Holiday K-Cup Flavors

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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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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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Happy National Hot Mulled Cider Day!

Delicious Recipes for Hot Mulled Cider

Sorry to interrupt your National Chewing Gum Day celebrations, but did you know September 30th is also National Hot Mulled Cider Day?  That’s right, two holidays for the price of one (although I would not suggest mixing the two). 

I’m not trying to steal chewing gum’s thunder, but what better way is there to celebrate the season than with an aromatic and spicy cup of cider?  Hot mulled cider sings with the flavors of autumn and, after a day out in the crisp fall air, it is the perfect comfort drink to warm you from the inside out.  But sometimes, when you want just one cup, it’s hard to convince yourself to go through the trouble of turning on the stove and mulling an entire batch (or in my case it’s even harder to wait while the cider mulls). 

In the spirit of hot mulled cider day, here is a quick and simple single cup recipe that captures all the wonderful flavors of hot mulled cider.

Hot Mulled Cider

Ingredients (serves 1)

Directions

  1. Toss the spices and sugar into a heat-proof mug.  Or use a tea-ball for the spices, if you have one.  (Want to embrace your inner Vermonter?  Replace the sugar with maple syrup).
  1. Brew 1 Green Mountain Naturals® Hot Apple Cider  K-Cup® or Vue® pack on the 8oz. setting into the mug.
  2. Stir to mix ingredients and dissolve the sugar.
  3. Let steep for 5 minutes.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop out the whole spices after your cider has steeped.  If you don’t mind a clove bobbing around here or there, you can skip this step and drink as is.
  5. Cuddle up with your mug, relax, and enjoy.

Happy Hot Mulled Cider Day, everyone!

 

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How Will You Handle The Temptation on National Blueberry Muffin Day?

Celebrate National Blueberry Muffine Day with Wild Mountain Blueberry Coffee

Tomorrow is a holiday dedicated to one of my favorite pastries: National Blueberry Muffin Day! The bad news is this holiday falls right in the middle of swimsuit season, where this treat just isn’t on my breakfast list. If you’re in my boat, we have to wonder: how do we avoid the inevitable temptations of tasty baked goods on this unique national holiday? The answer is simple: flavored coffee. Flavored coffees can satisfy your sweet tooth without the calorie worries, and I’m here to reveal some of my favorite flavors.

First, the classics: Hazelnut and French Vanilla are always delicious. These two flavors are simple and satisfying. Hazelnut, a personal favorite of mine from Green Mountain Coffee®, perfectly embodies the toasted, buttery, hazelnut flavors that everybody loves. French Vanilla is lusciously rich and smooth and captures the flavors of old-time creamy vanilla custard. To sweeten the deal, each K-Cup® pack is calorie-free and guilt-free, so these treats won’t interrupt your summer journey to wellness.

If you want to spice it up a little more, why not drink your favorite treat regret-free? Timothy’s® German Chocolate Cake coffee, Donut House® Cinnamon Roll coffee, Timothy’s® Cinnamon Pastry coffee, and  Donut House® Chocolate Glazed Donut coffee are all to die for! You might think you’re biting into a slice of German chocolate cake or a warm cinnamon roll, but really, you’re drinking a calorie-free and oh-so mouthwatering treat.

Finally, the most appropriate way to celebrate National Blueberry Muffin Day and be proud of your will power is to embrace Green Mountain Coffee® Wild Mountain Blueberry® coffee! You might think blueberry coffee sounds crazy, but after you try it, you’ll fall for the juicy, sweet, oh-so-slightly buttery aroma and the sun-kissed wild blueberry with a hint of caramel flavor. What better way to curb your craving for a blueberry muffin than with a hot cup of Wild Mountain Blueberry® coffee in the morning?

Flavored coffees are my hidden secret this summer. The taste of each flavor makes me feel like I’m eating the treat – no more cravings for me. So this summer, try one of these tasty coffee flavors and celebrate National Blueberry Muffin Day the right way. Branch out on this special day and try a wild flavor like Wild Mountain Blueberry® - who knows, it may be a new favorite.

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Last Minute Holiday Tips from Our K-Cup Ambassadors

With only a few days until Christmas, how’s the last minute planning and gift shopping going?  Are all the gifts wrapped and under the tree, or are you a bit frazzled and still trying to pull together menus, not to mention still struggling to figure out what to get that mother-in-law of yours? (Trust me: We're all there!)

Homemade salsa from Amber of Bluebonnets & Brownies

 

To help out, we tapped into some of our K-Cup® Ambassadors to provide a few tips to help you check off some of those final tasks. 

  • Take a break.  Kelby of Type-A Parent says, “It is so easy to get caught up in your endless to-do list for the holidays (and unfortunately, holidays are on the calendar and come with a definite deadline). Take a break to do something holiday-related just for the sheer fun of it. Almost every town or city has some sort of holiday displays, events, festivals or even just holiday lights driving through neighborhoods. Take one day to just enjoy the holidays. Believe me, all the other stuff can wait one day (unless, perhaps, you are reading this on Christmas Eve). 
  • Do-ahead appetizers.  When planning appetizers, Amber of Bluebonnets & Brownies says to always include a few dips that can be made ahead of time, and quickly too, like this homemade salsa recipe. Throw some tortilla chips in a bowl, and you're ready to go. It's my mother's recipe, and I serve it at every party we host, no matter the time of year. It's always a hit, and it comes together in the food processor in about 3 minutes flat. Add to that, it can be made up to 3 days ahead of time, and the flavors only get better the longer it sits."
  • Hostess Gifts.  Julie from The Little Kitchen loves to give little gift baskets with coffee and cookies in them - or even a cute coffee mug with a little baggie with a sampling of your favorite K-Cup® packs and some homemade biscotti or cookies.
  • Take a “Me Moment”.  Kristen of Dine & Dish carves out a bit of “me” time each day. “I do that by sitting down to a cup of coffee. There is a reason coffee is hot… it’s meant to be sipped and savored, not rushed.  I use that 15 minutes in my day to get a grip on the day and it truly does work.”
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Caramel Gingerbread Cream Coffee Recipe

As with many of our flavored coffees, we took a down-home cook’s approach to crafting our Holiday Seasonal Fair Trade Gingerbread coffee. Combining flavors and roasts is very similar to working with your favorite recipes. And who doesn’t enjoy baking fresh, hot gingerbread?

After baking various recipes and experimenting with different flavors, our final result tastes almost like a proud, “mother’s favorite” type of gingerbread pastry.

But we’re not done yet.  How about adding a little caramel-goodness to your gingerbread?

Caramel Gingerbread Cream Recipe:

 

K-Cup® Caramel Gingerbread Cream Recipe:

Have you given this coffee recipe a spin?  What do you think?

 

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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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Green Mountain Coffee Top Holiday Gift Picks

With so much of the holidays already dedicated to the stresses of the season, we’re here to provide you with trouble-free gift giving to even the pickiest person on your list.  Yes, even the pickiest person on your list.  You know the kind: The friends you love dearly but have expensive tastes (that’s Luxury Larry), your restaurateur neighbor (Foodie Fran), you socially-conscious coworker (Advocating Anne), or your sibling who has absolutely everything (Been-there-Done-That Ben).  Have no fear this year – Green Mountain Coffee’s got you covered.



Give something truly exceptional this holiday season with Green Mountain Coffee’s Special Reserve coffee.  Four times a year, we seek out some of the rarest coffees from around the world and batch roast them to display the coffee’s fullest flavor and aroma.  Each Special Reserve comes from a single origin – like our latest Papua New Guinea Wahgi Valley – and produces a very limited batch, only around 1,000 bags.  Our Special Reserve selections pair the farmers’ best work with the art and craft of our Master Roasters – all so true coffee connoisseurs can experience the unique qualities of these origins in their morning cup. This website exclusive is available for $17.95 for 10-12 ounce bag or you can join the Tour to get the latest Reserves shipped right to your door before anyone else.




Be the toast of the breakfast table by giving a delicious breakfast that will fill those on your list with good feelings and food. Start with our own Organic House Blend coffee or Lake Champlain Hot Cocoa— both are Fair Trade and organic. Follow up with organic treats from Highland Sugarworks: multi-grain pancakes topped with exquisite maple syrup.  Share this gift with your holiday hosts and they’ll be asking you to come back as soon as possible! Available for $37.95.


If variety is the spice of your loved ones life, Green Mountain Coffee has a coffee selection for you.  This sampler includes three 10-oz. bags of coffee to fit every mood – bold and dark with French Roast, sweet and swanky with Sumatran Reserve, and bright and vibrant with our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. Each certified Fair Trade and Organic, our sampler is perfect for the socially-minded with a coffee habit that’s never routine. Available for $24.95.


Keurig® single-cup brewing is the latest trend in coffee – bringing fast, affordable, and café quality hot beverages to the home. Each of the over 200 varieties of K-Cup® portion packs make the perfect cup of coffee, tea, hot cocoa, hot cider, and iced coffee and teas at the touch of a button. There's no measuring, grinding, or mess.  With five Keurig brewers available, from the red hot Mini Plus Personal Brewer ($99.95) to the luxury Cuisinart® Keurig Single-Cup Brewer ($199.99), there’s a style and price point for everyone. Even the gadget guru with everything will want to thank you every time they push the button.  Available at GreenMountainCoffee.com (and there’s free shipping on all brewers when shipping within the continuous US).

No matter the stresses this season may bring, we’re here to make your holidays a happy one.

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Caramel Gingerbread Cream Recipe

Who doesn’t enjoy the aromas and flavors of fresh-baked gingerbread? Alone, our Fair Trade Certified™ Gingerbread coffee offers the zesty ginger and spice aromas of Mom's old-fashioned gingerbread pastry and warm oven-fresh flavor.

With a little steamed milk and caramel added to the mix, this coffee offers a new form of holiday indulgence for your taste buds.

Caramel Gingerbread Cream Recipe


  • Brew a pot of Fair Trade Gingerbread coffee.

  • Combine 2/3 coffee and 1/3 steamed light cream in a mug.

  • Add caramel syrup to taste. Top with whipped cream and a swirl of caramel syrup.


For Keurig Single-Cup brewers:


Now that’s a revelation worth trying.  (And try it soon - Gingerbread is a Holiday Seasonal and will only be available until December 24!)

 

 

Have another coffee recipe you want to share with our caffeinated crew?  Leave us a comment and we may share your recipe!

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Holiday Coffees Are Back!

It's the most wonderful time of the year
With coffee a-brewing
And all are woo-hoo-ing
'Cause Holiday Seasonal Coffees are here!
It's the most wonderful time of the year

It's the hap-happiest season of all
Eggnog and Gingerbread K-Cups® and bags
Share when friends come to call
It's the hap-happiest season of all

There's Holiday Blend if you're not into flavored
Light and dark roasts made to be savored
Comes only in bags just so you know
But whichever you choose, you've got nothing to lose
They'll fill you with Holiday glow

It's the most wonderful time of the year
With these coffees you're sharing
In Fair Trade's fine caring
Coffee farmers will cheer

It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time
It's the most wonderful time of the year!

(Parody based on Andy Williams' smash hit "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," written by Pola and Wyle, 1963.)

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Just Drink It.

We often get asked how to pair coffee with food and there are so many ways to answer that question. I like warm cider donuts to dunk in a cappuccino. That’s my own holy grail of coffee and food pairing although in my book any good coffee goes well with a chocolate cake dessert. Especially if the coffee has some cream in it.

There’s no right answer except to experiment. But we can share a few opinions from some of the coffee pros (not us – yes, we make a living from coffee – but I mean the people who make a living from being ‘smart’ about coffee and food.)

Ken Davids, the famous coffee writer and reviewer, once said in a presentation that the whole idea was a little overdone, but that in general, heavy coffee flavors (Indonesians, dark roasts, extra bold K Cups, press pot coffee) go with heavy foods and lighter coffee flavors (Central American coffees, light roast blends) go with lighter foods. He worried that “people feel locked in and loose spontaneity” getting worked up about the right match.

Another writer, Timothy James Castle, says there are two ways to pair food with coffee. Contrast – pair foods with coffees that are very different; or resonance – pair foods and coffees that are similar (a la Ken Davids’ approach). By the way, Mr. Castle also suggests that if you are using coffee to cook with or to flavor a dish for an evening meal, use decaf. Apparently, he learned that lesson the hard way.

If you’re serving good coffee and good food, you can’t go wrong. Happy Holidays!

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