hot tea brands are also available for your Keurig® brewer, including Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, Tazo, Tetley, and Twinings. And on a chilly day, kids and grown-ups alike love a cup of hot apple cider or hot cocoa.
     
  3. Enjoy cold beverages with Brew Over Ice packs. With specially-crafted Brew Over Ice K-Cup® and Vue® packs, it’s a cinch to make a fresh and refreshing cup of iced coffee, iced tea, lemonade or other fruit brew. Just fill a cup with ice (do not use glass), pop in a pack, brew, stir and enjoy!
     
  4. Involve your brewer for cooking and baking. There are lots of great recipes that call for coffee, both sweet and savory dishes. Your Keurig® brewer makes it easy to brew a single cup, fast and without cleanup. This blog has a boatload of delicious recipes, so do a little perusing for some culinary ideas.
     
  5. Use My K-Cup® for whole bean and ground options. For some, there’s nothing like a cup of coffee from freshly ground beans. The My K-Cup® refill pack allows you to grind your own beans or to try varieties that are only available in bags.

 

But it’s not just what’s in the cup that matters. Here are a few more tips.

  1. A little maintenance goes a long way. Changing your water filter every 2 months and descaling your brewer every 3-6 months will not only help extend the life of your brewer, it’ll keep your beverages tasting great. Learn more.
  2. Keep your packs in order. There are a few great space-saving options for keeping your packs handy and organized, including carousels, dispensers, and under-brewer drawers. Check out your storage options for both K-Cup® and Vue® packs.
  3. Stock up for guests. When company comes, it’s a real treat to allow everyone to choose his or her own beverage, so keep a stash of options (see #s 1,2, and 3 above) and make it easy for guests to browse packs (see #7 above).
  4. Keep in touch. Sign up at GreenMountainCoffee.com and Keurig.com (bottom left) to receive emails with exclusive discounts and special offers, new product information, and more. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

 

Got an idea to make it an even 10? We’d love to hear from you!

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A Sweet Way to Bring Friends Together

A holiday cookie swap is a sweet way to bring friends together, not to mention a helpful way to test different cookie recipes before family gatherings—because we all know cookies only burn on the bottom when you make them the day of the holiday party. 

It may sound stressful to host a cookie swap during the busiest time of the year, but it can actually make entertaining easier by simplifying your holiday baking.  If everyone brings cookies that refrigerate or freeze well, you can save your collection of cookies for holiday parties later on.  Plus it is much more manageable to whip up five dozen of the same cookie than it is to gather the supplies for and bake five different types.

Of course, the best part about hosting a cookie swap is tasting all the delicious cookies and, naturally you need something indulgent to dip all that crumbly goodness in.  Spice up your classic sugar cookies  by serving them with a decadent cup of Cinnabon® Classic Cinnamon Roll coffee.  Heighten the always harmonious pairing of mint and chocolate by sampling peppermint bark with Swiss Miss® Hot Cocoa or accent the sweet and tart notes of your dried fruit bark with Green Mountain Coffee® Wild Mountain Blueberry® coffee—after eating so many cookies you’ll need a little coffee to wake yourself up anyways. 

Café Escapes® Chai Latte or India Spice Chai Tea both make perfect complements to my personal favorite treat, molasses ginger cookies.  What is your favorite cookie and what would you pair it with?

Gathering around good food with great friends is my favorite way to rejoice in the season.  Create new memories with friends by sharing your family’s favorite cookie traditions and reminiscing about your past joyful holiday celebrations.

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Jamaica Blue Mountain® and 100% Kona: This Season’s Special Reserves

Calling all coffee connoisseurs (and the friends who buy them gifts). We are pleased to announce the arrival of two highly prized Special Reserve coffees from Green Mountain Coffee®: Jamaica Blue Mountain® and 100% Kona. This isn’t something for just the French Press folks, these limited edition coffees are available in K-Cup® packs as well as bags. Both package options come with an informational brochure and are specially designed to make an elegant gift presentation.

Here’s a taste of each unique variety.

Jamaica Blue Mountain® is a coffee that is world-renowned for its exceptional flavor. So much so, that coffee experts ask for it by name. It is a complex coffee that presents a cup of well-rounded contrasts. You’ll find rich notes of chocolate, cherry, and plum, while hints of melon, lemon, and lime also shine through. The body is heavy with a silky, smooth finish.

100% Kona is one of the world’s most prized, award-winning coffees. It is a cheerfully bright, but delicate coffee that expresses dry, Chardonnay-like notes while presenting refreshing hints of tropical fruit, tart green apple, and dried citrus. It’s incomparable aroma is pleasantly floral with an almond sweetness.

These coffees, as with all Green Mountain Coffee® Special Reserves, are nurtured on the small farms we encounter during journeys to familiar origins and emerging coffee regions. They are carefully sourced and expertly roasted to bring out the best in every bean.

They’re also limited in supply, so don’t wait too long to order them!

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A New Coffee Blend That’s a World-Traveler

 

 

Just in time for Fair Trade Month, Green Mountain Coffee® has introduced a new Fair Trade Certified™ coffee that brings together beans from three of the most distinctive coffee growing regions in the world. Introducing new, extra bold, medium roast, Three Continent Blend, a harmonious blend that’s not only great coffee for you, it’s helping provide a better quality of life for farmers on our source farms in Sumatra, South America, and Ethiopia.

Here’s how.

Fair Trade certification gives farmers a fair price for their beans with a guaranteed minimum, which means they can invest in their crops, their communities, and their future. Fair Trade also lets Green Mountain Coffee® and farmers work closely together to bring the best tasting coffee to market.

And because it’s Fair Trade Month, there’s all sorts of great stuff going on: savings on all Green Mountain Coffee® Fair Trade Certified™ coffees. And have you heard? Kelly Clarkson traveled to Peru as a Green Mountain Coffee® Fair Trade Ambassador to learn about Fair Trade and all the good it does around the world. You can check out her travelogue, including photos and video at www.choosefairtrade.com. And on October 10, you can watch an exclusive Kelly Clarkson concert live on Facebook. Learn more at www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCoffee.  

Our hope with all this exciting promotional work is that the next time you shop for coffee, you’ll consider choosing Fair Trade. It’s one of the easiest ways you can help make a positive difference in the world. So have your coffee…and feel good about it, too.

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The Best in Bad Poetry

International Bad Poetry Day

With keen anticipation for International Bad Poetry Day, we invited our employees to give us their best bad odes to coffee. We had a terrific response and selected our top 5 favorites. Let us know in the Comments if you find a special message hidden in “Vision Our View”!

And without further ado, here they are.

 

Nantucket

By Dan Bisbee

Packaging Controls Engineer

There once was a blend called Nantucket

That some folks drink by the bucket

They can’t get enough

Of that wonderful stuff

If you gave them a straw they would suck it.

 

Secret Pleasure

By Erik Volk

Technology Learning Leader

I enjoy strong, black coffee.

It’s a coffee snobber’s dream!

Never adding sugar,

Never adding cream.

 

However, recently I found myself

With a hidden secret vice.

Loading down my cup

With sugar, cold milk, and lots of ice.

I find it only happens

In the heat of summer sun.

I drink it only in the shadows

Away from everyone.

 

If I should be discovered,

With this sweet, icy, mellow drink,

I’ll swear it isn’t mine

And quickly dump it down the sink.

 

Vision Our View

By Mark Rivers

Machine Operator, Essex Plant

The ways to brew and ways to get through…morning, noon, and night

Vision a revision of the caffeinated religion, with a new hope in sight

Of a world that blends and never ends, countless portioned possibilities

Green and lean for an environmental dream, showing our Earth no hostility

Mountain to valley, Main Street to alley, no roads dare we not trek

Coffee first led, now more beverages spread, for every category to check

Roasters power at any given hour, meticulously fine-tuned

Is the way we show and continue to grow, and prepare the world to be groomed

To understand what is at hand, a beverage for every taste

Be it breakfast, lunch, an emergency brunch, or an evening face-to-face

The occasion matters not, nor does the plot, with convenience and technology’s best

Leading the revolution of the beverage fusion, above and beyond the rest

Specialty blends are setting the trends, so perfect and expertly pearled

Beverage is the key to the way it will be, brewing a better world

Company of greatness standing on high…Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

 

Aroma

By Thomas Cominelli

Test Engineer, Brewer Engineering

Morning light breaks the night,

sky begins to glow.

Contemplating what’s ahead,

my feet are moving slow.

Green Mountain Coffee scents the air,

now nose and toes are leading.

With cup in hand I’ll make a stand

to end my palate’s pleading.

One sip to start, you’ve stolen my heart

but now I’m on my way.

My steps have spring, I start to sing

looking forward to a glorious day.

 

La Guatemalteca

By Luther Leake

Manager, R&D Innovation

A woman in coastal Guatemala

Picked coffee all day for a dolla.

But what she was paid

Increased with Fair Trade

And lifted her family from squala.

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Water: It’s a Matter of Good Taste

Celebrate National Water Quality Month by Treating your Keurig Brewer Right

It’s perhaps less well-known than Black History Month, but a little more relevant to most of us than National Celery Month (which apparently is March). That’s right, August is Water Quality Month!

At Green Mountain Coffee®, we have our own way of celebrating and improving our water through a series of river clean-ups in the communities in which we work. You can learn more about those great efforts here and this entire week!

But we also wanted to take a moment to share some ideas about getting the best out of your own water, specifically as it relates to your Keurig Brewed® beverages.

Did you know that your cup of coffee is over 98% water? So it stands to reason that the better the taste and quality of your water, the better your coffee will be. The same holds true for tea and cocoa (not to mention all those Brew Over Ice beverages like lemonade, iced tea, and fruit brews that are helping you chill out this summer).

When it comes to the water you choose for your brew, we suggest using clean, filtered water such as you would get from a tap or pitcher filter. While some mineral content helps to lend flavor and depth to your brews – for that reason, distilled water is not recommended – you don’t want to have an overabundance of minerals…or the wrong ones.  

OK, so you’ve got good tasting (and smelling) water, now you’ll want to make sure the inner-workings of your brewer are clean. Keurig® recommends de-scaling your brewer every 3-6 months depending on the hardness of your water. Don’t know how to de-scale? Here’s a quick video tutorial.

Once you’ve assured good water and a clean machine, the last 2% of getting a great cup is easy: just pick your favorite variety K-Cup® or Vue® pack and let your Keurig® brewer do its thing.

Oh, and if you have a chance to do something to help clean up the waterways in your community or to support water conservation programs here or abroad, think how much more satisfaction you’ll get from that great cup of coffee or tea. Learn more about water quality issues at www.nrdc.org/water.

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Want Better Taste? Add a Pinch of Ceremony.

I came across a story recently on NPR about a study soon to be published in the journal Psychological Science that considers the connection between ritual and food, specifically, what impact (if any) the act of conducting some kind of ritual before eating has on the level of enjoyment. Let me provide a sort of translation. Take your typical birthday ritual – the happy birthday song, the ceremonial cake set aglow with a candle representing each year – and consider whether the same cake would taste just as good without all the fanfare. It seems obvious that one would enjoy a slice of cake even more knowing it was created just for them on their “special day,” but what the researchers found was that introducing even a small ritualized action before consumption led their subjects to find their food to be tastier than those who didn’t employ a ritual. This was true not just for chocolate, but also for things like carrots.

The story made me consider my own rituals…at which point I realized I don’t have any. Sure, I have a cup of coffee every morning, but the timing of it varies, as does the variety (hey, I work for a coffee company, so I’ve got lots of options); I don’t have a favorite mug and I don’t say “Grace.” So I think this qualifies more as a habit. As for other areas of rituals in my life? Those seem to be more in line with superstitions, like the few words I mumble during take-off or landing when I’m traveling by plane.

Here’s the thing that’s interesting to me though. As someone who loves to cook, who selects the best possible ingredients, and employs the most appropriate techniques in order to enhance the flavor of my food, adding a psychological element that could help me enjoy the experience even more seems like a no brainer. I’m inclined to give it a try.

How about you? What are some of your rituals? Do you feel there’s a relationship between them and the enjoyment of your coffee or tea? Give a shout, I’d love to hear about them.

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Velvety French Vanilla Coffee Gelato Recipe

Green Mountain Coffee French Vanilla Coffee Gelato

Velvety texture.  Rich flavor. This isn’t your every day ice cream. When we developed this lusciously smooth recipe, we were shooting for something sophisticated. More crème brulee than candy. A rich, custardy vanilla that’s deep, exotic, and geared for grownup tastes. Now you can enjoy this richly satisfying flavor in a homemade gelato, made with the striking vanilla taste from our beloved French Vanilla. 

French Vanilla Coffee Gelato

Ingredients

One Green Mountain Coffee® French Vanilla Iced Coffee K-Cup® or Vue® pack, brewed on 4 oz. setting
1/2 cup sugar
2 2/3 cup milk - 2% or whole is best
2/3 cup heavy cream

Directions

Brew K-Cup® or Vue® pack on 4 oz setting.

Add sugar and stir until dissolved.  Allow to cool.

Add milk and cream to cooled coffee mixture. Stir well.

Add mixture to ice cream maker. Prepare according to directions provided with ice cream maker.

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Pucker Up: Top 3 Lemon Picks for Your Keurig Brewer

Green Mountain Naturals Lemonade

When life hands you lemons…make lemon iced tea!  Or rather, let us do that bit for you.  If you’re a lemon-head like me, addicted to pucker power and searching for citrus, you’re definitely in the right place with a Keurig® brewer.  There’s a bushel of lemon options to soothe your craving for a little tang this summer, whether you’re in search of a refreshing ice tea or a something a little sweeter. 

- Green Mountain Naturals® Lemonade – Who knew your brewer could be a lemonade stand?  Now you know!  A combination of sun-splashed, fresh-picked flavor and brewing ease. Plus, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.   

- Snapple® Lemon Iced Tea – The Best Stuff on Earth just made it into your brewer! Bright lemon flavor with green and black teas make this famous iced tea just what your taste buds expected – and all freshly brewed in your kitchen.

- Celestial Seasonings® Half & Half Perfect Iced Tea – Why should you have to choose between robust and smooth black tea and tangy, all-natural lemonade?  We don’t think you should.  “Teatime” with Half & Half!  

Chilling out has never been this easy. It's icy refreshment at the touch of a button.  Did we miss your favorite? Let us know!

 

 

SNAPPLE and MADE FROM THE BEST STUFF ON EARTH are registered trademarks of Snapple Beverage Corp., used by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. under license. © 2013 Snapple Beverage Corp. www.snapple.com

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Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend is Now Fair Trade Certified

We're committed to creating a higher quality of life for our coffee communities all over the world, and a better cup of coffee for you. That's why we're excited to announce that one of our best-selling and most loved coffees, Green Mountain Coffee® Nantucket Blend®, is now one hundred percent Fair Trade Certified™!

That’s right. One hundred percent fair trade!

This means approximately five million pounds of our coffee will switch to being fair trade this fiscal year alone!  That's almost $1 million in fair trade social premiums that go back to the farmers each year.  Named the world’s largest purchaser of Fair Trade coffees in 2010 and 2011, this is just another step in toward our commitment to support fair trade - and other opportunity to share the great quality and familiar tastes that a conversion of such a beloved coffee can do for fans!

Take part in our quest to do good and pop in a Fair Trade Nantucket Blend K-Cup® in your Keurig® brewer.  Brew a Better Day™!

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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®?

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Colombia Geisha, the first Special Reserve coffee for Keurig Brewers

Today marks a first for Green Mountain Coffee® Special Reserve.  For years we’ve offered exquisite, rare coffees in limited supply through our Special Reserve collection, but this marks the first time it is also available in K-Cup® packs for Keurig® brewers, and we couldn’t be more excited about it!  Introducing the latest Green Mountain Coffee Special Reserve, Colombia Geisha:

Green Mountain Coffee Special Reserve Colombia Geisha

I recently had the opportunity to visit the farm where this coffee is grown and to get a rare, first-hand glimpse into the process that is meticulously followed to bring you this amazing coffee.  I was astounded to learn of the care and dedication that is put into each step of growing, harvesting and processing this coffee.  For example, only the tiny plants in the nurseries with straight roots are used for growing the Geisha varietal.   The coffee cherry pickers are trained for four-twelve months to ensure only the best cherries are selected.  Plus, once harvested, the coffee is processed in a wet mill that is dedicated for Geisha and is then dried in a mechanical dryer so the flavors are preserved.   That’s a lot of extra care and consideration – which you can taste in every cup. 

While we were in Colombia at Finca Cerro Azul, we had the opportunity to go and cup a variety of coffees, and when I got to Sample #4, I had my ah-ha moment.  I instantly knew that the coffee I just tasted was this Special Reserve – it was no ordinary coffee.  This coffee is known for its sweet, dynamic citrus-like flavor profile.  As you sip it, it turns gently from honey to blood orange, with hints of juicy cherry, lime and orange blossoms

I’ll take a lot away from this trip, but the most important is that the coffee I sip on while getting ready each morning will never be seen as “just a cup of coffee” ever again!  I hope you enjoy this coffee as much as I do!

Colombia Geisha  is available online in whole bean bags and K-Cup®  packs, while supplies last, exclusively on www.GreenMountainCoffee.com and www.Keurig.com.

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Food from Source: Peru and Cuy

We’re quickly approaching cooking season here in the United States.  Between turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, we thought you'd like to hear about what some of our countries of origin for coffee eat to celebrate together.  Let's start with: Guinea Pigs in Peru, also known as cuy.

Jose Espiritu Pintado, President of Frontera de San Ignacio

Jose Espiritu Pintado, President of Frontera de San Ignacio

It’s estimated that 65 million cuy are eaten every year in Peru. High in protein and low in fat, they can be fried, grilled, or roasted. They don’t take up much space.  They taste like rabbit and/or chicken and reproduce like the former. They’re so important to the diet of small coffee farmers in remote areas in Peru (which is most of Peru) that we’re funding a food security project to help raise more cuy. In the picture is my first experience with cuy in the town of San Ignacio, Cajamarca, Peru, near the border with Ecuador. We were visiting one of our best suppliers of Fair Trade Organic Peru, Frontera de San Ignacio. Like any good meat, it goes great with potatoes.

What do you cook to celebrate time with your family and friends?

 

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Ask the Coffee Lab: Coffee Pairing

I always hear about pairing coffees with certain things.  Do some coffees taste better with certain foods?


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I was at a lecture years ago with the great Ken Davids, coffee genius, and he said he thought that people sort of over-did the  whole idea of pairing coffee with food and they end up feeling locked in and not being creative and spontaneous. That said, he thought that heavy foods went better with heavier coffees (like Dark Magic® or any of the extra bold coffees) and lighter food should go with lighter coffees. That should give you some broad ranges to work in, right? According to Ken, coffee works best with desserts.

That same conference, I attended another lecture by Timothy James Castle, a foodie and writer. He thought that were two best ways to pair: Contrast and resonance. Here are some examples right from my notes:


  • Dark chocolate goes with acid-y coffees like Guatemalans

  • Milk chocolate goes with  Sumatrans or Konas

  • Chicken Curry goes with a light roast coffee

  • Ribeye steak goes with dark roast Sumatran

  • Fruit compote goes high acid coffees


My favorite coffee and food pairing is taking a fresh cider donut and dipped into a cappuccino. It’s not exactly fine dining, but try it.  What do you like to pair?  So go forth and be creative and tell us what you find!

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Special Reserve, Guinea Pigs and Coffee Farmers

This post was written by Mary Beth Jenssen. Mary Beth works on our Supply-Chain Outreach Team.

Do you ever wonder what life is like for the farmer who works to produce the coffee you enjoy each morning? In our Supply Chain Outreach team, we focus on just that: supporting farmers and their families to meet their fundamental human needs.Cuy at La Preperidad

One year ago marked the start of a GMCR-supported project with CAC La Prosperidad coffee cooperative in northern Peru (which is currently our Special Reserve Coffee). The project focused on raising guinea pigs – yes those cute, furry rodents that we all know and love – for consumption to improve the diets and income of the cooperative members. The project, managed by the cooperative’s Women’s Committee, benefits many of the cooperatives 391 members. Year one of these efforts recently concluded and the Committee reported on how this project has changed food security in their community.

A Snapshot of Growth:

La Presperidad Cooperative Member holding Guinea Pig

Day One: 48 guinea pigs (40 female, 8 male)
Day 60: 70 guinea pigs (60 female, 10 male)
Day 365: 350 guinea pigs cared for by the cooperative and 10 individual coffee-farming families
Goal: 800 guinea pigs

As the number of guinea pigs (or Cuy as it is called in Peru) continues to grow, members are able to consume some of this meat every 15 days. Adding this small amount of guinea pig meat to their meals enables many to achieve and maintain a healthier, more balanced diet that counters nutritional deficiencies and diseases that result from poor nutrition.

Another benefit from these guinea pigs? It may be hard to believe, but the cooperative collects 33 pounds, 15 kilos, of guinea pig manure each day which is incorporated into their fertilizer production. Not only are the members able to use this fertilizer on their own land, but the cooperative is also able to sell the product to other community members and nearby organizations. The profit from this activity could sustain the guinea pig project into the future and may even to support other new activities.

In case you are concerned about the well-being of the guinea pig, I should mention that the members work to provide the upmost care by creating housing units using materials best suited for the safety and comfort of the guinea pigs. Additionally, each guinea pig unit has a caretaker charged with ensuring they are well-

Special Reserve Coffee La Presperidad

fed, hydrated, healthy and safe, which may even include visits to a veterinarian. As a result of this excellent care, members will be able to achieve improved diets and profitability fromthis project into the future.

Now, the next time you sit down to sip your Special Reserve La Prosperidad Peru you may end up thinking about the food best suited to pair with it. Perhaps it won’t be your morning bagel, but something a bit more unusual. Grilled guinea pig perhaps? I hear it tastes great when sprinkled with a bit of cumin.

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Why I drink Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve

Sometimes it all aligns just right, know what I mean?

Like when I prepare a plate of fresh eggs, over-easy, atop soft whole grain bread, with a few thick slices of extra sharp cheddar thrown in for good measure. I slather the whole pile in one of the many fiery hot sauces that live on the little shelf on the inside of my refrigerator door (my favorite is that thick goopy one, a foreboding concoction of peppers, vinegar and danger - you know the one, with the rooster on the label and the writing I can’t read - it’s like bottled volcano), and prepare to tuck in.

Maybe fat drops of rain are serenading me with their mellow drum beats on the skylight, or maybe a sleepy sun is just starting to slant through the crooked window frame. Maybe I’ve got Lucinda Williams on the stereo, or the Hold Steady, or whatever that particular morning calls for. The air is heavy with the mingled aromas of breakfast, the best component of which is the unmistakable soothing smell of freshly brewed Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve coffee.  Because it’s a Fair Trade coffee, I feel good about drinking it. But this is no sympathy selection, for though the supply chain is considered at every turn, the quality is outstanding. The coffee is rich, smooth and alluringly satisfying. And black as night (please stop putting cream and sugar in your coffee, trust me on this one).

I take a humongous bite, and feel a smile coming on. Then, as the egg and cheese fight for taste buds, and that crazy hot sauce starts electrifying my gums, I take a long pull off that hot black coffee and let all the flavors blissfully collide. It’s like what Fair Trade means to me – achievable harmony, a happy union.

Like I said, sometimes it all aligns just right.

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Green Mountain Coffee spotted at the Empire Grill

Shortly after we discovered the literary debut of our French Vanilla in Tick Tock, it was revealed by our studio audience that Green Mountain Coffee has made appearances at the printing press before.

This, ladies and gentleman, equally flabbergasted and excited our team.

Take, for example, Empire Falls, the story of a small town in Maine fighting the loss of industry that had once made it boom.  The story is told by Miles Roby, the manager of the Empire Grill, as he struggles not only with the town’s deteriorating condition, but the condition of his own, broken family.  Now, turn to page 28…

“You know what you need in here, Big Boy?” Walt called from down at his end of the counter.  …


“What’s that, Walt?”  Miles signed, filling salt shakers at mid-counter.


“You need to stop with this swill and start serving Green Mountain Coffee.”


[…]


“I bet you couldn’t pass a blind taste test,” said Horace, who usually took Mile’s part in these disputes, especially since Miles appeared reluctant to defend himself against the relentless assaults on his personal philosophy.


“You kidding?  Green Mountain Coffee?  Night-and-day difference,” Walt said.


Okay, so Walt doesn’t exactly come across as the coolest dude here, but to make it into the pages of a Richard Russo novel that won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (and was adapted into a series that won a  Golden Globe for best mini-series) certainly falls under our  “coolest” category.

Have you seen Green Mountain Coffee crop up in your favorite novel?  We’d love to know!

Content and cover copyright of James Richard Russo and Random House, Inc.

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Island Coconut Chicken Curry Recipe

It's the first day of summer and you know what that means?  A new, mouthwatering recipe from the mind of Amber of Bluebonnets & Brownies.  She's brought us two scrumptious coffee-strewn desserts and now... now she helps us answer the age-old question: What's for dinner?

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Last time, I went over the top sweet with Wild Mountain Blueberry® Coffee Pound Cake. Now, there's nothing in the world wrong with sweet, delicious baked goods - but when you're talking about Fair Trade Island Coconut® Coffee, a sweet dessert just seemed a little too obvious to me.

I decided I should challenge myself, and you, by turning Island Coconut into a savory dish. Island Coconut is such a fun coffee flavor. We enjoy it around here as the perfect finish to a meal, practically dessert in a coffee cup. So turning it into a dinner ingredient just upped the ante on one of my favorite Green Mountain Coffee flavors.

Folks, I like to think just maybe I hit this one out of the proverbial ballpark. Whether you've ever had Indian food before or not, I implore you to try making this dish. The majority of the ingredients will be familiar to you, and once you've added curry powder to your spice cabinet, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Island Coconut Chicken Curry is best served over Basmati or Long Grain white rice, with a side of Naan bread. Naan is a pillowy flat bread native to Indian cuisine. You can usually find it in your grocer's bakery area, but if you can't, feel free to substitute some freshly made tortillas. I certainly won't tell!

You can make this curry as directed in a dutch oven or large saute pan, or use a slow cooker for an incredibly easy weeknight dinner.

In the recipe below, I've linked to where you can find the two curry powders I used. You should also be able to find a variety of curry powders in your local spice store, and at least one variety is usually carried at major grocery chains. You're welcome to change up the style of curry powders if you like more heat.  The two I used are fairly mild, and work incredibly well with coconut, which, after all, is the star of this show.

Island Coconut Chicken Curry


Serves 4

 

1 medium onion (about 1/2 cup), diced
1 large red pepper (about 3/4 cup), diced
4-6 cloves of garlic
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
4 oz half and half or plain yogurt (I used half and half)
6 oz freshly brewed, hot Green Mountain Island Coconut coffee (I used the smallest setting on my Keurig)
1 tbsp maharajah curry powder
2 tbsp rogan josh curry powder
1/2 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive or canola oil
1 1/2 lbs. skinless chicken breast or thighs, diced into 1" cubes
1 cup frozen diced okra
fresh cilantro for garnish

Place onion, red pepper, garlic, tomato paste, coffee, cream or yogurt, both curry powders, chili flakes, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender. Pulse to combine until you have a semi-smooth sauce.

In a large frying pan or dutch oven, heat oil on high. Add chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow to brown for 10-15 minutes, stirring often.

Add okra pieces to the pan, and cover with curry sauce. Allow to simmer, covered, on low to medium heat for 30-40 minutes, giving the flavors time to combine. Stir every 10 minutes or so.

If making in a slow cooker, cook on low for 6-8 hours or 4 hours on high.

Serve over rice, and garnish with fresh cilantro.

 

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Donate your Tweets to Fair Trade

We love Ben & Jerry’s and it really shouldn’t be surprising why:



  1. They’re our neighbors in Waterbury! (Hi, folks!)

  2. They make the best ice cream we’ve ever tasted. (If you’ve never bellied up to a pint of  Coffee HEATH® Bar Crunch, you have not lived.)

  3. They’re on a mission, committed to sourcing every possible ingredient from Fair Trade producers by the end of 2013!




    So, with that in mind, we’re really excited to share something they’ve been working on: Fair Tweets!


    Today, May 3, Ben & Jerry's is launching a "Fair Tweets" campaign to rally awareness of Fair Trade and World Fair Trade Day (May 14) on Twitter.  By tweeting via fairtweets.com, Twitter users will be able to attach messages about Fair Trade to the tweets they're already sending.

    How does this work? It’s easy:

    As you know, a tweet can be up to 140 characters long.  However, most tweets are actually only 40 characters, on average.  Fair Tweets will put the "unused" characters in those tweets to good use, committing them to Fair Trade awareness.

    After joining, you’ll simply write a tweet as usual, but will see a new message about Fair Trade added in the leftover space at the end.  If only a few characters are available, this may be a short, simple message such as “support #Fairtrade”; if more characters are available, this could include a more detailed message and a link to a Fair Trade-related webpage.

    For example, a tweet such as “I'm going to walk the dog” has only 25 characters. When posted by a Fair Tweets participant, the leftover characters would automatically become a message about Fair Trade, so that the full tweet might say, “I'm going to drink some coffee | #Fairtrade products pay producers fair wages for their work.  World Fair Trade Day is May 14: http://ow.ly/4u3fI.”

    What say, you our favorite, caffeinated crew?  Will you to help get the word out about Fair Trade by making every tweet count?

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    Ask the Coffee Lab: How Should I Store My Coffee?

    "Should I store my beans in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer? I've heard a few different theories. What do GMCR experts say?"


    - Steven on our Facebook Page

    --

    Great question - and one that we get a lot. Of course, the easy answer is to start buying K-Cup® portion packs and not worry about it – they’re already sealed from coffee’s worst enemies: air, light, heat, and moisture. That's one of the reasons they're so popular. That said, I only grind and brew coffee in my house, so I'm in your camp: How do I best store my coffee?

    The answer is really quite simple. I grabbed one of our bags of coffee off the shelf in the coffee lab and looked for guidance. Our humble 10/12 ounce bag says:


    "Store in an airtight container, away from heat, direct sunlight, and moisture.”




    See? Simple. If you protect your coffee from air, heat, light, and moisture, you’re golden.  However, if you want to get a little more detailed, there are only a few more things to add.

    When you store your beans, there’s no need to take them out of the bag by pouring them into the container. An unopened bag, stored away from heat, sun, and moisture will last a long time (in fact, we guarantee it for 9-months).

    Then there’s oxygen. Of coffee’s worst enemies, Oxygen is the ringleader.  The oxidization process stales the coffee, so an airtight container is your best option to elude this fierce predator. Moisture is oxygen’s right hand man – and your next opponent.  Best way to beat it: Don’t put your coffee in the refrigerator! The refrigerator is a moisture haven and is highly discouraged for coffee storage. That old tuna casserole will spoil a nice cup of coffee any day.

    “But what about the freezer? I always put my coffee in the freezer,” you say.  The freezer is a great place to store unopened bags of coffee, but removing and refreezing an opened bag only helps the oxidization process (staling) along since the coffee is exposed to oxygen and moisture in the form of condensation (two of the big coffee enemies) each and every time you open the freezer door.

    It's helpful to use the fish analogy when it comes to coffee storage. A nice brook trout you caught on a Saturday morning will be great for dinner Saturday night. If you're going to eat it Sunday night, you'd better put it in the refrigerator (or, in coffee’s case, an airtight container away from heat, sunlight, and moisture). If you want to save it for Christmas (say, 6-months away), you'd better freeze it. It won't taste as good as it did that same day you caught it, but it will still be tasty.

    Here are a few easy tips about keeping your coffee as fresh as possible:



    • Only buy and open what you can brew in a week to fend off coffee's worst enemies, see below.

    • Oxygen is bad for coffee; airtight containers are ideal.

    • Light, moisture, and humidity are bad for coffee; Dark, dry places are good for coffee.

    • The refrigerator is bad for coffee; the freezer is okay for unopened bags of coffee.



    Follow these tips as much as you can.   In the end, just drink good coffee and enjoy!

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