Coffee Flavors

Easter Baskets

 

I love an excuse anytime of year to give and receive treats, especially when they are packaged up ever so sweetly in a basket of sorts.  This year, I’m thinking outside of the “basket” and hoping for some alternative treats to those oh-so-delicious chocolate bunnies…or scratch that, I’ll take one of those, too!

What I’m hoping for in my basket this year:

A box of my favorite flavored coffee

A Keurig® K10 Mini Brewer, in White

Keurig® Café One-Touch Milk Frother – this accessory is awesome, and gives you your favorite café-style beverage right at home!

Chocolate, any flavor, any shape, any kind

A new mug, because my favorite just got a crack in it!

Some new baking sheets, so I can keep making these kinds of treats

And a new pair of running shoes so I can finish my marathon in some fresh kicks

 

I know, this sounds more like a Christmas list to Santa, but I’ll leave it at that, and hope for at least some chocolate.

 

What will be in your Easter baskets this year?

 

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Maple Round Up

 

Maple isn't just a word, a tree, or a flavor; it’s a way of life.  The sweet life, that is.  As the temperatures sink below zero at night and rise to Spring-like levels in the daytime, you can almost hear the sap begin to flow down the lines and into the sugar house. 

And with that sound, our desire to coat most things on the menu in pure maple syrup goes up exponentially.  There’s nothing like the thick, concentrated liquid, whether you’re a traditionalist and pour it over a short stack of fluffy pancakes or more of an innovator and marinate chicken in it for the barbie.  If we have a choice of maple-applications, it would come down to these three recipes:

 

How do you treat your “liquid gold?”  

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Cheers to Health & Wellness

 

 

February is a month of runny noses, ice cold hands, and the anticipation of Snow Days for the kids! Don't let the winter blues get you down, however, and brew a cup of one of our Wellness Brewed™ packs.

If you’re looking for antioxidants to the max, we suggest Celestial Seasonings® Antioxidant Max™ Green Tea Blackberry Pomegranate Tea. This K-Cup® pack is bursting with fruity flavor as well as giving you the extra boost you need during those cold winter days.

If you’re craving a twist of orange, our Celestial Seasonings® Antioxidant Max™ Green Tea Blood Orange Star Fruit Tea K-Cup® pack is the perfect fit for you! You will love the tanginess from the oranges paired with the exotic flavors of the star fruit. 

If you’d rather get your healthy antidotes via coffee, have no fear! Our Green Mountain Coffee® Focus Blend® and Antioxidant Blend® K-Cup® Coffees are both calling your name. Our Focus Blend® Coffee gives you a rich, well-balanced brew, for all the craziness in your day-to-day routine. Our Antioxidant Blend® serves up Vitamin C and E as well as notes of sweet brown sugar and toasted nuts, to leave you feeling satisfied.

Our Vitamin Burst® Strawberry Pomegranate and Acai Berry K-Cup® Packs are both high in antioxidants and flavor! You will love the delicious fruit brew that both of these varieties give you. They are a great option for a crisp refreshment for our warmer days ahead!

So go ahead, relax, and grab a cup of Wellness Brewed™. 

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Mocha Cake Recipe


 

Looking for a new decadent and delicious dessert to bake this weekend? Look no further than our Mocha Cake! Chocolate and caramel make such a divine combination and your taste buds will surely thank you. So, next time you have a get together, try this Mocha Cake.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Caramel Flavored Coffee K-Cup® or Vue® pack, brewed at 8-ounce cup size setting*

Powdered sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, and coca into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl, combine vanilla, vinegar, oil, and coffee. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour batter into an 8 x 8 ungreased cake pan. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

*We suggest either Cafe Escapes Cafe Caramel K-Cup® or Vue®pack or Green Mountain Coffee Caramel Vanilla Cream K-Cup® or Vue® pack 

Makes 9 Servings. Enjoy! 

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Highlighting our Keurig Brewing Systems

It's true: We have something for everyone. Whether or not you are a cappuccino fanatic, or savor your cup of coffee or even like to indulge in a creamy chai latte we have a beverage for every taste and occasion. To match that we offer a killer line-up of brewing systems that will delight and inspire you to brew what you love to drink.  For me, I have recently become a huge fan of the Keurig® Rivo® Cappuccino & Latte system, and I have also fallen in love with the Keurig® Mini Plus brewers that come in almost every color you could hope for. 

 

 

The Keurig® Rivo® brewer is a sleek, compact and stylish machine that can create cappuccinos, lattes and iced lattes with ease. The first time I used it I was amazed at how easily I could create a cappuccino that for so long had only be available to me outside of my home. It brought to life the reality that, yes, I can have specialty coffee beverages at home nearly in an instant. To add to that, I had fun experimenting with the flavored syrups and dreaming up combinations of vanilla, caramel and chocolate all in one.

 

 

I recently moved in with my fiancé, and combining all our “stuff” was a challenge – why in the world did we need 2 sets of white dinner plates, bowls and salad plates? Clearing out and making space was a challenge, except when I came time to finding a space for my Keurig® Mini Plus brewer.  This little guy not only is adorable and comes in super fashionable colors (Hello, Radiant Orchid, Fashion color of the year?!), but is a welcome appliance on our counter that doesn’t take up too much space, all while being a workhorse when it comes to brewing my daily morning coffee.  

 

Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System

 

Last but not least there is the Keurig® Vue® V700 Brewing System for all of you in between folks who love their coffee, but also want the option to brew delicious café beverages and specialty drinks with ease.  This machine packs it all into one, while also giving you the option to brew hotter, brew bigger, and brew stronger

Don’t forget that almost all (minus Rivo) of our brewing systems also come models that are perfect for the work place.

No matter what your taste, both in style and beverage we have something to help delight and inspire you to brew!

 

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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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Happy National Hot Tea Month!

 

 

As we’re well into the winter months, it is reassuring to know we have a little something called tea to keep us cozy throughout those icy days and blizzard-like nights. Tea is the sister to coffee and I’m sure there have been many fights over what brings the heat as far as the hot drink of choice.

Personally, there is something to be said about tea. Lighter on the palate and, although it doesn't have that caffeinated one-two punch, it certainly soothes the soul.

So, when you finally do find yourself craving that perfect balance of warmth and flavor, the next journey would be to drink your way through those different types of teas to decipher your favorite.

If you're looking to unwind for the day and get to bed at a decent hour, you may be quick to grab a cup of Celestial Seasonings® Sleepytime® K-Cup® Herbal Tea or  Celestial Seasonings® Decaf Green Tea K-Cup® Tea , infused with white tea.

If you want that exotic feeling and are trying to escape to an international getaway, Celestial Seasonings® Mandarin Orange Spice® K-Cup® Tea or Celestial Seasonings® India Spice Chai K-Cup® Tea  may be your one-way ticket to another time and place.

If you’re looking to visit your friends across the pond, Tetley® Tea British Blend Decaf Tea or Bigelow® English Breakfast Tea K-Cup® Pack could be what you really fancy, my darling!

So, let’s have a toast to all our tea drinkers and our favorite tea K-Cup packs! Here’s to National Hot Tea Month! Pinky up! (Too much?) 

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A Blog Year in Review: Behind the Scenes of The Family of Brands Blog


It’s beyond me how quickly 2013 came and went. It seems like just yesterday I was wearing shorts and was able to run outside without piling on the layers, and breathing in the fresh lilacs in my yard…ahhh…

This past year has been an amazing array of sweets and treats, and special visitors. As the photographer and baker for many of our posts I have had the pure joy of taking it all in from behind the scenes – both by sampling and baking a spread of cookies for our cookie swap, and taking part in a coffee tasting with farmers from Colombia and truly being able to see the phrase “From Tree to Cup” come to life.

It’s hard for me to pick just one highlight of 2013, but here are five of my top posts from the year. I chose them not only for the fun I had making all the treats and photographing them, but for the inspiration I gained from seeing how our brewers, beverages and products can come to life in a new way! 

 

1:  Velvety French Vanilla Coffee Gelato. Creamy, Velvety, and delicious!

2: Infused Ice Cubes.  Genius really. Double the flavor and impact by freezing your favorite brew.

3: Barista Prima Caffe Rouge.  Who knew such an odd combination could be so perfectly paired.

4. Strawberry Basil Lemonade Granita. This had to be the most refreshing, quick and easy dessert.

5. Last but not least was Spooky Treats Part II.  Wowzer that cake is good.

 

I’m looking forward to what this New Year brings! I’m dreaming up new recipes and ideas, as well as challenging myself with some new years resolutions. I can’t wait to ring in 2014! Cheers!

 

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Volunteering with Stop Hunger Now

Volunteerism is a key element of the culture at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR). We want our employees to feel engaged and volunteerism is one critical means of accomplishing that goal. Together, our Company and our people can make a difference within our communities, while simultaneously benefiting our business as a whole.

We incorporate volunteerism into events like our annual Employee Appreciation Day. This year, employees at three of our locations volunteered during employee appreciation events to package meals with a national non-profit, Stop Hunger Now.  Employees worked in teams to package meals that will be sent to hungry children and families all over the world.  The teams filled bags with food items, weighed them, added or removed rice to get them to a specific weight, sealed them, and carefully packaged them in boxes. Stop Hunger Now’s meal program perfected the assembly process that combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf-life of two years and transports quickly. Stop Hunger Now works with international partners that ship and distribute the meals in-country.

216 GMCR employees helped package more than 65,000 meals during the three events. Employees whose volunteer shifts were over stayed for second shifts and their enthusiasm and hard work were noticed by the Stop Hunger Now staff. 

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Limited Edition Holiday Coffees Bring in the Season

There are certain flavors that signal the beginning of the holiday season.  Warm cardamom.  Rich nutmeg.   Spicy cinnamon and ginger.  Each spice is distinct, but when their aromas waft through the kitchen? Do they bring back a wave of strong, joyful feelings of why we love this time of year so very much, or what?  Why can’t it be this time of year all year long?

Let the nostalgia begin, because our Limited Edition Holiday coffees are back and still packed with all the flavors of the season that you love.

Our Gingerbread coffee is delicious holiday treat that captures the flavors and aromas of fresh-baked gingerbread, just out of the oven. Spicy Eggnog has the rich nutmeg and creamy flavor of a traditional holiday eggnog served with a dash of cinnamon spice. Each sip is an invitation to relive joyful holiday celebrations and to create new memories- maybe even starting a new tradition with Gingerbread Coffee Whoopie pies?

Happy holiday sipping!

 

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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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Apple vs Pumpkin Throwdown

In Vermont, fall is short but ever glorious and for me brings with it the joy of wardrobe layers, piles of leaves and of course a buffet of yummy fall treats that descend upon me in various ways.  Two of the most distinct flavors of the season are crisp apples and plump pumpkins.  These two ingredients weave their way into an endless list of baked goods and beverages. 

To start out, I think pumpkin and I started out on the wrong foot. From a young age, pumpkin has always meant pumpkin pie, enjoyed only at Thanksgiving and served with a pig pile of whipped cream to mask any sort of notion that what I was being served was actually a healthy dessert  (even though that fact is debate-able with all that sugar and whipped cream on top!).  I didn’t love the flavor until I started seeing its versatility in other goods, such as scones, muffins, and Green Mountain Coffee’s Pumpkin Spice Coffee.  Recently, I decided to try a Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake recipe with the idea of celebrating National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day on October 21st. The results were ridiculously good and I’m proud to say near perfect for my second time ever making cheesecake and my gosh, is it a long-winded project! (I joked to my coworkers I had a “cheesecake baby” the night before, as I was setting my alarm and waking up every two hours to check on the thing “resting” in the oven). But trust me, it was all worth it. 

My first real love though for pie and baked goods has always been with apples. Apples are so versatile in beverages (Hot Apple Cider, Cold Cider, Apple Juice), let alone in baked goods.  My favorite thing ever this time of year is apple pie, an apple crisp pie to be exact.  Something about peeling, coring and rolling apple slices in sugar, spices and baking them with a heavenly amount of butter, flour and sugar (and sometimes oatmeal) crumbled on top is so so satisfying.  I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert.

As hard as it is to compare the two flavors, the winner overall came head to head in my Apple Pie vs. Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake throw down and the winner undoubtedly was the cheesecake.  Somehow the pumpkin combined with the cheese, sugar and spices hit all the right notes, savory, sweet and not overly heavy.  All of those ingredients combined just seemed to whop the simple, but delicious apple pie.  Maybe it was my mood that day, or the inordinate amount of time I’d spent baking the cheesecake, but it really was obvious to me (and my coworkers I might add! who were dying for me to hurry up and finish my photo shoot so they could eat them) that the cheesecake “took the cake”. 

Now, what are you favorite flavors of the fall season?

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Barista Beef Stew Recipe

 

We all know how much turkey we ate during Thanksgiving, and now, as we come upon Christmastime and other major holidays, we know we will indulge in  ham, pork, and, do we dare say again, even more turkey? And so, we’ve been trying to counter that poultry malaise with a slew of other dinner options. We have one more for the month: Barista Beef Stew!  A one pot meal, beef stew sticks to your ribs, fills you up, and warms you all over. No wonder cowboys make it on the trail.  Being who we are, we had to add a little of Barista Prima® Italian Roast coffee to the mix, which helps to bring out the flavor of the mushrooms and thyme. Cowboy, meet barista.

Barista Beef Stew

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 Barista Prima Italian Roast K-Cup® or Vue® pack, brewed at 8-oz. setting
  • 1 14-oz. can beef broth
  • 12-oz. whole button or cremini mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, minced

 

Directions

Heat large Dutch oven and add 1 Tablespoon oil. Cook beef in two batches, browning on all sides.  Transfer to bowl or plate.  Add remaining oil to Dutch oven along with onions, garlic, and thyme.

Cook, stirring, 5-minutes or until softened.  Add wine, coffee and broth, scrapping up brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Transfer the beef and accumulated juices back to the Dutch oven and add mushrooms and bay leaf.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1-hour.

Add carrots and simmer, covered, 30-minutes or until beef is tender.  Stir in peas and parsley and cook for 5-minutes or until cooked through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Salted Caramel Coffee Recipe

 

There are few things more alluring than the perfect combination of sweet and salty.  A sugar rush with a saltine kick.  Pretzels and chocolate.  Peanuts and marshmallows.  Caramel and sea salt.   Ah, yes, the proverbial salted caramel.  The buttery, sticky confection ripe with scattered bursts of salt crystals.  Of course, the sticky-factor has been known to cause trouble for my pearly whites – hence the idea to incorporate all the flavors of salted caramel into a warm, indulgent coffee drink.  Sip on this beauty – heaped with whipped cream, of course – after a short rib dinner, and just...drift away.

Salted Caramel Coffee

Serves 1

Ingredients

 

Directions

In large mug, mix cocoa powder and caramel sauce until smooth.  Brew coffee into mug, add milk and stir to combine.  Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and a pinch of sea salt.  Indulge.

 

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Coffee Braised Short Ribs Recipe

 

The word you’re looking for is tender, my friends.  Succulent.  Juicy.  Melt-in-your-mouth, shut-the-front-door, where-have-you-been-all-my-life? tender.   At least, that’s what our tasting crew here on the blog came up with to describe these coffee braised short ribs.  Give this recipe a try with Coffee People® Black Tiger coffee for an extra stripe of earthy flavor. Bold Coffee. Bold Personality.  Bold (tender) ribs. Eat on.

Coffee Braised Short Ribs

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs. short ribs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 Extra Bold Coffee K-Cup® or Vue® pack, brewed at 8-oz. setting

Directions

Preheat oven to 325° F. Season short ribs with salt and pepper.  Heat Dutch oven large enough to hold all the ribs in one layer over medium-high heat.  Add oil; when warm, add ribs a few at a time and brown on all sides.  Transfer ribs to plate.

Remove all but 1 Tablespoon of rendered fat from the Dutch oven.  Add onions and carrots and cook for 5-minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add tomato paste and cook 1-minute, stirring.  Pour wine and coffee into the Dutch oven.  Cook over high heat, scrapping up brown bits on the bottom of the Dutch oven, for 1-minute.  Return ribs to the Dutch oven.  Note that ribs will not be completely covered with liquid.

Transfer Dutch oven to preheated over.  Cook until ribs are tender, for about 2 ½ hours.  Turn ribs over halfway through cooking time. Uncover and cook until ribs fall apart, about 30-minutes more. 

Strain sauce into heatproof measuring cup and skim off fat.  Serve ribs with sauce.

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Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Chili Recipe

Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Chili

Chilly temperatures call for spicy chili.  But not just any chili – a wham-bam, ka-pow style chili thanks to a special ingredient: coffee.  Oh, but not just any coffee: French Roast.  The mother of all coffees – the deepest, darkest, most intense roast out there.  French Roast brings a strong, smoky flavor to the party that enhances anything it touches, including spice.  And this chili has spice thanks to our good friends: chili powder and chipotle.   Throw together a pot of this chili and prepare for your football/track meet/lazy Sunday experience to be turned up to 11. 

Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Chili

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1 French Roast Coffee K-Cup® or Vue® pack, brewed at 8-oz setting
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
  • 3 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Grated Vermont cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh chives to garnish, as desired

 

Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Chili

 

Directions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and pepper and cook until tender and beginning to turn golden, about 8- to 10-minutes.

Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin.  Cook 1-minute.  Add tomatoes, coffee, and chipotle.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and salt.  Bring mixture to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 30-minutes.  Season to taste with additional salt, if necessary.  Garnish with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chives, if desired.

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Ask The Coffee Lab: Does Coffee Really Have More Sensory Notes Than Wine?

Does coffee really have more sensory notes than wine? What does that do? 

Did you know Oenophilia is the love of wine and an oenophile is someone who loves wine? You would  think there would be an equivalent word for coffee lovers, but there isn’t. I mentioned this to one of my co-workers at cupping this morning and she said maybe we should just be called jittery.

While there are the known pharmacological effects of coffee, does it have more sensory notes than wine? It’s definitely cheaper. One bottle of $10 wine has 4 servings, whereas $10 worth of coffee might have 30 servings and even after 4 or 5 servings of coffee, you can still operate heavy machinery or drive home legally. Try that on wine. 

Supposedly coffee has 500 taste and aromatic components and wine ‘only’ has 300-400. It’s rare to see a list of all the components in either of them, and sadly, I’m not much of oenophile (it’s the driving home thing!) Coffee is a little different in that the raw product, the already complex green bean, is subjected to 400+ degree heat and greatly altered (for the better). For further reading, check out the Maillard Reaction.

It’s easy for me to say that having more complexity and more sensory notes would mean more taste, flavor and enjoyment, but that’s crazy talk. Wine is amazing too. They’re both remarkable beverages that start on farms all over the world. We humans have been growing coffee and grapes for wine for thousands of years, and its been strictly for enjoyment. My advice? Drink coffee every morning and during the day and have some wine with a nice cheese plate and crackers.

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Vermont Country Blend Cranberry Maple Bread

 
Do you love Autumn? I have to tell you, I do. Every year, when the leaves start to turn and the air gets even the tiniest nip of cool, I suddenly feel more alive. 
 
Autumn has always been my favorite season, and a lot of it has to do with everything that Vermont is known for: good coffee, maple syrup and sugar, and great bread courtesy of King Arthur Flour.
 
I wanted to celebrate everything I love about Vermont with this Vermont Country Blend® Cranberry Maple Bread recipe, because Vermont Country Blend is one of my favorite Green Mountain Coffees, and because - well, because Vermont should be celebrated! 
 
It's a wonderful place to visit, full of hidden notches of beautiful trees, and artisan goods around every turn. It's this time of year that my husband and I return to Stowe and Waterbury, where Green Mountain Coffee® is based. We indulge in apple cider donuts, fresh ice cream, wine, good cheese, and Green Mountain Coffee at Waterbury's train station in the few-mile-stretch that runs between Stowe and Waterbury. It's an adventure in culinary heights. 
 
I can imagine this bread being served for breakfast or tea time at one of the many bed and breakfasts along that road in Vermont, too. It's the perfect way to start the day or take a rest before you head out on your next foray into Vermontitude. 
 
I used dried cranberries, but I think it would be just as good with fresh. When they come into season, make it again!
 

Vermont Country Blend Cranberry Maple Bread

makes one Bundt pan sized loaf, about 16 slices

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups (10 oz) room temperature Vermont Country Blend Coffee (brew a 12 oz cup, as you will need a bit more for the filling)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons maple sugar (granulated sugar or brown sugar can be substituted if necessary)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature Vermont Country Blend Coffee
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons room temperature Vermont Country Blend Coffee (from the dough ingredients)
  • 1 cup dried or 3/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries

For the Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or 2 tablespoons regular milk

Maple Sugar for garnish

Directions

  1. Beat butter and sugar together on medium high speed in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy (or use a hand mixer to accomplish the same). Add coffee, yeast, egg, vanilla extract and salt to the bowl and beat again until well combined.  
  2. In a separate bowl, combine nonfat dry milk, cornstarch, all purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour. Whisk together to combine and aerate, then add to the wet ingredients in the stand mixer bowl.
  3. Using a dough hook, combine the ingredients on the lowest setting, letting mix until well combined. You will have a very sticky dough. Do not add more flour.
  4. Place the dough in a large bowl sprayed with cooking spray, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise until almost double in size. If you have the time, allow it to rise in the refrigerator overnight. The flavors that develop are much deeper. 
  5. After the first rise, spread and pat the dough out onto a flat, greased surface (if you have a silpat or bread kneading mat, use it here. If not, spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and spread on that). Once flat, make the filling ingredients.
  6. Combine the filling ingredients except cranberries together in a bowl, stirring until you have a crumbly mixture. Spread the filling over the dough, then sprinkle with cranberries. 
  7. Starting with the shorter side of the dough, roll slowly into a log, and pinch the seam together. 
  8. Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray, then cut the log into 10 or 12 equal pieces, arranging them around the Bundt pan so that they touch and overlap a bit.
  9. Cover the pan with an overturned bowl, and allow the dough to rise for 15 to 30 minutes, until puffy. 
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F. When the dough is ready, remove the overturned bowl and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. 
  11. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then overturn onto a cooling rack or plate to finish cooling. 
  12. Just before serving, make your glaze by combining the ingredients in a small bowl with a whisk. When you have a nice paste, you can pour the glaze into a squeeze bottle or even a small ziptop bag with the corner snipped off. Squeeze the glaze back and forth over the bread to make a pretty design. Sprinkle more maple sugar on top of the glaze if desired.
  13. Serve immediately with large cups of Vermont Country Blend coffee!

Don't forget to visit Bluebonnets & Brownies for a chance to win some Vermont Country Blend Coffee and a mug!

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Ode to Pumpkin Spice

Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cupcakes with Pumpkin Spice infused Buttercream

There is no flavor like Pumpkin Spice in the fall.  No flavor can touch it.  It makes everything taste better.  Breads.  Cakes.  Coffee.  Lattes.  Add it to chicken and there’s no doubt it would become an instant autumn classic.  It makes the room smell amazing – like you’re bathed in cinnamon and nutmeg.  A perfume would sell like hot cakes – or just brew yourself a cup (or two or three) and savor the aroma.  In the end, for the next three months, all we want is Pumpkin Spice, everywhere, all the time.  So here is a quick round-up of recipes to (pumpkin) spice up your autumnal eating adventures:

Any other Pumpkin Spice must-haves to add to the list?

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Barista Prima Caffe Rouge Coffee Recipe

Barista Prima Caffe Rouge Coffee Recipe

Bold French Roast.  Exotic vanilla.  Creamy ricotta. And fresh…beets?  Yes, the combination may sound odd, but when they win the Best Signature coffee drink award in the 2009 Italian Barista Championship you know there’s something to it.  The presentation alone is noteworthy - a striking fuchsia with a stunning bullseye – but the flavor – a balance of smoky Barista Prima Coffeehouse® French Roast, tart ricotta, and bright sweetness of the beets - makes this a favorite treat for coffee connoisseurs.  Make this recipe for your next brunch and see their eyes widen and their mouths ask for more.

 

Caffé Rouge

Serves 5

Ingredients

-       3.5 oz small red beets

-       Pinch of salt

-       1/2 cup heavy cream, divided

-       1 teaspoons confectioner’s sugar

-       1/8 teaspoon vanilla

-       4 oz (1/2 cup) ricotta cheese

-       3 tablespoons granulated sugar

-       1/4 cup milk

-       1 Barista Prima Coffeehouse® French Roast K-Cup® or Vue® pack

 

Directions

  1. Peel beets and trim ends. If using larger beets, cut into ¾" pieces. Place beets in a steamer and sprinkle lightly with just a pinch of salt.
  2. Steam beats over simmering water for 35-45 minutes, until very soft. Chill beets in the refrigerator at least 1 hour.
  3. To make Chantilly cream, combine 1/4 cup of cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla in a small bowl. Whip until slightly thickened, but before any soft peaks form. Chill until ready to use.
  4. Combine cooked beets, ricotta cheese, granulated sugar, milk and remaining cream in a blender. Puree until completely smooth. The mixture should be easily pourable. Add more milk and cream in equal measure if mixture is too thick to pour.
  5. Set out 5 6oz glasses. Pour ¼ cup beet cream mixture in to each glass. Spoon in 2 tablespoons Chantilly cream in the center of each glass.
  6. Brew Barista Prima® French Roast into a glass measuring cup.
  7. Very slowly pour about 3 tablespoons coffee in the middle of each cream circle.
  8. Serve immediately.
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