Dark Roasted Coffee

Big Easy Beignet Dipping Sauce


 

In light of fat Tuesday, here’s a recipe to make you feel like you’re parading down Bourbon Street. An inspired coffee-cream dipping sauce, perfect for dipping homemade donuts, ladyfingers and beignets!

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup mascarpone cheese (room temperature)


6-8 tablespoons Dark roast coffee (to stick with the New Orleans theme I used Emeril’s® Big Easy Bold K-Cup® Coffee)

2 tablespoons powdered sugar


1/4 cup heavy cream

 

Directions:

Allow mascarpone cheese to reach room temperature. 

Brew coffee at the 2-oz setting in your Keurig® brewer. 

Whip together ingredients in a standing mixer, or with a hand mixer on low speed until the desired consistency is reached, then serve in a small bowl. Dip, and enjoy!

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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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National Chocolate Cake Day

 

 

Today is Chocolate Cake Day! We needed a day like this in our world, and the crazy, lovely, and imaginative folks out there that invented this day, in my opinion, are geniuses. I think from the multiple posts and recipes I had up here you could guess that I have a slight addiction to chocolate, and most of the time paired with peanut butter. I decided to take a break from my normal go-to, and celebrate today with a flourless, chocolate cake.   The results were an intense chocolate, almost brownie-like cake.  I also couldn’t help myself, but smother it with more chocolate. 

Here’s the recipe, and I think it’s a perfect contender for your Valentine’s Day date night dessert.

Ingredients:

1 Cup bittersweet (or you can use semi sweet) chocolate chips

½ Cup unsalted butter

¾ Cup granulated sugar

¼ Teaspoon salt

2 Teaspoons dark roast coffee (I used Green Mountain Coffee Dark Magic from my Keurig brewer)

1 Teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Eggs

½ Cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 

Ingredients for the Glaze:

1 Cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

½ Cup heavy cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease 8” round spring form pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the top of the paper. For the cake: Place the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Slowly heat (30 seconds at a time) until the butter is melted and the chips are slightly melted. Stir until chips are completely melted.  Stir in sugar, salt, coffee and vanilla. Add the eggs, beating until smooth. Finally add the cocoa powder. Transfer batter to the cake pan, and bake for 25 minutes, or until the top forms a thin crust. Let cool completely.

Glaze Directions:

Combine the chocolate chips and the cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat until the cream is very hot, but not boiling. Remove from microwave and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth and glasslike.  Carefully spoon the glaze over the cake. Allow the glaze to set and harden before cutting – about 1 hour.

Enjoy!! 

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10 ways to Celebrate Autumn

Fall is in the air!

It is the autumnal equinox, which means today is equally divided by daytime and nighttime.   It’s time to say good bye to those long summer days, but it doesn’t have to be bittersweet.  I know I am ready to say hello to no allergies, no bugs, perfectly moderate weather, and beautiful foliage.  Here are ten great ways to savor all that autumn has to offer before winter rolls in (I’m sorry for even mentioning it).

  1. One word: pumpkin.  Eat everything pumpkin you can find.  Pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, and of course Green Mountain Coffee Pumpkin Spice.  When you’re not eating pumpkins, try your hand at carving them.  Save the seeds and then roast them to commence the pumpkin eating again!
  2. Build a scare-crow to keep your Jack-O-Lanterns company.  Despite the name, scare-crows don’t have to be scary and they can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make them.  Building your own scare-crow is a fun, kid-friendly way to spend an afternoon. 
  3. Go for a hike, nature walk, or even just a brisk stroll around the neighborhood.  Even if you don’t live in a climate like ours here in Vermont that offers stunning autumn foliage, it’s still great to get a breath of fall fresh air.
  4. If you are lucky enough to have a ton of leaves to rake, jump in!  Nothing is more satisfying than plunging into a fluffy mound of leaves, especially if you are the one who’s done the raking all day.  Don’t be shy; this one isn’t just for the kids.
  5. Pick your own peck of apples or pick a peck at your local farmer’s market.  Use your fresh apples for apple pie, caramel-coated apples, or try a cheddar and apple pizza.  Then, what better way to celebrate your hard work than with Hot Apple Cider and apple cider doughnuts?
  6. Get out in the country and go for a hay ride.  Whether you go tractor- or horse-drawn, the sweet smell of hay and the gold and jewel tones of harvest will transport you to an autumn wonderland.
  7. Get lost in a maze of maize!  You’ll be amaized by how fun corn mazes are.  Okay, I’ll stop being corny.
  8. Visit a haunted house or haunted woods.  Get your heartbeat pumping and prepare for a lot of laughs afterwards. This is the one time of year when you should be afraid of the dark.
  9. Break out that old guitar and gather around a bonfire.  The weather is just right for getting cozy around a crackling fire with a few good friends and a steaming cup of Cafe Escapes Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa.  S’mores anyone?
  10. Play a game of touch football.  Many of us will be doing a lot of football watching this season, but why not join in the fun yourself?  The crisp weather is perfect for running around!

What are you most excited about doing this fall?  If you are anything like me your list is eating, more eating, and eating with good company!

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Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

If you ski, you might get the double meaning behind Green Mountain Coffee® Double Black Diamond coffee. You see, ski trails come with a rating system made up of colors and shapes so that you can pick a trail suited to your abilities. Double black diamond? Expert only, sir and madame.

A coffee named after that sort of exhilarating ride down a ski slope? You can bet it's got some danger behind its name. The Double Black Diamond Extra Bold coffee, I have to admit, is one step too dark for this recipe developer to drink on a random Tuesday. (I'm much more a Fair Trade Pumpkin Spice girl.) But that's okay, because it makes one heck of a dessert.

I don't know about you, but I'll take my caffeine any way I can get it. Pairing it with chocolate? I'm in. Pairing it with chocolate pudding? Doubly so.

You might imagine that as a recipe developer, there are quite a few leftovers around these parts. And that maybe we try to gift them to people as often as we can. All of that is true. Then there's Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie.

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

I tried to get my husband to take it to work. Begged even, knowing if it stayed here, we'd eat the whole thing between the two of us. He refused. Because he wanted to eat the whole thing between the two of us. It's that good.

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie is one of the easiest desserts I've ever put together. It's a no-bake pie, which makes it especially great for the upcoming holiday season. A fantastic dessert that doesn't take up room in the oven, leaving plenty of room for your roast beef, roasting vegetables, and every other bit of the savory part of your meal.

I guarantee, when you present this pie to your guests at the end of a filling holiday meal, there may be some initial groans of fullness. Just one bite though, and they'll be wolfing it down.

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

makes one 9" pie

Ingredients

  • 1 3.8 oz box Devil's Food Instant Pudding mix
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups Green Mountain Coffee Double Black Diamond Extra Bold, cold and divided
  • 22 Newman's Own Creme Filled Chocolate Newman-O's Cookies
  • 22 Newman's Own Chocolate Creme Filled Chocolate Newman-O's Cookies
  • 1 8 oz tub frozen whipped topping, thawed or 2 cups heavy cream, whipped until fluffy with 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • cocoa powder for garnish (Optional)

Directions

  1. Brew a 12 oz cup of Double Black Diamond Extra Bold coffee and refrigerate until cold.
  2. When the coffee is sufficiently cooled, make the pudding: In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix, heavy cream and 8 oz (1 cup) cold coffee, leaving 1/2 cup coffee to the side.
  3. Whisk together until pudding solidifies, about 5 minutes, then refrigerate while you assemble the other ingredients.
  4. Line a 9" pie plate with 22 cookies. I used all vanilla cream filled on one layer and chocolate cream filled on another, but you are welcome to alternate if you wish.
  5. When the first layer of cookies is in the bottom of the pie plate, spoon a bit of cooled coffee over each one, taking care not to use all the coffee, as you will need it for the second layer of cookies too.
  6. Layer half of the pudding on top of the cookies.
  7. Place a second layer of 22 cookies on top of the pudding layer, then spoon coffee over each of these.
  8. Layer the rest of the pudding on top of these cookies, then place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes, covered with plastic wrap.
  9. When ready to serve, you can top with either frozen whipped topping that has been thawed, or homemade whipped cream. However, if you're using whipped cream, you must make sure the pie is going to be eaten the day you top it. If using whipped topping, the pie will last several days in the refrigerator, covered, and can be eaten over those days.
  10. Layer whipped cream or whipped topping over the pudding, then sprinkle with milk and semisweet chocolate chips (or stick to just one kind if that's all you have on hand), and garnish with cocoa powder.
  11. Serve immediately, or, if using whipped topping, you can make the pie at least a day in advance. The pie will only get better as it sits.

Make sure you visit Bluebonnets & Brownies for a chance to win some Double Black Diamond Extra Bold Coffee for yourself!

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Use Your Beer Preference to Find Your Perfect Roast [INFOGRAPHIC]

It’s Oktoberfest, so let’s make this simple: You love beer or wine?  Always turn to an IPA or a dry Merlot, but balk when it comes to choosing between Nantucket Blend or Dark Magic® coffee?  If that’s the case, than this little ol’ flow-chart was made just for you. Just pick your ideal boozy beverage and your perfect roast will reveal itself.  Let your palette be your guide!

Use Wine and Beer to Find Your Perfect Green Mountain Coffee roast[INFOGRAPHIC]

 

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Five Questionable Coffee Pairings

Hot Sauce and Tully's French Roast? Maybe not.

Some things are meant to be together – peanut butter and jelly. Fish and chips.  Milk and cookies.  But some things are meant to stay apart, far apart.  Like drinking orange juice right after you brush your teeth – the combination just doesn’t work well for anyone. The good news is coffee, particularly nice dark roasts like Tully’s® Coffee, works with pretty much anything.  Want to bring out the flavors in your Madison?  Drink it with a brownie!  Feeling sweet?  Try some maple syrup in that House Blend!  Care to enjoy some beef tenderloin?  Marinate it with Italian Roast coffee!  And yet, even the finest artisanal coffee isn't immune from less-than-optimal pairings.  Polling our crew of coffee connoisseurs, here are some of our favorite questionable pairings from our dinner plates:

  • Hot sauce mixed with French Roast (Love hot sauce.  Love coffee. But the two together… mauvais!)
  • A mug of Hawaiian Blend with a tuna fish salad sandwich (Make that seared ahi tuna steak crusted in coffee and we have a different take).
  • Spicy pepperoni and Italian Roast (Both inspired by Italy, you’d think their shared spiciness would do something wonderful. Not so much).
  • Pizza with House Blend (The mix of grease and coffee were decidedly unpopular in our team).
  • Popcorn and Italian Roast (A contentious pairing - some like the salty factor; other loathe how the popcorn dissolves).
  • Broccoli and, well, any coffee (“Even Tully’s can’t make broccoli taste any better,” says the hater of broccoli).

 

What’s your questionable pairing?

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Brewing the "Millennium Challenge Macchiato"

Below is a Guest Post by Jonathan Bloom from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). On April 29th, MCC awarded GMCR with its 2013 Corporate Award. 

"At the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), we work with partners across the world. By the time I arrive at the office, there are often emails from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America that need a quick response.

That’s why the coffee pot is my first stop each morning. And that’s why a coffee addict like me was thrilled to hear that we are honoring Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) with our Corporate Award for its sustainability work to improve the lives of the world’s vulnerable populations.

The award got me thinking on a recipe for a great new drink using the products of both Green Mountain Coffee and MCC’s beneficiaries from across the world. So prepare to treat your taste buds with the Millennium Challenge Macchiato.

Millennium Challenge Macchiato

1)      Start with Green Mountain's Sumatran Lake Tawar whole-bean coffee from Indonesia and grind as fine as possible. As you brew the perfect shot of espresso, take delight in knowing that one of the suppliers of this dark roast, the Gayo Organic Farmers Association, has started a project to bring safe drinking water to more than 1,500 people. The cooperative has also saved funds to help farmers with the reconstruction of their homes, many of which were destroyed in recent fighting, and to aid in the construction of two new schools.

2)      Steam milk sold by dairy farmers in El Salvador’s Northern Zone. As the steam rises, take a moment to read how many dairy farmers are now enjoying a higher income because MCC helped about 17,500 people by providing training, seeds, equipment, and technical assistance. The agency also built or rehabilitated more than 220 kilometers of road and 23 bridges as part of a five-year, $461 million compact.

3)      Pour the milk into the espresso and top with foam.

4)      Sprinkle a bit of cinnamon from the legendary spice island of Zanzibar on top to give it a pleasing kick. As you enjoy that first sip, read a bit about how MCC is strengthening the island’s electrical grid with the aim of increasing investment and reducing poverty.  Or if you have a sweet tooth, add a bit of cocoa from Ghanaian farmers who are more effectively receiving payment on their harvest, thanks to the computerization of rural banks as part of MCC’s five-year, $547 million compact."

Jonathan Bloom is the acting vice president for compact operations at the Millennium Challenge Corporation. On April 29, GMCR CEO Brian Kelley accepted the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Corporate Award—recognition for the work that GMCR does to create a sustainable future for its farmer partners.

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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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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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Happy National Coffee Day!

It’s National Coffee Day!  While you know we’d use any excuse – finished breakfast, found a lost sock, waiting for a haircut, you get the idea – to enjoy a good cup of coffee, today is the day that no excuses are necessary!  To celebrate, we’re all brewing up our favorite coffees, just the way we like them.  But how does our blogger team like to take their coffee?  We weren’t so, so we asked!

Roger - "I like very strong, dark roasted coffee and I drink it black as night."

Missy "I like iced coffee year-round and take it as follows… strict guidelines, you know."

 

Winston - "My wife says I am an old man and stuck in my ways. I'm only 47 and I disagree, I just like what I like. At night before bed, I put out my French press, my whipped honey, the blue mug that my aunt made, and I fill the kettle with enough water for the pot. When I get up (and I get up pretty early) it's all ready for me. I like Ethiopian Yirgacheffe in a French press, served with honey and half and half. I know, it's heresy to use condiments in such a nice clean coffee like that. But I'm 47 and I can have my coffee any way I like it."

 

Amanda - “I love the unaltered taste and aroma of black coffee. No sugar, no cream masking the flavors of a great Sumatran or Kenyan. Every now and then though, I enjoy a splash of almond milk (lactose and I don’t mix), whose nutty flavor brings out the earthy notes in my coffee.”

Kristen - "I don’t drink coffee, but I’ll happily say that I take ice cream with my coffee – who doesn’t love an affogato?  Coffee and ice cream? The perfect combination."

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It’s now 8 O’Clock on Your Keurig Brewer

We are very happy to announce yet another addition to our Family of Brands. 8 O’Clock® Coffee is now available in K-Cup® packs. With coffees such as Dark Italian Roast, Colombian and Hazelnut, you are sure to find the brew that is right for you!

Eight O'Clock Coffee

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Three Steps to Caffeinated Beauty

If only looking sleeker was as easy as sitting and drinking your beloved morning cup of coffee, right?


Well…it is! Maybe. Kind of. Intrigued? Our friends at Van Houtte® pointed out this exciting benefit of caffeine’s ability to decrease the appearance of cellulite through a DIY coffee scrub. Since we can definitely get behind incorporating caffeine into our beauty regimen, here are some more of our favorite ways you can use your beloved blend to beautify. At-home spa treatments are an easy, inexpensive way to feel luxurious without dropping crazy cash on overpriced treatments or products; plus, you can even put your old K-Cup® packs to good use. So, get to it!

 

Caffeine Facial Mask


Caffeine is a bonafide blessing for your face: according to studies, it contains antioxidant, dehydrating, and other properties, which basically equal up to the fact that it makes you look better all around. Between tightening and de-puffing, reducing dark circles, let your favorite morning cup go to work on more than just your energy level.

Ingredients:
2 Tbs. fresh coffee grounds
1 Tbs. honey
1 tsp. brown sugar
3 Tbs. whole milk, heavy cream, or plain yogurt

Directions:
Wisk ingredients together until you achieve the desired, creamy consistency. Apply evenly over your face and let dry for 10-20 minutes. Once hardened, rinse off with warm water and enjoy your freshly-awakened face.
 

Homemade Coffee Hair Treatment

On the quest to aesthetic self-betterment, don’t overlook your hair!  Hair follicles can directly absorb caffeine through the use of a simple coffee rinse, which will promote a glossy shine. While it’s true that this treatment requires fresh coffee rather than used grounds, fret not: suppose you’re not in the mood for more coffee on any given day…why not let your luscious locks reap its benefits instead?

Ingredients:
Fresh cup of extra strong coffee—try using a French or Italian roast

Directions:
Once cooled, simply pour the coffee over clean, dry hair. Let it soak in for 20 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Recommended usage: once a week for shiny tresses.

 

Abby's Super Simple Scrub

This is my favorite of the bunch - so easy and great for exfoliating (or battling cellulite).  The aroma wakes up your senses, and the scrub wakes up your body!

Ingredients
3 parts warm, used coffee grounds
1 part sugar or salt
Essential oil

Directions
1. Experiment with your favorite coffees to find a particularly decadent aroma to feature in your at-home spa concoction. Considering the season, I personally think Island Coconut® coffee would be a great base for a scrub.

2. Continuing with the tropical theme, try adding coconut oil to the mix. If that’s not your cup of tea (sorry, coffee), other options include jojoba oil (about one tablespoon), rosemary essential oil (12 drops or so), or even virgin olive oil (try three tablespoons).

3. The granular crystals in sugar help to exfoliate and smooth out skin by sloughing off the dead stuff. Try sugar in the raw for texture; sea salt is another great option, as it also exfoliates but replaces minerals in the process.

4. Mix all of your chosen ingredients together into a paste and store in your fridge (it should last about a month). Scrub onto problem areas in circular motions for 3 minutes before rinsing off. Do it twice a week, and if you see results…thank us later. 

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Spilling The Beans

Okay, we're spilling the beans, coffee fans!

We’ve recently found out that there will be new Vue® packs released sometime within the coming week.  We'll be able to provide exact details soon, but in the meantime...

We can tell you that this new release contains at least a few popular varieties of dark roasts, a favorite flavored coffee, and decaf coffee, from The Orignal Donut Shop, Barista Prima®, and Green Mountain Coffee® brands.  We'll be sure to keep you posted with more details as they become available. Stay tuned!

 

Trivia question:

If the total number of Vue® packs available will reach 50 with these new additions, how many are being added?

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A Father's Day To Remember

I’m often overwhelmed with the plethora of shiny, and normally quite costly, tools and other manly pieces of machinery that are advertised as being the perfect gift for your dad on father’s day, so I lean towards a few more unconventional ideas. Showing dad you care is a lot easier than you may think and it doesn’t have to involve spending a lot of money, just some time out of your day. For instance preparing your father’s coffee just the way he likes it and then helping him take care of those little projects he never has time to get to around the house would say a lot.

This requires knowing just what he likes, the subtleties of his favorite style -- could be a dark or light roast, creamy or black, sweet or bitter, frothy or iced. It can be a difficult thing to get right, but if you can pull that off, delivered to him in his favorite mug without him saying so much as a word, he’ll be quite pleasantly surprised. And even more so when you suggest tackling the unfinished stone wall together that your mother requested around the garden ages ago. Though that only starts after you’ve all enjoyed the breakfast of blueberry pancakes and bacon you knew he’d love, of course.

It’s hard to show just how much you care and the effort you’re willing to put forth on their behalf by simply buying them something, even if it is something that you know they’ll love. As the people that have raised and cared for us all our lives our parents deserve to understand just how much we appreciate everything they’ve done. Treat your father better this year than ever before, it can never be too much. And it all starts by waking up to the smell of coffee and bacon wafting into their room.

 

If you need help making that special cup of coffee we’ve enlisted some help for you in our Deal of the Week.

And here’s a sampling of some of the good recipes from our blog that you could treat them to:


 

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An ode to coffee-fueled family game nights

Despite the fact that I am a 23-year-old college graduate, I can't deny the fact I still possess a boyish love of games. Throughout my undergraduate career, my friends and I tore through just about every board and card game in the book during our weekly family game night (which we lovingly abbreviated to FGN) - Monopoly, Sorry, Uno, Risk, The Game of Life, Scrabble, Blockus and Taboo among many more. We even developed our own official/unofficial FGN rulebook in order to settle the inevitable disputes that would arise among our extremely competitive group of friends.

I bring up this particular aspect of my life because I recently got together with my remaining group of college friends to breathe some new life into the old FGN. We dusted off the Monopoly board and instantly it was like a junior year Wednesday night all over again. We started snatching up properties like it was going out of style.

I have to say, even though it wasn't the exact same crew that we had back in the day, it was great to reconnect in the name of  family game night. Before long, the same semi-good natured arguments had broken out, the old jokes were being relived (like when my friend Carlo famously threw Taboo across the room and stormed out of the apartment) and the refreshments were flowing free.

In fact, one of the most memorable aspects that reappeared during our update on FGN was brewing lots and lots of coffee. Back in college, family game night often crossed the midnight mark into the wee hours of the morning, so we made sure to keep our Keurig® brewer handy at all times. This time was no different - I was prepared with several Green Mountain Coffee® K-Cup® packs of Dark Magic® Extra Bold, French Roast and Colombian Fair Trade Select so that we could all get our favorite caffeine fixes.

And wouldn't you know, the rebirth of FGN once again crossed into familiar late night territory. After all, as anyone who has ever played Monopoly knows, it's not a game that goes quickly or easily - everyone was making deals and trades that prolonged the outcome well into the evening. Pretty soon, we had completely abandoned our other drinks in favor of cup after cup of coffee. Tired, yet still wired, we kept FGN going until my girlfriend Lena had emerged victorious - at 3:30 a.m. It was just like old times.

 

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Coffee After College

I came to a strange realization over this past weekend while speaking to some of my younger friends who are currently graduating from college - I can no longer really call myself a "recent college grad." It's been just shy of a year since I received my diploma in May 2011, and the knowledge that a whole 12 months have passed since then has me thinking about those immediate post-graduation weeks.

It's oddly nostalgic to hear my buddies talking about taking that plunge into the real world. All the plans they're making, the apprehension of finding a job and place to live - it's certifiably weird to think that I was right there only a year ago. And it's perhaps even stranger to think that I've already moved on to the next step.

In truth, the summer after college graduation was simultaneously one of the best and most terrifying periods in my life. Sure it was nerve-wracking not knowing what my next step would be, but for the first time ever, I had no academic deadlines or concrete responsibilities on the horizon. Instead of enjoying my morning cup of Green Mountain Coffee® at 7 a.m. before class, I could roll out of bed at noon and have it then.

In between bouts of sending out job applications and earning some money as an intern, I spent my days exploring parks near my home, reading the entire A Song of Fire and Ice series (recommended!), finishing marathon viewings of HBO shows, traveling back and forth to the beach, and generally lounging around with my friends who hadn't moved home after graduation.

I'd be lying if I said that I felt like a full-fledged adult now, but there are a few minor signs of maturity that I've recognized. I no longer favor those sweet and delicious coffee blends like Hazelnut or French Vanilla. These days, I take my coffee straight black - the darker the coffee, such as my new favorite, French Roast, the better. I've also bid goodbye to frequent all-nighter sessions due to my early job schedule, which dark coffee also makes much easier.

So my advice to anyone crossing that college graduation finish line this May - cherish the free time you have, because it won't last forever. By no means should you forgo the inevitable job search (especially in this economy), but you should make an equal effort to enjoy every moment of this final summer vacation.

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Are you a K-Cup Mixologist?

You know we love to get creative with our coffee. In fact, you know that we know that you love to get creative with your coffee, too. Some days you just feel inspired to mix it up – maybe add a little cinnamon to your Nantucket Blend®, throw a dash of whipped cream in your French Vanilla, or maybe even scoop a little pistachio ice cream into your French Roast. And then there are days that you take a look at your Keurig® brewer and think, “Caramel Vanilla Cream would make a great mocha…” Fast as a flash you’ve brewed a Caramel Vanilla Cream and then a Café Escapes® Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa into your favorite mug – and with that you’ve just become a K-Cup® mixologist.

Are you a K-Cup® Mixologist?

Here are a few favorite combinations from our team to get your mind perking on the mixing possibilities:

What coffees do you mix for your perfect cup?

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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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Ask the Coffee Lab: Coffee Acidity

Is there a type/brand of coffee that is easy on the digestion? I miss my cup of coffee!


- From @Bluesky107


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I always feel like this is a complicated question to answer because there are so many variables to how any one person’s system works - and then there’s always some subjectivity involved, too.

Let’s start with the basics: The pH scale measures the acidic or basic properties a substance. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7 is neutral. A pH less than 7 is acidic. A pH greater than 7 is basic.

On the pH scale, most coffee is just below neural at 5. Remarkably, orange juice and beer are considered more acidic than coffee.


So, coffee is acidic, but not that acidic. Acidity can get mixed up in people's heads with other factors  - between the sweetness and brightness of fine, high-grown coffee properly roasted and brewed and acid/alkaline balance and how their stomachs feel about and react to coffee, it can be hard to determine what exact is the culprit for that digestion issue.

For people who want that lower acid coffee - and there really is no such thing naturally (save for those gimmicky, chemically-altered coffees targeting a certain niche market), we usually recommend Indonesian coffees, like Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve, and darker roasted coffees.  The former tends to be gentler on the stomach due to the drying process, according to fans like you, and the latter are less acidic due to the longer roasting process.

Here are some of my own personal observations about acidity:



  1. Cheaper, lower-quality coffee will be more acidic and bitter

  2. Dry process coffees, or "naturals", tend to be less acidic (like some African and Indonesian coffees)

  3. High grown, washed Arabica beans from Central and South America tend to be brighter and more acidic (in a tangy way, not in the pH sense)

  4. The lighter the roast, the more acidic it will appear to be (though on the pH scale its not significant)

  5. Darker roasts are naturally less acidic (but not by much). This runs counter to what people think about dark roasts.

  6. The longer the coffee sits after brewing, the more acidic it gets (literally). This is a good reason to use a Keurig® brewer or brew with a French Press.



Everyone's sensitivities and preferences are different. Our other recommendation would be to try decaffeinated coffee. Some customers report that they were sensitive to the caffeine content, not the acidity as they had originally suspected. Of course, as always, your doctor knows best.

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