One Cup Coffee

Hot Vs. Iced Beverages

 

Now that it’s officially Spring, we must ask the question: do you switch from hot to iced?

Early in the morning, it’s hard enough to choose from all of our varieties we have to offer on greenmountaincoffee.com, but now that it’s getting warmer out, the bigger question is: to ice or not to ice?

Personally, I love a refreshing large glass of Green Mountain Coffee® Nantucket Blend® Iced Coffee K-Cup® Pack or French Vanilla Iced Coffee Vue® pack. The sweetness of the coffee, the coolness of the ice: what’s not to love? I feel completely awake and ready to go after one of those beverages! 

What’s even better is that we can really brew any of our favorite K-Cup® or Vue® packs over ice. Just fill a glass to the top with ice, brew your favorite Keurig Brewed® beverage on your smallest cup size setting, add a little more ice or cream at the end and Voilà! 

Don't get me wrong. There are definitely days when I just need my Celestial Seasonings® Decaf Green Tea or am craving a nice hot mug of Café Escapes® Café Mocha, to handle my chocolate fixation. But, for the most part, when spring and summer are just around the corner, so is my urge to lower that cup size setting and brew myself a tall glass of any Brewed® beverage, over ice! 

Do you have any favorites that you love to 'ice'? 

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Poached Pears Recipe

When you're living in New England, great fruit is very hard to come by during those winter months. One fruit that always brings a smile to my face and an appetite to my 3 pm snack belly, however, is a Bartlett pear. Pears, so majestic and juicy, really do bring that extra something special and mysterious to the table. They are found donned in nicely wrapped gift baskets and we all love when we spot them in a fruit bowl. 

We thought the perfect dessert and anytime snack (er, treat), would be to poach the pear, while adding a fusion of coffee and brown sugar, which makes a nice, yet subtle, syrup. Yum! 

So here we are and we hope you enjoy this recipe, too. 

Ingredients: 

1 Colombian K-Cup® or Vue® pack, brewed at 8-ounce setting

2 cups of water

1/3 cup of brown sugar

4 Pears, peeled, halved, and cored 

Directions:

Combine coffee, water, and brown sugar in a large skillet. Add pears. Bring liquid to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 8 minutes. Carefully flip pears over using a rubber spatula and poach another 10 minutes or until pears are tender and liquid has formed a syrup. To serve, drizzle syrup over pears. 

Makes 4 servings. 

Enjoy! 

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Cheers to Health & Wellness

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Highlighting our Keurig Brewing Systems

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System

 

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

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

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

 

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Maximum Brewing Action Satisfaction

 

 

So, maybe you got a new Keurig® brewer over the holidays. Or maybe you’ve had a brewer for years. Either way, there’s a lot more than just a simple cup of coffee that you can get out of this terrific little machine. Here’s some inspiration from GreenMountainCoffee.com and Keurig.com to help you think outside the bean.

 

  1. Explore new varieties of coffee. Sure you have your go-to blend, and no one’s going to take that away from you. But did you know, there are over 150 different K-Cup® and about 50 Vue® pack varieties of coffee out there? From light, medium, and dark roast to extra bold, flavored, or special reserve – you might just discover a new favorite or two.
     
  2. Try other hot brews. Coffee’s not the only cup in town. The best-loved hot tea brands are also available for your Keurig® brewer, including Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, Tazo, Tetley, and Twinings. And on a chilly day, kids and grown-ups alike love a cup of hot apple cider or hot cocoa.
     
  3. Enjoy cold beverages with Brew Over Ice packs. With specially-crafted Brew Over Ice K-Cup® and Vue® packs, it’s a cinch to make a fresh and refreshing cup of iced coffee, iced tea, lemonade or other fruit brew. Just fill a cup with ice (do not use glass), pop in a pack, brew, stir and enjoy!
     
  4. Involve your brewer for cooking and baking. There are lots of great recipes that call for coffee, both sweet and savory dishes. Your Keurig® brewer makes it easy to brew a single cup, fast and without cleanup. This blog has a boatload of delicious recipes, so do a little perusing for some culinary ideas.
     
  5. Use My K-Cup® for whole bean and ground options. For some, there’s nothing like a cup of coffee from freshly ground beans. The My K-Cup® refill pack allows you to grind your own beans or to try varieties that are only available in bags.

 

But it’s not just what’s in the cup that matters. Here are a few more tips.

  1. A little maintenance goes a long way. Changing your water filter every 2 months and descaling your brewer every 3-6 months will not only help extend the life of your brewer, it’ll keep your beverages tasting great. Learn more.
  2. Keep your packs in order. There are a few great space-saving options for keeping your packs handy and organized, including carousels, dispensers, and under-brewer drawers. Check out your storage options for both K-Cup® and Vue® packs.
  3. Stock up for guests. When company comes, it’s a real treat to allow everyone to choose his or her own beverage, so keep a stash of options (see #s 1,2, and 3 above) and make it easy for guests to browse packs (see #7 above).
  4. Keep in touch. Sign up at GreenMountainCoffee.com and Keurig.com (bottom left) to receive emails with exclusive discounts and special offers, new product information, and more. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+.

 

Got an idea to make it an even 10? We’d love to hear from you!

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Happy National Hot Tea Month!

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Test Your Coffee I.Q.

 

 

In case you didn't know, it’s National Trivia Day. Find out how much (or how little) you know about coffee with this 5-question trivia quiz.

 

1.        What is the only state in the U.S. that grows coffee?

a)     Hawaii

b)     Florida

c)     Louisiana

d)     California 

 

 

2.        The name cappuccino comes from:

a)     The drink’s resemblance to the brown cowls worn by Capuchin monks

b)     The similitary in color to fur of Capuchin monkeys

c)     The Italian puccino, meaning ‘light brown one’

d)     The size of the cup in which it’s commonly served 

 


                               

3.        Coffee was the first food to be

a)     Shipped from Europe to the New World

b)     Freeze-dried

c)     Used in Aztec religious ceremonies

d)     Roasted and ground for drinking


 

4.        40% of the world’s coffee is produced by

a)     Africa

b)     Turkey

c)     Columbia and Brazil

d)     Southeast Asia 


 

 

5.        Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee (up to $600 per pound) is:

a)     Processed during a full moon

b)     Brewed only with solid gold pots

c)     Made from coffee beans eaten and then excreted by a Sumatran wild cat

d)     Grown at a higher altitude than any other bean 

 

Answers: 

1. Answer (a) 

2. Answer (a)

3. Answer (b)

4. Answer (c)

5. Answer (c) 

 

Question Source: The Amazing Quiz Challenge (Reader’s Digest Association)

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


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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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A Sweet Way to Bring Friends Together

A holiday cookie swap is a sweet way to bring friends together, not to mention a helpful way to test different cookie recipes before family gatherings—because we all know cookies only burn on the bottom when you make them the day of the holiday party. 

It may sound stressful to host a cookie swap during the busiest time of the year, but it can actually make entertaining easier by simplifying your holiday baking.  If everyone brings cookies that refrigerate or freeze well, you can save your collection of cookies for holiday parties later on.  Plus it is much more manageable to whip up five dozen of the same cookie than it is to gather the supplies for and bake five different types.

Of course, the best part about hosting a cookie swap is tasting all the delicious cookies and, naturally you need something indulgent to dip all that crumbly goodness in.  Spice up your classic sugar cookies  by serving them with a decadent cup of Cinnabon® Classic Cinnamon Roll coffee.  Heighten the always harmonious pairing of mint and chocolate by sampling peppermint bark with Swiss Miss® Hot Cocoa or accent the sweet and tart notes of your dried fruit bark with Green Mountain Coffee® Wild Mountain Blueberry® coffee—after eating so many cookies you’ll need a little coffee to wake yourself up anyways. 

Café Escapes® Chai Latte or India Spice Chai Tea both make perfect complements to my personal favorite treat, molasses ginger cookies.  What is your favorite cookie and what would you pair it with?

Gathering around good food with great friends is my favorite way to rejoice in the season.  Create new memories with friends by sharing your family’s favorite cookie traditions and reminiscing about your past joyful holiday celebrations.

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Supporting Our Troops and Honoring Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a day when Americans pay tribute to those who serve our country.  Here at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) we honor our troops and we like to bring them a taste of home by providing coffee donations.  There’s a history of the military and their coffee; this article from The New York Times talks about it being their secret weapon.    

Fisher House is an organization that provides comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and veteran medical centers.  These homes enable family members of veterans to be close to their loved ones when the veterans are receiving in-hospital treatment for unexpected illness, disease, or injury.  GMCR provides a monthly coffee donation to over 20 Fisher House locations as well as several veterans hospitals.  Easy access to a good cup of coffee can be a small but meaningful comfort during the healing process.  The video below provides a great summary of Fisher House and their tremendous work.  

We also support active duty military personnel through a strategic partnership with an organization called Holy Joe’s Café.   Through this partnership we ship thousands of brewers and millions of K-Cup® packs to over 31 bases in combat zones.  Holy Joe’s Café provides coffee in a café-like setting where the troops can go for support from the Chaplains, listen to music on open mic nights, or just enjoy a great cup of Green Mountain Coffee®.

Our employees in Massachusetts often volunteer with Pease Greeters.  This group greets and thanks troops arriving and departing from Pease International Airport. 

We are proud to support our troops and veterans through these channels and believe these relationships help us get our coffee and brewers in the hands of more military personnel, and show our appreciation in the most equitable way possible.

In the words of Chaplin L. Ray, Hospital Corpsman, 3rd Class USN, “I’ve learned it’s the little things that matter most.  It’s that hot mug of coffee, it’s that letter from home, it’s a hug and a shoulder to cry on.  That’s what matters the most.  And it’s so much more than a hot mug of coffee or tea, to me.  It’s my touch of home!”

Thank you to all those that serve, to your families, and to all who support our veterans.

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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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Spooky Treats For Halloween: Part I

Peanutbutter Buck-Eyeballs!

I have always loved baking. Something about creating a dish, savory or sweet, that brings together families, friends and strangers is incredibly satisfying, not to mention rewarding. I think I can say for certain, that no one hates a baked good and Halloween, in my opinion, is that time of year when we start the baking season! Treats of all kinds are consumed and given out freely on October 31st and I am always game to partake in the baking and consuming of an ungodly amount of sugar and chocolate (and in my kitchen it’s always paired with peanut butter). Many of my tried and true recipes call for coffee, and having a Keurig® brewer has changed the ease in which I can incorporate it.  No more “save that leftover coffee in the pot for me!” shouts from the shower down to my cohorts in the kitchen.  I can easily and breezily brew whatever amount of coffee, hot cocoa, or tea that my recipe calls for.  In the spirit of Halloween and using my brewer,

In a two-part series, I’ve put together some of my staple recipes that are dressed up in their spookiest costumes.

Buck-Eyeballs

Today's scarily tasty treat is my twist on the fan favorite Buckeye balls, irresistible peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate, only now they are creepy (but still irresistible) Buck Eyeballs. 

Buck-Eyeballs

Ingredients

9 oz (1 cup) Peanut butter
4 oz (8 tbsp) Butter, unsalted, soft
1 tsp Vanilla extract
12 oz (3 cups) Confectioners’ sugar, sifted (see Keys to Success)
1 lb (1 1/2 cups) Dark chocolate, melted, tempered

1 package candy eyes

Directions

  1.  Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  2. Cream together the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla extract in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium speed.
  3. Add the confectioners’ sugar slowly until the mixture forms a workable dough. Add up to 1/2 cup more sugar if necessary.
  4. Remove the mixture from the machine. Scoop out balls of the buckeye mixture.
  5. Chill the formed buckeyes for approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Impale each buckeye lightly with a toothpick to use as a handle for dipping in chocolate. Holding a buckeye by the toothpick, dip it in the tempered chocolate, leaving a 1/2-inch circle of the center uncoated on top. Place on a prepared sheet pan. Remove the toothpick and set the candy eyes on top. Allow the chocolate to set completely.
  7. Store at room temp, tightly sealed

 

Keys To Success: The consistency of the peanut butter center is the key to making buckeyes. Add confectioners’ sugar until the mixture will roll up between your hands to a uniform ball that holds its shape and does not crumble or feel too sticky in your hands. This will make it much easier to dip into the chocolate!

Stay tuned next week for another "Spooky Treats" Edition - don't BAT an eye because some more BOO-tastic chocolatey goodies are coming your way!

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Let’s Get Organized!

Did you know last Friday kicked off National Get Organized Week? I’m sure you knew, if it was displayed at your desktop, on a sticky note in your planner, or typed into your I-phone calendar. You get the idea.

It’s no surprise that each year seems to get busier and busier in our lives, from our hectic schedules at work or school, to making time with family and friends. The pace of our lives never ceases to amaze. And so, it is relieving to know there is one week in the year that is actually scheduled to ‘get organized’. What better way than the midst of the school year and fall season to learn a few tricks and tips for order and organization in our lives. So here are my top 5 tips to getting organized. Maybe you’ll find yourself trying a few out in your jam-packed day:

  1. Make lists. I am a big list maker and let me tell you, it does wonders. We do not realize sometimes that with such a long laundry list of to-do’s, if we do not actually write down what we need to get done, things may just slip between our fingers.. Sticky notes should be your best friend! Have fun with it by picking out neon stationary and different shapes and sizes to really stand out and will not be lost at your desk or on the kitchen fridge.
  2. Spring clean. Fall, Winter, & Summer, too! Although it is such a breath of fresh air to get out those lemon-infused cleaners and make our windows shine that beautiful day in May, ultimate cleaning should not be saved just for spring. Make sure you’re always refreshing your space, whether it’s re-decorating your study in your house or changing out your plain white towels for a pop of orange in the bathroom this fall! Even going through your closet every month –I know! – will help in your domination of organization! Any type of face-lift, however big or small, can definitely get you on the track of organization and a sense of zen.
  3. Store and put it away. For good. It’s always hard to let go of things that we may not necessarily need and that step of actually letting go is tough, trust me.  However, once you actually ask yourself when you last used a certain item, whether at home or at your office desk, it will be that much easier to cope with the loss and move on. Declutter space, even a little at a time.
  4. Stay calm! Overwhelming yourself will not help in organizing your day-to-day life. Try tackling one task at a time and you will be able to conquer all. Try sipping on a cup of Bigelow Green Tea, using your Keurig® brewer, while preparing to power through your organizational skills. 
  5. Make it fun! Whether you’re color coding, label making, or using some other fun and funky way of getting organized, you will see that it can actually be a creative challenge and one that will not make you cringe next time you organize your drawers! To give you that extra energy, go bold with Coffee People Jet Fuel K-Cup® packs. You'll really be ready for anything. And perhaps even a dance party! 

I hope you try out some of these tips and your day just might become that much more organized. Won’t it be a great feeling to then have more time to do all the things you love?

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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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Coffee Braised Short Ribs Recipe

 

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

Coffee Braised Short Ribs

Serves 6

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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

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

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10 ways to Celebrate Autumn

Fall is in the air!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Vermont Country Blend Cranberry Maple Bread

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

Vermont Country Blend Cranberry Maple Bread

makes one Bundt pan sized loaf, about 16 slices

Ingredients

For the Dough:

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

For the Filling

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

For the Glaze

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

Maple Sugar for garnish

Directions

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

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

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Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

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

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

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

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

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

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

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

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

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

Double Black Diamond Pudding Pie

makes one 9" pie

Ingredients

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

Directions

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

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

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Ask the Coffee Lab: What do you do when you're sick?

Ask the Coffee Lab: Do you cup when you're sick?

What do you do in the coffee lab if you have a cold? 

It’s hard to evaluate coffee when you have a cold. In fact, it’s hard to evaluate anything. All that phlegm and messy ick stuff that goes into the tissue gets between your taste buds and the coffee.  If we have a cold, we just don’t cup. In part because we’re not that helpful, but mostly so we don’t share the cold with the other cuppers.

When we’re not at death’s door with a cold and swamped with those tissues, there are some “safe cupping” methods to avoid sharing a cold. One way is to have a separate cup and spoon (sort of like an insulator / isolator), that helps you cup each cup. Another way is to cup with two spoons, one that touches your mouth and the other that takes coffee from each cup. The last one, sort of a lazy man’s way, is to go through all the samples after everyone is done cupping.

None of them are much fun and none of them hold a candle to staying home with hot chocolate watching cartoons on the television.

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