Roasted Coffee Beans

Maximum Brewing Action Satisfaction

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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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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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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Q Graders at the Train Station

The Official Tasting Spoon

Our Assistant Manager at the Train Station has received a major accolade recently. The Train Station is proud to be able to say that Craig Johnston has become a fully licensed Q Grader this summer.  On October 7th he received his personalized Q Grader spoon from Lindsey Bolger!

What does this mean? He has been certified by the Coffee Quality Institute to grade green beans and identify roasts through their learned sensory and sensory triangulation skills. Members of the Coffee Department have had a chance to become familiar with him recently as he has attended several cuppings. It is a six day course with twenty-two strictly passes or fails sensory tests.

Craig chose to take this course when he felt a need for a real challenge. He likes knowing how things work. The process of choosing our beans for our coffees really sparked his interest and he chose to gain insight in the field. This rigorous course really honed his senses. He and five other employees also earned their licenses. Congrats to all of them!

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A New Coffee Blend That’s a World-Traveler

 

 

Just in time for Fair Trade Month, Green Mountain Coffee® has introduced a new Fair Trade Certified™ coffee that brings together beans from three of the most distinctive coffee growing regions in the world. Introducing new, extra bold, medium roast, Three Continent Blend, a harmonious blend that’s not only great coffee for you, it’s helping provide a better quality of life for farmers on our source farms in Sumatra, South America, and Ethiopia.

Here’s how.

Fair Trade certification gives farmers a fair price for their beans with a guaranteed minimum, which means they can invest in their crops, their communities, and their future. Fair Trade also lets Green Mountain Coffee® and farmers work closely together to bring the best tasting coffee to market.

And because it’s Fair Trade Month, there’s all sorts of great stuff going on: savings on all Green Mountain Coffee® Fair Trade Certified™ coffees. And have you heard? Kelly Clarkson traveled to Peru as a Green Mountain Coffee® Fair Trade Ambassador to learn about Fair Trade and all the good it does around the world. You can check out her travelogue, including photos and video at www.choosefairtrade.com. And on October 10, you can watch an exclusive Kelly Clarkson concert live on Facebook. Learn more at www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCoffee.  

Our hope with all this exciting promotional work is that the next time you shop for coffee, you’ll consider choosing Fair Trade. It’s one of the easiest ways you can help make a positive difference in the world. So have your coffee…and feel good about it, too.

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Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Chili Recipe

Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Chili

Chilly temperatures call for spicy chili.  But not just any chili – a wham-bam, ka-pow style chili thanks to a special ingredient: coffee.  Oh, but not just any coffee: French Roast.  The mother of all coffees – the deepest, darkest, most intense roast out there.  French Roast brings a strong, smoky flavor to the party that enhances anything it touches, including spice.  And this chili has spice thanks to our good friends: chili powder and chipotle.   Throw together a pot of this chili and prepare for your football/track meet/lazy Sunday experience to be turned up to 11. 

Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Chili

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes with added puree
  • 1 French Roast Coffee K-Cup® or Vue® pack, brewed at 8-oz setting
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
  • 3 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Grated Vermont cheddar cheese, sour cream, fresh chives to garnish, as desired

 

Vegetarian Chipotle Black Bean Chili

 

Directions

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions and pepper and cook until tender and beginning to turn golden, about 8- to 10-minutes.

Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin.  Cook 1-minute.  Add tomatoes, coffee, and chipotle.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add beans and salt.  Bring mixture to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 30-minutes.  Season to taste with additional salt, if necessary.  Garnish with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chives, if desired.

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Tully's Coffee: You Are The Apprentice

 

 

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

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

 

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Brewing the "Millennium Challenge Macchiato"

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

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

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

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

Millennium Challenge Macchiato

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Spilling The Beans

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

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

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

 

Trivia question:

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

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My Journey to Source - Nicaragua

By: Liz Dorhman, CSR department volunteerism maven Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. offers its employees the opportunity to visit the communities we purchase our coffee from. Each year different groups of employees travel to these communities to visit farmers, pick coffee and follow its journey from tree to your cup. I was lucky to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity and traveled to Nicaragua with twelve co-workers from different departments and locations. We spent six days together learning about coffee and the communities that grow it. One of the things I’ll remember most about this trip is how much work is behind my morning cup of coffee.


Coffee Cherries on Selva Negra in Nicaragua

Our first day in Nicaragua we traveled to a sustainable coffee estate called Selva Negra. Selva Negra was the first place most of us had ever seen a coffee tree. Picking coffee is more challenging than you might think. Each cherry (the coffee bean is inside it), needs to be the perfect shade of red. When picking that perfectly ripe cherry you had to be careful not to remove the stem. The stem is where the next flower and then cherry will grow. Remove the stem, remove the chance for a new cherry and bean to grow. Picking was done by hand on each farm we visited, no matter the size. Most workers can fill a basket in an hour. It took me 45 minutes to just cover the bottom of my basket.

Turning the green beans on a drying patio at Selva Negra
 

After picking, the pulp or fruit of the coffee cherry needs to be removed. Then the coffee needs to be washed and is partially dried at the farm. Next, it’s transported to a dry mill and spread on large cement patios where it is periodically turned to ensure uniform drying. It’s then bagged and moved to a warehouse where it needs time to rest. Throughout this rest period, samples are taken from each bag. The coffee is roasted and tasted on site at a lab, where cuppers can tell if it needs to rest for longer. Once it’s ready, the coffee is sorted by size and quality and re-bagged for export.
 

Green Coffee Beans


Every cup of coffee I drink for the rest of my life will be a reminder of the hard work of coffee farmers around the world.
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Ask the Coffee Lab: Coffee Acidity

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


- From @Bluesky107


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

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

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


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

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

Here are some of my own personal observations about acidity:



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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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Limited Edition: Special Reserve La Unión Mexico

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

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

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

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

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What’s in a name?

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

Harvard Blend

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

Nantucket Blend®

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

Lake & Lodge®

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

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Where’s my Fair Trade Organic Espresso Blend?

What is happening to all of the Fair Trade K-cups, I heard they are being discontinued? -Karen


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Good news: Our Fair Trade K-Cups are not being discontinued.  Right now, Fair Trade and Organic certified and Colombian green bean supply is low due to weather conditions in Latin America and other unexpected circumstances, so we’re temporarily cutting back on a few blends until supply is up again.

Since we learned of this shortage, our coffee team has been working hard to identify and purchase as much of a supply of Fair Trade and Organic certified green coffee as possible.  This situation only galvanizes our commitment to the development of more certified farms to ensure that farmers live a better life and that you can get the double certified coffees you love.

The great news is that since our team has been working on this night and day, we expect that these coffees should be back in stock come late spring of this year.  In the meantime, we do have some suggestions to get you through until your favorite Fair Trade Espresso Blend or Fair Trade Organic Vanilla Cream returns:




































Newman’s Own Organic Special Blend (K-Cup)Green Mountain Coffee Sumatran Reserve

Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend (not extra bold)

Newman’s Own Organic Nell’s Breakfast Blend (K-Cup)Green Mountain Coffee Breakfast Blend (not extra bold)
Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic Espresso BlendGreen Mountain Coffee Dark Magic

Green Mountain Coffee Double Black Diamond

Green Mountain Coffee Colombian Fair Trade SelectGreen Mountain Coffee Our Blend

Green Mountain Coffee Kenyan AA

Green Mountain Coffee FTO French RoastNewman’s Own Orangics French Roast

Green Mountain Coffee French Roast

Green Mountain Coffee Dark Magic

Green Mountain Coffee Double Black Diamond

Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic House BlendGreen Mountain Coffee Vermont Country Blend

Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend

Green Mountain Coffee Harvard Blend

Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic Rain Forest BlendGreen Mountain Coffee Dark Magic

Green Mountain Coffee Double Black Diamond

Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic Vanilla CreamGreen Mountain Coffee Caramel Vanilla Cream

Green Mountain Coffee French Vanilla


Thank you all for your patience!  We’ll be brewing these coffees again shortly!

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Ask the Coffee Lab: How to Use A French Press

“I always want to use my French Press!!! Seems complicated though, so it’s still in the box O_o Where should I start?”


- A grouping of a few questions on Twitter and the blog

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Dear Soon-to-be French Press fans, I’ll show you how easy it is.

First thing's first:  Take the French Press (sometimes called a press pot) out of the box.   Run it through the dishwater and put it into service!

Some people get hung up with thinking that there’s a magic formula of grind size, amount of coffee, and time, but there’s no reason to be worried. The beauty of a French Press is its simplicity. Grind some coffee, pour it in, pour some hot water on top, let it sit for 3-4 minutes, press the plunger down, serve, and enjoy.

But it sounds like you're looking for more specifics to get started.

Grind: If you use the common 32-ounce pot, use 1.75 ounces of coffee ground at “coarse.” If you’re grinding at the store, just ask someone for the coarse setting. On a Bunn (the 1 pound grinder that you still see in grocery stores) it’s called “Electric Perc."  If you’re grinding at home and eyeballing the grind – you should be able to see some lighter colored flecks mixed in. That’s still coffee; it’s a part of the bean that would get ground up into smaller pieces with the more common auto grind.

Measurement: If you don’t have a scale to weigh out the grinds, go out and buy one.  While scooping your coffee for the French Press won't ruin the experience,  scooping is a suboptimal, volumetric way to measure coffee.  Why?  For example, the same volume of French Roast weighs less than the same volume of, say, Our Blend.  That's where weight comes in handy.

If you don’t have a scale, and you don’t want to do some trial and error to find the right ratio, you could start with putting in about 1 ½  inches of grinds at the bottom of the pot.

Process:

1. Boil up some water on the stove or from an electric kettle. Once it’s boiling, take it off the burner and set it aside for at least 10-seconds. That will bring the temperature to about 2000 Fahrenheit, which is the optimal temperature to brew coffee.
2. Pour the water into the pot until the “foam” gets to the top of the ring. (See how easy this is?)


3. Set your timer for at least 3-minutes.
4. When it goes off, stir the coffee like this:

5. Then press the plunger down, and - this part is important- leave it in.

6. Now, you can pour your French Pressed coffee in your favorite mug.  As studies show, with a nice warm beverage in hand, you’re more likely to be kinder to everyone, so a bonus for all!   Keep in mind that unless you have a thermal press pot, the coffee won’t stay hot for long, so just brew enough to drink right away (Or put it in a thermal carafe).


If you think the coffee is too strong, put less coffee in next time, and/or for less time too. If you want it to be stronger, put more coffee in, and/or keep it in there longer. There are no right or wrong choices for coffee to use, though I am partial to darker roast blends.  Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve is very nice in a press pot, too.

Now that you know how it easy it is, you can make a fresh pot anytime you want.

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


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


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

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


French Roast


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


House Blend


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


Italian Roast



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



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

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

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Compost Happens…at GMCR

Loading Burlap to be compostedBack, back in the day, when we roasted and sold our coffee out of a small coffee shop in Waitsfield, VT, we began composting. Back in 1983, this was not a large amount of composting, but it started a tradition that would continue to this day.

I remember growing up that my great-grandmother (an avid gardener) would have us save our coffee grinds for her garden. So, when I started working at Green Mountain Coffee, it was not a big surprise to hear that we composted much of the materials associated with coffee.

In our facilities, we compost the burlap bags that green coffee (not roasted) is transported in, the chaff (which is the thin skin surround the bean – similar to the skin of a peanut) and coffee grinds themselves. Year to date we’ve composted almost 450 tons of these items. That’s 450 tons of waste not going to landfill contributing to the creation of nutrient-rich soil.

So what makes coffee such a good player in the compost team? In addition to most of us having a dailyBurlap in Compost (sometimes constant) supply of the grounds, it is also high in nitrogen. For compost to develop properly there must be the right carbon to nitrogen ration. Coffee provides that boost of nitrogen, especially in the winter time when materials high in nitrogen (also known as the “greens”) are scarce.

You can find out more about composting with coffee, along with other composting and gardening tips from our friends at Gardener’s Supply here. You can learn about more ways we're working to reduce our environmental impact by visiting our Brewing a Better World website here.

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Ask the Coffee Lab: Extra Bold Light Roast?

Ready for a question the puzzles even the most die-hard coffee fan?


“How can you have an Extra Bold Light roast?”


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Sometimes it’s a little confusing reading all the different names and styles of coffee we offer. In the best of all possible worlds, you could sit around with a little book and taste coffee all day and make notes, with elegant sketches of apricots and blueberries to remind of the fruit notes in that Ethiopian you liked.

But back to reality and the confusion…


The longer the coffee is in the roaster (basically a big oven that keeps the beans moving and hot), the darker the coffee gets. A lighter roast is in the roaster for less time than a darker roast. The darker the coffee gets, the more intense it gets, but it also gets less complex. Some people say the longer the better; some say not so much. To each his own – that’s why we offer more than 100 different coffees.


Now, let’s talk about the boldness of your coffee.  When you open up a bag of dark roast coffee, people say, “Whew, that’s strong coffee!”

That’s not an untrue statement, but when we say strong, we’re referring to the amount of coffee to the amount of water – we call that brew strength. When we say “bold”, we also referring to the amount of coffee to water – and in this case – the amount of coffee in the K-Cup. Extra bold K-Cups have more coffee in them (around 30% more coffee to be exact).

If you’re up for an Extra Bold light roast, try our Extra Bold Kenyan AA or Donut House Coffee.

That’s another month of Ask the Coffee Lab. If you have questions to ask our Coffee Team, leave a comment here, on Twitter (Follow us: @Coffee_Lab), or Facebook.

-Winston

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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