Flavored Coffee of the Month

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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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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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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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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Water: It’s a Matter of Good Taste

Celebrate National Water Quality Month by Treating your Keurig Brewer Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Hot Apple Cider Receives a Perfect Score

 

Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider

Earlier this month, SingleServeCoffee.com gave Hot Apple Cider by Green Mountain Naturals™ Vue® packs a perfect score: 100-out-of-100!  But who’s really surprised? With a total of five all natural ingredients and no artificial flavors or preservatives, this drink should be at the top of the list for hot apple cider lovers (Like me!).

The review was sure to highlight the “rich notes of sweet apples with bursts of spicy cinnamon” and the “silky smooth” consistency. Overall, it was decided that Green Mountain Natural’s Hot Apple Cider was, “spot-on with real mulled apple cider.”

Don’t just read about how great the apple cider is, taste it!  Hot Apple Cider by Green Mountain Naturals is available in both in Vue® packs and K-Cup® packs on our website, as well as in grocery stores and retailers nationwide.

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Fair Trade Gingerbread Whoopie Pie Recipe

Happiness comes from lots of things in life; a smile from a stranger, an email from a friend, or your favorite seasonal Green Mountain Coffee® flavors - like Fair Trade Gingerbread and Fair Trade Spicy Eggnog - coming back into rotation.

I'd never made whoopie pies before, but I had my heart set on creating them using Fair Trade Gingerbread coffee since the moment we decided that would be this month's flavor. Can I tell you a secret? Whoopie Pies are now a full on obsession!

They're way easier than I ever imagined. You'll be able to bake up a dozen saucer-sized whoopie pies with tangy, creamy filling in no time at all. They'll make a fabulous impression beside all the sugar cookies and shortbread that make an appearance this time of year.

Imagine the oohs and ahs you'll garner when you present a tray of these festive Gingerbread Coffee Whoopie pies with Gingerbread Cream Cheese filling decorated with red, white, and green sprinkles!

Fair Trade Gingerbread Coffee Whoopie Pies with Gingerbread Cream Cheese Filling

Makes 12 saucer-sized pies

 

 

Ingredients

For the Pies

  • 1/4 cup Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Gingerbread Coffee
  • 1/4 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (also known as graham flour)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup full flavor molasses
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the Filling

  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons Fair Trade Gingerbread Coffee
  • Holiday Sprinkles (optional)

Directions

 

For the Pies

Brew one 4 oz cup of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Gingerbread Coffee and set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a large mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, add vegetable shortening and softened butter, and mix on medium speed until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times. Add brown sugar and beat again until well mixed, then do the same with the egg.

In a separate medium mixing bowl, combine whole wheat pastry flour, kosher salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Stir with a whisk for one minute (this aerates the flour so there is no need to sift), then set aside.

Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture in the large mixing bowl and mix on low speed to combine. Scrape the sides of the bowl often. When fully incorporated, add molasses to the mixture and mix on low speed again until fully combined.

Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix on low again. Scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure all the flour is mixed in. When this is done, add the buttermilk and cooled coffee and mix on low speed until these last two ingredients are well mixed-in.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then, using a large cookie scoop or an ice cream scoop, spoon 6 portions of batter onto the sheet, well spaced apart as they will spread.

Remove cream cheese for the filling from the refrigerator at this time and leave it on the counter. It will soften while you bake off the pies. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove immediately.

Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a moment, then carefully peel the parchment paper away from each pie half. Place the cookie on a cooling rack to continue cooling, and continue baking the rest of the pies.

 

For the Filling

Once all the pies are baked and are cooling, begin to make the filling. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream cheese on high for about a minute.

One cup at a time, sift the powdered sugar and add it to the cream cheese, mixing on low at first, then on high to fully incorporate and whip.

When all the powdered sugar is mixed in, add vanilla extract and Fair Trade Gingerbread Coffee to the mixture. Whip on medium speed until the filling reaches the consistency you'd like.

If you find the filling too thick for your liking, add half and half or whipping cream one tablespoon at a time, mixing after each tablespoon, until you reach your desired consistency.

Spoon filling onto one half of a whoopie pie and spread with the back of the spoon in a circular motion towards the outside of the cookie. Top with a second cookie and press slightly so that the filling is visible from the edges.

If you would like, hold the pie over a baking tray and lightly coat the filling with holiday sprinkles. The tray will catch any sprinkles that don't stick to the filling and make for easy clean up.

Refrigerate the pies until ready to serve, up to two days.

 

[Psst - if you go over to Bluebonnets & Brownies, there's a Gingerbread coffee giveaway going on, too!  Go on over and check-it out!]

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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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Beating the Heat the Green Mountain Way

Yesterday was not only the first official day of summer, but here in Vermont the temperature reached a record-breaking 95 degrees! While we native Vermonters are used to winter conditions – it can snow anytime between November and April around these parts – this heat wave is really throwing us for a loop. We know how to keep warm with a down snowsuit, a hand-knit hat, and a steamy mug of coffee but keeping cool is a new phenomenon altogether.

As someone who drives a non-air-conditioned truck, and whose house is kept cool by a series of fans and open windows, beating the heat can be a bit of an art form. These past two days have seen me relying on my Keurig® brewer to chill me out, brewing cup after cup (after cup, after cup) of my favorite Brew Over Ice iced beverages.  I’ve been drinking my favorite summer treat, Brew Over Ice Nantucket Blend Iced Coffee, to both cool me down, and perk me up.  Until today.

You can imagine my horror today when I realized I was not the only one at the office using Brew Over Ice to beat this week’s heat – when I went to the break room to make myself a cup, I discovered the box of Nantucket Blend Iced coffee was completely empty! After frantically searching for just one more K-Cup® pack, I had to accept that I was going to find a different way to refresh myself.

I decided to try and fend off my disappointment, and the high temperatures, with the Original Donut Shop’s new Sweet and Creamy Nutty Hazelnut Iced Coffee. After all, it was sitting right next to my beloved Nantucket Blend on the shelf. I filled up my plastic cup with ice, popped the K-Cup® pack in the brewer, and pressed the 8-oz. brew setting. I took a curious first sip, and then another deep slurp. The mix of toasty hazelnut and coffee flavors, and the sweet cream notes was the perfect way to beat the heat, and give me that afternoon perk I craved.

I think I’ve just found the best way for a Vermonter to keep cool in the summer months - how are you beating the heat today?

 

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What is your favorite Hot Cocoa?

Even though the cooler months are coming to an end, a nice mug of Hot Cocoa from our Keurig® brewer can be a warm welcome on a chilly morning or a ray of sunshine on a grey, uninviting day.

When our family comes home from a late afternoon walk and everyone’s hands and noses are a little cold, there isn’t a more comforting feeling than a warm drink in your hands.  Typically, I love sipping on Swiss Miss® Cocoa K-Cup® and Dad likes to sit back with a strong cup of coffee, but on weekend afternoons, the whole family gravitates towards hot cocoa. And every weekend we end up in the same debate: which is the best K-Cup® hot cocoa?

Swiss Miss K-Cup Hot CocoaWe keep a variety of Café Escapes® K-Cup® packs on hand - Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and even Café Mocha for when we need a little extra kick. Now that we’ve discovered the Swiss Miss® Cocoa K-Cup® pack, we keep those stocked up for when the nieces and nephews come over, too!

The kids love the Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa, which is rich and creamy, and Dad goes for the sophisticated flavor of the Cafe Escapes Dark Chocolate. I prefer the Milk Chocolate - classic, sweet, and really decadent!

No matter how long we discuss it, there’s really no way to settle this debate - each flavor has its own appeal. You just have to try them for yourself.

In our family, the best hot cocoa K-Cup® pack is topped with a healthy dollop of whipped cream. I sometimes add extra goodies, like marshmallows, sprinkles, a stick of cinnamon, or a little cocoa sprinkled lightly over everything. Yum!

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So, Why Are Seasonal Coffee Blends Not Available in K-Cups?

Over the past few months, many of you have responded to our blog posts about the return of your favorite seasonal coffees, asking why our seasonal blends have been retired from the the K-Cup® Portion-Pack line-up.

Trust us: It was not an easy decision to make.  We know how much some of you love these blends and brewing them in your Keurig® brewer, so the retirement was not one we took lightly.

Discontinuing items from our product lines not new -- as a company, it's standard practice for us to evaluate our products' performance to see how well they're doing, for better or for worse.  At a recent review of our Seasonal coffees, it was shown that the Flavored Seasonal coffees in K-Cups outselling the Seasonal Blends in K-Cups 4 to 1.  We also saw that Seasonal bagged coffees are strong overall, for both flavors and blends.

It's never easy to have to break news like this to our customers--we realize that decisions like this can be disappointing to those who develop a fondness for the products that are discontinued.

But there is are a few options for those of you who adored our Seasonal Blends in K-Cups.  First, Seasonal Blends are still available in bags - so you can pick up at My K-Cup adapter and still brew your favorite.  Second, while the Seasonal Blends are no longer available in K-Cups, our coffee team has worked to find some great recommendations of other coffee blends that you may enjoy:

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Introducing Brew Over Ice™ Tea K-Cups: The Ultimate in Summer Cool

How many times has this happened to you: it’s a hot day, and you head to the fridge to pour yourself a refreshing glass of iced tea—only to find that someone (and you know it wasn’t you) put the practically empty pitcher back in the refrigerator, thinking it will miraculously refill itself once the door closes and the light goes out. Frustrating, indeed.  Well now you can say sayonara to that scenario—we’ve come up with the perfect solution: Brew Over Ice™!

Brew Over Ice is a way to quickly make cold, refreshing iced beverages using your Keurig® Brewer. All it takes is a few simple steps: 1. Fill a tall (16 oz.) cup with ice and place under the brewer. (We suggest you avoid using glass, the hot liquid may cause glass to crack.) 2. Shake the K-Cup and place in brewer. 3. Choose the brew setting (6 oz. or 8 oz.) and press “brew.” 4. Add additional ice as needed and enjoy!  For a step-by-step visual, make sure to click on the "See how easy it is to brew" icon when visiting the product pages for each Brew Over Ice product.

Many of you may already be familiar with our Perfect Iced Teas™,  (the first Brew Over Ice products we introduced last year) available in three all-natural, lightly sweetened fruit flavors: raspberry, lemon, and peach, as well as a full-bodied unsweetened black tea. Beginning this month, we are pleased to be adding two new flavors to the Perfect Iced Tea family: Southern Sweet Tea and Half and Half. Southern Sweet is a robust and smooth black tea, sweetened with a generous helping of natural cane sugar for a distinctively Southern approach to sweet tea. Half and Half (a.k.a. an Arnold Palmer) is a refreshing combination of lemonade and iced tea.

Whichever flavor iced tea you choose, we’re confident that you won’t find an easier way to enjoy this classic beverage than with our Perfect Iced Tea K-Cups®.   Just remember to have plenty of ice on hand!  When shopping our site, remember to use keycode BREW-ICED in your cart, to get $1.00 off all Brew Over Ice K-Cups.  This is a limited time offer that expires on 8/16/10.






Be on the lookout for other new Brew Over Ice™ products that will be introduced this summer. And if you really want to show off your cool, be sure to pick up one of our new Brew Over Ice Tumblers, at GreenMountainCoffee.com.



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Pumpkin Mocha Supreme Recipe

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 22: What is Max Havelaar?


Answer: The name of the first Fair Trade certification initiative and a fictional Dutch character who opposed the exploitation of coffee pickers in Dutch colonies.



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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While there’s no way to really know, we’d like to think that Max Havelaar would approve of our Fair Trade efforts at Green Mountain Coffee. Or, at least that he’d enjoy one of our most popular seasonal Fair Trade coffees, Pumpkin Spice.



pumpkin-mocha-supremePumpkin Mocha Supreme


People tell us they can’t wait for fall…and then they stock up on Pumpkin Spice like little squirrels. The cinnamon and nutmeg flavors are even better when you add a touch of hot chocolate.  Try this yummy Fair Trade recipe:

Pumpkin Mocha Supreme


Enjoy!

-Ken

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Taking Fair Trade to Boston with...sea urchin cappuccino!

How does a nice sea urchin cappuccino sound?  Or pork tenderloin and coffee-sunchoke gravy?  Attendees at celebrity chef cook-off  “Eat, Drink and Be Fair” will be the first to find out as these and other delicacies are debuted as part of a push to make Boston one of the largest Fair Trade Towns in the U.S.

Hosted by Green Mountain Coffee, “Eat, Drink and Be Fair” will pit some of the area’s most inventive culinary wizards head-to-head as part of a series of events celebrating Fair Trade Month.  The event aims to educate guests on the importance of Fair Trade and the impact it can have on people and the planet.

Meet the Chefs

Each chef will be challenged to create a unique dish featuring Fair Trade Certified™ ingredients, such as honey, sugar, cocoa, coffee, bananas and more. They’ll be combining creativity, sustainability and seldom-paired flavors.  Competing chefs include:


  • Chef Richard Garcia, Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro (Foxboro at Patriot Place)


Learn how to prep local and live sea urchin from Chef Garcia.

Watch tips on sourcing the finest in fresh & fair foods from Chef Gilson

 

 

Take the Fair Trade Pledge

This October, Green Mountain Coffee is calling on Bostonians to take the BE FAIR pledge, a promise to choose Fair Trade Certified™ products whenever possible. Fair Trade provides a fair price for farmers which leads to higher living standards, healthier communities, more sustainable farming practices, and higher quality products.

Green Mountain Coffee is hoping 5,000 people in Massachusetts, and others across the country, will pledge during October’s Fair Trade Month.  Individuals can take the pledge by visiting www.eatdrinkandbefair.com.

BOSTON—THE NEXT  FAIR TRADE TOWN

Boston is on track to become the largest East Coast Fair Trade city in the United States.  In order to become a Fair Trade city, Fair Trade products must be widely used in local schools, workplaces and businesses, and the city must pass a resolution supporting Fair Trade.  For a full guide on Boston’s quest and how you can help, visit www.eatdrinkandbefair.com/fair_trade_towns.php.

 

“Eat, Drink & Be Fair” will take place on Wednesday, October 21 from 6:30-9:30 p.m., at the Artists for Humanity Epicenter, Boston’s first LEED-certified building.  The event, which is by invitation only, will support TransFair USA and the Boston Faith & Justice Network in their efforts to make Boston a Fair Trade Town in 2010.

-Kristen

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Fair Trade All Day Long!

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 16: Other than coffee, what food products are Fair Trade Certified in the United States?


Answer: Tea, cocoa & chocolate, fresh fruit, sugar, rice, vanilla, flowers, and honey


 


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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Fair Trade coffee means many things to me:


1.      Fair prices paid to democratically-organized farmer cooperatives


2.      Fair labor conditions


3.      A direct line of commerce between growers and buyers


4.      Community development


5.      Environmental sustainability. 


 


But most of all, it means that a single sip, bite, or spoonful is a great way to start the day…for me, you, and many farmers, as well.


 


With your day off to a rousing start, why not keep the Fair Trade ball rolling?  It’s possible to fuel the Fair Trade movement in a bunch of mouth-watering ways: chocolate, bananas, mangos, pineapples, grapes, sugar, honey, rice and tea (and, if you consider flowers edible, there are Fair Trade flowers too!).  Sounds like there is a killer batch of brownies or a lush fruit salad in my future.


 


For those without the time (or, in my case, skills!) to whip up something from scratch, our neighbors from just up the road, Ben & Jerry’s, use Fair Trade vanilla, chocolate, and coffee in their versions of these flavors.  À la mode, anyone?


 


Green America (formerly Co-op America) a not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society, has a nice list of where to find these Fair Trade products.  See that list via the link HERE.


 


-Paula

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Hope for the Future in Fair Trade

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 15: How many Fair Trade Certified™ varieties of coffee does Green Mountain Coffee sell?


Answer: 41


 


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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With 41 delicious Fair Trade coffees, is it any surprise that we have a story for each of them? Allow me to introduce you to the origins of one our Fair Trade Single Origin coffees: Sumatra Lake Tawar. 

Fauziah, 30-year-old Sumatran coffee farmerIndonesian coffees are prized for their complexity. The unusual processing techniques used by the farmers create a distinctive coffee experience; a mosaic of heady aromas and pungent flavors that tumbles around in the mouth.

We began working with farmers from the areas near Lake Tawar in 1997, when we provided start up money to create an organic coffee cooperative.  Since then, we’ve helped the cooperative build a community center, a water supply system, and a seedling nursery. In the wake of the 2004 tsunami-earthquake, many of our employees donated money for disaster relief, and the company matched their donations.

Today, the cooperative is thriving. With the premium received from Fair Trade prices, the community has been able to build new roads, schools, and a clean water supply.

Lindsey Bolger, our Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships, recently visited the Lake Tawar region to meet with farmers who contribute to our Fair Trade Certified™ Sumatran coffees. She was introduced to Fauziah, a 30-year-old farmer who was looking forward to a brighter future.

“Now that we’ve joined a Fair Trade Certified co-op,” she told Lindsey, “we know that there will be funds available to help us improve quality and yields.”

Single Origin Sumatran Lake Tawar has a syrupy body with notes of clove and cardamom. Independent coffee critic Kenneth Davids gave it 85 points in August 2009.

-Laura

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Fair Trade = Quality

Fair Trade Month Quiz:


Question 14: Between 2003 and 2008, how many pounds of Fair Trade coffee were imported into the US?


Answer: 309,259,758


 


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 correct answers get entered to the grand prize drawing of 12-months of Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Certified™ Coffees.  Go here to enter: www.eatdrinkandbefair.com/quiz


*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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We believe that our highest quality coffees come from coffee communities with a healthy quality of life.  


 


In fact, Fair Trade Certified™ coffees are some of the highest quality coffees in the world.


 


But don’t just take our word for it.  Kenneth Davids is editor of the independent Coffee Review (www.CoffeeReview.com), one of the most respected and widely read coffee publications.  Like wine, coffee is judged on aroma, acidity, body, flavor and aftertaste on a 100-point scale. Connoisseurs look for a score of 80 or above, and a 90 is considered “outstanding.”


 


Mr. Davids gave our Kenyan Highland Cooperatives a score of 92.  And our Limited Edition Fair Trade seasonal coffees have also scored highly, with a 90 for our Holiday Blend, and a 92 for our Spring Revival Blend. 


 


Recently Green Mountain’s Fair Trade coffees were also honored with the UK’s 2009 Great Taste Awards from the Guild of Fine Food, “the acknowledged benchmark for specialty food and drink.”  Our Fair Trade Organic Espresso Blend received a 2 Star Gold Award and our Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve (my personal favorite) received a 1 Star Gold.


 


That’s the beauty of Fair Trade organic coffees – it’s a better deal for farmers, and better coffee for you!


 


-Sandy

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