Flavored Coffee Beans

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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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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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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A New Special Reserve Coffee that Offers Sweet Rewards

Green Mountain Coffee® is pleased to announce the arrival of an exquisite Special Reserve coffee: Costa Rica Finca El Quizarrá White Honey. Available only in bags for a limited time, this unique coffee is grown in the rich, volcanic soil of Costa Rica and is produced using a unique method called “honey processing.” More on that in a bit.

First, the tasting notes from our Coffee Department: “The natural sweetness of the white honey process shines through in velvety, concentrated flavors of blood orange and plum. With a rounded acidity, the taste is delicate and bright, featuring an undertone of buttery brown sugar. The finish resonates with soft tannins and notes of red currant and white grape.”

(They have a pretty sweet job, don’t they?)

So what is this “honey process” and what difference does it make in the coffee? I’m so glad you asked. There are lots of ways in which coffee beans can be processed. While most are either “washed” (all layers of the coffee cherry is removed before the beans are dried) or “natural” (the fruit is left intact during the drying process), many farms are exploring variations on both these approaches in order to coax out intriguing and more nuanced flavors from their coffee beans.

With honey washed coffee, the skin of the coffee cherry is removed, but parts of the fruit are left on to varying degrees. White honey processing – the approach used by Finca El Quizarrá, the farm that produces the beans for this Special Reserve coffee – is closest to a fully washed coffee. That is, just 25% of the fruit remains, specifically the thick, honey-like layer that protects the beans. The result is a coffee that has the characteristically clean and bright flavors of a washed coffee, but a more pronounced sweetness imparted by the natural sugars of the fruit.

To further enhance the sweetness, the folks at Finca El Quizarrá hand-pick only the most mature cherries for pressing. Once pressed, the beans are sun dried on open-air patios and then fully dried mechanically in order to obtain precise humidity levels. Finally, the coffee rests on parchment in wood cellars for a few months prior to being dry milled. Once that’s done, the “green” beans are shipped to Vermont where the master roasters at Green Mountain Coffee® will work their magic, and package it up for you.

And me. I can’t wait to get my hands on some.

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Tully's Coffee: You Are The Apprentice

 

 

Wonder why waiting for the beans to pop is the secret to Tully's® full-flavored coffee.  Think your pursuit of perfection could lead you to sample over 300 cups of coffee each day?  We thought so! Join our newest apprentice on his first day as he learns why Tully's Coffee is slow roasted to perfection.

Head to www.facebook.com/TullysCoffee to continue the adventure.

 

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10 Ways to Renew Your Brew

If you’ve got a Keurig® K-Cup® or Vue® brewer, there are lots of options for trying something new to “Renew Your Brew.” Things like flavored coffees – Limited Edition Island Coconut comes to mind – and Brew Over Ice flavors like lemonade, iced coffee, and iced tea. (You did know that every Keurig® brewer can make iced beverages, right?)

The point is, single-serve packs are a really convenient way to enjoy a great cup of coffee any time of day. But being able to use your brewer to make iced coffee, iced tea, lemonade and other fruit drinks is a little like discovering that your washing machine can also fold and do ironing. Sigh…if only.

So in case you need a little more motivation, here are 10 Ways to Renew Your Brew that you may see floating around as you travel through cyberspace in the next few weeks. And if you do try something new – beverage related or not – please leave a comment; we’d love to hear about it.

10 Ways to Renew Your Brew

1. Start chillin’ with your Keurig® brewer. Enjoy iced coffee, iced tea, and more.

2. Raise a mug to Mom. Order a special Mother’s Day Brewer Bundle to make her morning easy.

3. Think outside the bean. Try Brew Over Ice lemonade by Green Mountain Naturals® and other fruit brews.

4. Stockpile your favorite flavors with 15% off storewide, now through May 7. Just use keycode RENEWBREW at check-out.

5. Give a gift of good taste to someone special (see #4 regarding storewide sale).

6. Take a sip to paradise with Green Mountain Coffee® Island Coconut® seasonal coffee.

7. Get a special delivery. Café Express® members enjoy regular automatic delivery of their favorite items AND save 15% on every order.

8. Get a newer brewer. Check out the Keurig® Vue® V500.

9. Make time for tea with Bigelow and Celestial Seasonings K-Cup® and Vue® packs.

10. Try something new to you. Fair Trade Certified™ selections, Tully’s Hawaiian Blend, and more!

You know where to find all these great options, but here’s a shortcut to get you started: www.GreenMountainCoffee.com

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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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Ask the Coffee Lab: How Do You Know When Coffee Is Good?

“When you at Green Mountain buy coffee to roast, how do you know it’s going to taste good?”


We drink a lot of coffee here as part of our jobs. And even better, we get paid to drink and then evaluate it. Even though a lot of evaluating any beverage you drink for pleasure is subjective, there are still some objective ways to judge coffee for purchase. By the way, I should explain: I'm talking about the Coffee Department in Waterbury, Vermont, where we shop for and buy the millions of pounds of green coffee that we then roast and package and ship all around the United States and Canada.

We can't taste every single pound of coffee we buy (though that would be fun), but we do taste a lot. And when I say taste, I'm really talking about cupping, which is the professional version of tasting. (Want to know more about cupping and slurping, go here: “Why slurp?”).

We buy coffee by the container, which is the big metal box you see on large shipping vessels. Generally speaking, you can put about 42,000 pounds of green coffee in one container. When we evaluate that lot of coffee, the seller sends us a composite sample from that huge pile of green coffee. A few beans from this bag, a few from that bag, a few from that bag over there, until we have one pound of green coffee ready for us to roast and cup.

Before we roast it, however, we measure how wet or dry the coffee is in terms of moisture level. If it comes in too wet, it might not have been properly dried at origin, or maybe it got wet on the boat ride over the ocean. If it's too dry, it might be old coffee. We still cup it, but that's an example of an objective way to evaluate coffee.

We do a visual inspection of each sample as well. It should generally be a uniform color and size, without foreign material, bits of stone, twigs, and beans with insect damage (among other issues.) Even if a sample looks sub optimal, we still cup it, but note the state of the sample. Some coffees look beautiful, but don't taste that great while some coffees don't look so great but taste amazing.

Penny Raymond in our Coffee LabWe roast the samples ourselves so that we can control that important stage. And then the real proof is in the cup. We use the Specialty Coffee Assosication of America cupping sheet to tally our scores, average up the scores and then decide if the coffee passed the grade or not. The cupping sheet lets you score based on fragrance/aroma, flavor, acidity, body, aftertaste, balance, uniformity, clean cup, sweetness, and then there are ways to score defects and taints in the coffee as well. If it seems like a lot to keep track of, after the first 1-2,000 samples, it gets easier. Our supply chain uses the same scoring system so that we can all communicate in the same language, in spite of everyone speaking so many different languages.

We like metrics here and so we keep track of a lot of our activities:

  • I can tell you that I have cupped 3,779 samples of coffee this year.
  • For every sample (1 sample represents a container), we put out 6 cups of brewed coffee to evaluate. So in the past 12 months, I have "put a spoon" in 45,348 different cups of coffee.
  • Two of my coworkers, Brent and Penny, cup more than I do (4,613 and 3,756 respectively).

So, if you ask how we know if the coffee will taste good, it's because we drink so much of it. We drink the bad stuff so that you won't have to. On top of that, every sample that we cup was also cupped by the importer, by the exporter, and even by the co-op or farm. There are many, many ways for a coffee to shine or receal itseld as an imposter of great coffee.

Next time you have a nice cup of our coffee, don't forget how much work went into making it a nice cup of coffee, and also don't forget all the work that went into making sure it's not a bad cup of coffee.

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Ugandan Mountains of The Moon Special Reserve Coffee

 

 

Uganda Coffee Beans

We’re over the moon with our latest Special Reserve coffee! This one, a natural process treasure from Uganda, has a fittingly royal back story. In 2011, our chief coffee buyer Lindsey Bolger went to Uganda in search of new sources for the fine, washed Arabica coffee that east Africa is famous for. While cupping with a local supplier in Kampala, her spoon kept drifting to a particular coffee sample that was set apart from the others. It turned out to be a natural process coffee from the Rwenzururu Kingdom of western Uganda. (With natural processing, the coffee cherries are spread out in the sun and turned regularly to ensure even drying. Coffee processed this way tends to be fruity and heavy-bodied, because the fruit is left on the bean longer.)

Ugandan Mountains Of THe Moon Coffee Beans

Lindsey quickly scheduled a return trip, and was connected with Queen Agnes Ithungu of the Rwenzururu Kingdom. After a quick course in royal protocol (bow your head, never turn your back on the queen, etc.) Lindsey and Queen Agnes took off to explore the communities of the Kingdom that were producing this extraordinary coffee. This unique Special Reserve coffee has flavors of plump, juicy fruits and hints of sweet caramel and vanilla. We call it Mountains of the Moon because that is the nickname of the Rwenzori mountain range, which is permanently snowcapped Learn more about this incredible coffee, fit for a queen. 

 

 

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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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Ask the Coffee Lab: Why do coffees from different countries taste different?

I’m not sure I get this: Why do coffees from different countries taste different?


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It all comes down to what we call terroir.

Like wine, coffee expresses regional characteristics and exhibits the effects of its terroir, or "taste of place." Differences in soil, altitude, rainfall, processing techniques, and even social conditions affect what's in the cup.  One of the most important conditions is the areas own traditions and for handling and processing coffee.

Take Sumatran coffee, like our Fair Trade Sumatran Lake Tawar.

Beans from Sumatra have always been highly prized not only because of their full flavor, but also because of their distinct appearance. Sumatran coffee beans, when green, are often asymmetrical in shape and have a deep aquamarine tint.

The drying techniques employed by Sumatran coffee farmers also contribute to the coffee’s distinctiveness. These techniques involve an extended period of the coffee bean’s exposure to the pulp of the berry after the berry has been harvested—a process which is believed to produce deeper tones in the brewed coffee.

Compare that coffee from southeastern Mexico, along the Sierra Mountains, like our Fair Trade Organic Mexican Select.

Coffee farmers process their beans using their own local wet mills. This process results in a balanced acidity in the coffee, for the process of fermentation and drying are quite immediate to each other. While this organically grown coffee is cultivated in an environmentally friendly manner, its flavor is improved as well. Being shade grown, the coffee plants mature slowly, creating sweeter coffee beans.

Since our team gets the chance to go to these places, see the people, we also get to know their traditions, their culture.  While you may not be with us on the trip, you do get to experience these places through their coffee.  Guess you can say, you can tour the world through your coffee cup.

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Making your Iced Coffee Uniquely Yours

Having survived our first 100-degree spell this summer, our iced machine has certainly earned its keep.  We’ve brewed, brewed, and brewed some more – and have stumbled upon some n’ice ideas to make this summer’s iced coffees – like Brew Over Ice Nantucket Blend® or French Vanilla -  even more brew-tiful.  Here are some of our favorites:


  1. Vanilla Infused Simple Syrup: No sugar clumps and it adds an extra burst of vanilla flavor?  Yes, please!  Here’s how to do it:

    1. Split a vanilla bean lengthwise into halves and place in a heatproof jar or bottle.

    2. In a saucepan combine 1:2 ratio of sugar and water.

    3. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves.

    4. Pour the hot syrup over the jar/bottle and let it soak up the vanilla-goodness for up to 10 hours.

    5. Store in the refrigerator (up to a week – but it doesn’t last that long around here anyway).


  2. Coffee iced cubes: Okay, you’ve heard us extol the wonders of this little cube before.  As Brew Over Ice coffee is made so the flavor won’t be diluted when the ice melts, this a great way to plus-up your coffee kick for those who have other coffee makers– or even add a different flavor to your go-to iced brew.

    1. Brew your favorite blend (love to use Fair Trade Wild Mountain Blueberry™ for this one) into a cup.

    2. Pour the coffee into an ice cube tray and place in the freezer.

    3. Pop the cubes out when you’re ready – just brew over it like you would with ice (Brew Over Ice (coffee cubes)).


  3. Iced (cream) coffee:  Lots of people reach for cream and sugar when they make their iced coffee – so why not add a scoop of ice cream as a shortcut?  We love to use a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Fair Trade Vanilla, or, if you’re into a adventure, Coffee HEATH® Bar crunch!


What do you do to make your iced coffee uniquely yours?

 

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Limited Edition: Special Reserve La Unión Mexico

While La Unión has all the distinctive characteristics that merit its inclusion in our line of Special Reserve coffees, it differs from the other coffees in one important way: it is not obscure, nor recently discovered on a remote hillside of some exotic land. La Unión is an extraordinary offering from one of our oldest friends.

We have been working with members of the Unión Regional de Pequenos Productores de Café cooperative for nearly 20 years. Originally, beans from this cooperative were used as a neutral base for our flavored coffees. As our relationship deepened with these farmers, they became more successful at coaxing out the unique qualities of their beans. Years of sharing knowledge and exchanging visits resulted in higher-quality coffee.

Now the cooperative has taken quality control to a new level, and their commitment is astoundingly evident in this year’s crop. A singular focus on training, cupping, and grading has resulted in a coffee that amplifies the best of a cup that was already deliciously satisfying. Bright citrus notes are now intensified. The warm tones and round body are now velvety smooth. It’s like listening to your favorite tune performed by a world-class symphony orchestra in an acoustically flawless concert hall.  To top it all off, this coffee is Fair Trade Certified™ and organic, two certifications that have enabled the cooperative to establish education facilities and health care centers for several villages.

As with all of our Special Reserves, supply is limited, as we only roast one batch.  This coffee will roast on June 30, 2011, so pick up your bag of Special Reserve La Unión Mexico today – or join the tour to be shipped our latest Reserve fresh from the roaster.

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What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?  Often times the names of our coffees refer to the origin of the beans – Sumatran Lake Tawar, Mocha Java, Fair Trade Mexican Select.  But sometimes, its name has a little more to it – a story behind the label.  Here are some quick notes about three brews with stories that may surprise you:

Harvard Blend

A classic blend and an enduring favorite, this coffee screams of ivy, crimson, and intelligence, right?  While its complex flavors certainly invite studied contemplation, this blend was originally developed for the Harvard Club in New York City!

Nantucket Blend®

There aren't any beans from Nantucket in this blend. More than 20 years ago Nantucket Blend® was created at the request of a loyal customer who lived on Nantucket Island. The blend proved a winner, and the name stuck.

Lake & Lodge®

We developed this coffee many, many years ago for a cute shop in New York City called, “The Coffee Station.” Back then we originally called it “Tapestry Blend Dark.” But over time we decided this name didn’t properly reflect the rough and tumble aspects of this burly, dark roast. So we renamed it to its current moniker, Lake & Lodge. Enjoy it at a lodge (or office, or car, or porch) near you!

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Savor the deep-roasted brews of the new Barista Prima Coffeehouse collection


Been craving an even richer, deeper, darker K-Cup® portion pack? An intense flavor and complexity that sings of the world’s finest coffee house brews? Good news: Our friends at Barista Prima Coffeehouse™ have a new K-Cup® collection made to satiate just that feeling.


As an exclusive collection of the world’s finest Arabica coffees roasted in the tradition of Europe's most celebrated coffee houses, Barista Prima Coffeehouse brings you rich, deep-roasted brews in convenient, single serve K-Cups®.  Bold and complex, yet perfectly balanced, each cup reflects the consummate artistry and handcrafted care that only the most skilled baristas can deliver.  This select line is comprised of four richly flavored brews:
Colombia

  • High altitude treasure from a land of legendary coffee. A prized coffee, born of the mountains in a land steeped in the coffee-growing tradition. Accented by bright, bold fruit notes and a distinctive hint of walnut, this deep-roasted cup possesses a sweet, full-bodied finish that elevates satisfaction into a realm all its own.


French Roast


  • A sweet, smoky love song to the cafés of Paris. This intensely bold yet gracefully-bodied cup provides indisputable proof of our roast masters' artistry. The absolute finest Arabica beans are heated to the very edge of noir - then meticulously eased back to reveal their rich, full-flavored complexity. The result? A daringly dark, smoky-sweet brew with a surprisingly light mouthfeel.


House Blend


  • The timeless perfection of your best-loved coffee house cup. Classically balanced, with a lively splash of citrus, subtle hints of bittersweet chocolate and a well rounded, toasted-nut finish. Its roasty sweet, supremely satisfying taste evokes all the familiar comforts of your favorite coffee house.


Italian Roast



  • A deep, dark-roasted delight, done right. This robust, heavy-bodied cup with its ripe fruit and berry notes epitomizes the time-honored Italian tradition of dark-roasted coffeehouse brews. Bold yet ideally balanced, with a subtle hint of smokiness and a bright clean finish, our Italian Roast is a hearty and flavorful testament to the art of dark roasting.



The small team of Barista Prima™ coffee experts spent years in search of a way to recreate the intense flavor and complexity of the world’s finest coffee house brews.  They worked tirelessly to develop exquisite blends that could meet their own impossibly high expectations so they and you could be proud to serve it to family and friends.  And now, it’s here and ready to satisfy your need for coffee house richness at home.

Now available online for $19.45 for a 24ct box.

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My First Coffee Cupping Experience

I love everything about coffee- the smell, the taste, the nice buzz it gives me after my morning cups. So as soon as I began my internship with Green Mountain Coffee this summer, I knew I wanted to know everything I could about it! Luckily, Lindsey Bolger and her team of happy cuppers in the Coffee Lab let a group of us “Green Beans” sit in on one of their daily cuppings.

The smell of coffee was so strong in the cupping lab that I felt that we were walking into a giant vat of coffee. It took me a minute to process what exactly was going on: there were three or four professionals zooming around on stools, their noses poised dangerously close to hot cups and every once in a while leaping up to jot down notes. They were just starting the cupping process, and I already wanted to join in!


The Coffee Lab does blind cuppings, so they only identify each coffee’s country of origin and apply a numerical code to it. This is a play-by-play of what goes on at a cupping:
1. Separate beans into bowls , label each one with its origin country and numerical code, and then  grind the beans.

2. Set up 6 cups for each coffee to be tested. They use these cool circular tables that have tops that swirl around, making it easier to get to each cup. I had a lot of fun with these tables!

3. Hot water is then poured over the grounds to brew.

4. The cups need to cool for 4-minutes. This gets them to the optimal temperature, the one that brings out the aroma and flavors of the beans.

5. Time to smell! The water added to the grounds brings out the aroma of the brewed coffee, and you can actually smell the difference between the fragrance of dry beans and the aroma of these brewed grounds.

6. We then “broke” the grounds by sticking our noses mere centimeters away from the cup, placing our special cupping spoons into the cups, and swirling. This released more gases and got the cup ready for tasting, which was good because I was not about to slurp up coffee grounds!

7. Taste time! We were equipped with aprons, spoons, and mugs to spit out each sip, if we liked. Some people do not spit out; it depends on personal preference. We dipped our spoons in sideways, slurped as hard as we could but still couldn’t match the amazing slurps of the professional cuppers, but that will be a goal for my next cupping! After slurping, we spit  or swallowed.


Cuppers use a special form to evaluate each coffee. The evaluation is based off of the fragrance of the bean (how it smells before it is brewed), aroma (how does it smell the cup? Woody? Smokey?), flavor (does it have chocolate undertones? Is it spicy or nutty?), acidity (does the flavor burst in your mouth or lay flat?), body/mouthfeel (is it a ‘heavy’ coffee? Does it stay in your mouth or leave right away?), and finally aftertaste (is it dry, bitter, sweet?). This is on a 1-10 scale, with 6 being the baseline for quality. After these points are added up, special “cuppers points” can be given or taken away. Add up the total points, add 50, and there is your score! Green Mountain Coffee only uses coffees that have a score of 80 or above.

The most interesting part of the cupping was the discussion afterwards. These guys are true professionals, they could instantly describe a coffee they had cupped and understand all of its idiosyncrasies. The most amazing thing was that they put aside personal preference to evaluate each cup for what it was. During the evaluation, they found out which farm each one came from, whether or not it was organic or Fair Trade, and what its intended use is, that is if flavoring will be added, if it will be part of a blend, etc. The cupping team is extremely knowledgeable, and it was awesome to learn more about the process.

A big round of applause and thank you to the Coffee Lab, seeing exactly how a perfect cup of coffee is created was so fascinating, and now I think about that process every time I drink coffee, which is frequently! I don’t know whether it was from the amount of caffeine I accidentally consume or the fact that I LOVED the cupping experience, but I was definitely buzzing from it for rest of the day!

-Gaby

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Spring Revival™ Blend: A story of Rwandan survival and revival

I was thrilled when I went to our Factory Outlet this morning and saw Spring Revival™ Blend as one of the featured coffees. This coffee has sweet aromas, balanced flavors, and a compelling story of hope behind it.

The floral top notes of this Fair Trade Certified™ blend come from Rwanda, a country still recovering from a brutal civil war. I had the honor of traveling to Rwanda with our chief coffee buyer, Lindsey Bolger, a few years back and it was a life-changing experience. I saw how our business, and the relationships we have with producers, are making a difference to people who survived unimaginable horrors. When you choose Spring Revival Blend, you join us in supporting Rwanda’s economic revival, and the small farmers who are recovering by producing extraordinary beans.

Our connection to Rwandan coffee began in 2002, when we hosted a group of Rwandan farmers and industry leaders in Waterbury, Vermont. They toured our roasting facility, participated in a cupping, and explored ways to connect with U.S. consumers.

Our chief coffee buyer, Lindsey, then made the first of six trips to Rwanda to train farmers in cupping and sensory evaluation. She helped them detect defects and understand the quality expectations of the demanding specialty coffee market. In 2008, Lindsey’s protégées were asked to be judges for Africa’s first Cup of Excellence® coffee competition. Their participation was a dramatic illustration of Rwanda’s meteoric rise on the international coffee scene.

Today, Rwanda is one of the hottest origins in specialty coffee, with a well-deserved reputation for high-quality beans. Fair Trade prices, and the training offered by industry experts like Lindsey, are allowing farmers to make a living off their small plots of land.

We are proud to work with the Clinton Global Initiative, TransFair USA, the Cordes Foundation, and the hardworking, small farmers of Rwanda to bring you Fair Trade Certified Spring Revival Blend.

Spring Revival Blend offers a fresh flavor profile evocative of spring, bursting with aromatic floral and dark chocolate notes. Kenneth Davids, editor of the independent Coffee Review, awarded Spring Revival Blend an outstanding score of 90 on a 100-point scale. The coffee is available in 10-ounce bags, 2.2 ounce fractional packages, and K-Cup® portion packs for Keurig® Single-Cup Brewers through June 4, 2010 at participating retailers and at http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/.

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Thanksgiving Countdown...

Thanksgiving is in 6 days.  Time to cue the countdown to family, parades, and, of course, food.  Lots of it.  Mounds and mounds of turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and pumpkin pie.

Of course, on a personal note, I don’t supply any of those dishes to the Thanksgiving meal.  This isn’t out of spite or maliciousness; it’s just that…well: Burnt sweet potato-marshmallow bake, undercooked rolls, and salmonella stuffing tend not to bode well on the menu.  The safest bet for me has always been something canned; I was thinking of offering the cranberry sauce this year.  Nothing says Thanksgiving more than a can-shaped stack of gelatinized cranberries.

But maybe something different this year?  Something with a little pizzazz?  Something with flavor and flair?  Something that pairs well with a slice of pie and picks you up from the Turkey coma?

Special Reserve Finca El ValleSix-letters for you: Coffee.

But not any coffee, mind you – a coffee that is so unique, so special that even the gobbler on the table will be in awe of my caffeinated expertise: Green Mountain Coffee’s Special Reserve Finca El Valle.

I mean, look at the tasting notes:

A contemplative cup with heavy body and bright but tempered acidity. Intensely aromatic, the flavor is infused with ripe fruit tones: plum, black cherry, and apricot.

Sounds like a Thanksgiving winner.  This has to beat a can of cranberry sauce, hands down.

-Kristen

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Meet Chajulense Cooperative, Guatemala

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 9: How many Fair Trade co-ops work with Green Mountain Coffee?


Answer: 88


 


Haven’t answered our Fair Trade Quiz question of the day, yet?  Well, why not?  The answer’s right there!  If that isn’t enough for you, the first 100 participants* get a sample of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Certified™ Organic House Blend and all answers get entered to the grand prize drawing of 12-months of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified™ Coffees.  Go here to enter: http://www.eatdrinkandbefair.com/quiz.php


*Sorry, employees and their immediate family members of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. are not eligible. But keep an eye out for our internal Fair Trade quiz. 

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Time to highlight another of our Fair Trade cooperatives, Chajulense cooperative in Guatemala.

In the rural highlands of Guatemala, you can tell where a woman lives by the patterns on her huipil, or traditional blouse.  The beautifully woven and embroidered motifs are unique to each community.  In a similar way, astute coffee lovers can discern a Guatemalan bean’s geographic provenance by the distinctive flavor and aroma patterns imparted by the soil, altitude, and rainfall of its environment.

escojedora

Guatemala boasts eight distinct coffee-growing regions, each with its own personality and expression in the cup.  We source Guatemalan beans from coops in several regions, including Association Chajulense Val Vaq Quyol near the Chuchumatanes mountains of Chajul.  The name of this Fair Trade co-op means “only one voice,” and the co-op’s main goal is to improve the quality of life for its members while maintaining their traditions, values, and cultures. It is the largest organic coffee cooperative in Guatemala.

We’ve been working with Chajulense during the past three harvest cycles and are delighted by what we’ve tasted on the cupping table. On a recent trip to Guatemala, our chief coffee buyer, Lindsey Bolger, teamed up at the cupping table with cooperative President Arcadio Daniel Galindo and head cupper Arsemio Rivera Molina to identify beans that best displayed the unique qualities of coffee grown in regions around Chajul.  The cooperative’s prized Caturra and Bourbon varietals displayed shimmers of high-toned fruit, a vibrant acidity, and a resonant depth.

Fair Trade means the cooperative will receive a fair price for these excellent beans, and more. “Searching for a fairer market means not only that we will get better prices,” they write on their website, “but also that we are committed to work towards justice, freedom, and life for all men and women, so that we can live in justice among us and justice with our Mother Earth because only then we will achieve peace and happiness.”

Fair Trade Certified™ beans from the Chajulense cooperative are often used in Fair Trade Organic French Roast, Fair Trade Organic House Blend, and Heifer Hope Blend.

-Laura

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