Specialty Coffee

Train Station News: March Edition


The Green Mountain Coffee Train Station has an exciting new addition to our retail section! We’ve started carrying a new Vermont product from Handmade Specialties With Yarn. We have a variety of knit scarves and hats to help keep you cozy this winter, created by our very own barista, Aurelie Wood.

These products will give you that warm fuzzy feeling on your ears, nose and in your heart.  25% of Handmade Specialties With Yarn’s proceeds will go toward The Alzheimer’s Association.

We have Vermont Maple Syrup, Laughing Moon Chocolate, Nutty Steph’s and a variety of other locally made products, too. These items make fantastic, original gift ideas, so don’t forget to stop in and take a look!


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!



The Best in Bad Poetry

International Bad Poetry Day

With keen anticipation for International Bad Poetry Day, we invited our employees to give us their best bad odes to coffee. We had a terrific response and selected our top 5 favorites. Let us know in the Comments if you find a special message hidden in “Vision Our View”!

And without further ado, here they are.



By Dan Bisbee

Packaging Controls Engineer

There once was a blend called Nantucket

That some folks drink by the bucket

They can’t get enough

Of that wonderful stuff

If you gave them a straw they would suck it.


Secret Pleasure

By Erik Volk

Technology Learning Leader

I enjoy strong, black coffee.

It’s a coffee snobber’s dream!

Never adding sugar,

Never adding cream.


However, recently I found myself

With a hidden secret vice.

Loading down my cup

With sugar, cold milk, and lots of ice.

I find it only happens

In the heat of summer sun.

I drink it only in the shadows

Away from everyone.


If I should be discovered,

With this sweet, icy, mellow drink,

I’ll swear it isn’t mine

And quickly dump it down the sink.


Vision Our View

By Mark Rivers

Machine Operator, Essex Plant

The ways to brew and ways to get through…morning, noon, and night

Vision a revision of the caffeinated religion, with a new hope in sight

Of a world that blends and never ends, countless portioned possibilities

Green and lean for an environmental dream, showing our Earth no hostility

Mountain to valley, Main Street to alley, no roads dare we not trek

Coffee first led, now more beverages spread, for every category to check

Roasters power at any given hour, meticulously fine-tuned

Is the way we show and continue to grow, and prepare the world to be groomed

To understand what is at hand, a beverage for every taste

Be it breakfast, lunch, an emergency brunch, or an evening face-to-face

The occasion matters not, nor does the plot, with convenience and technology’s best

Leading the revolution of the beverage fusion, above and beyond the rest

Specialty blends are setting the trends, so perfect and expertly pearled

Beverage is the key to the way it will be, brewing a better world

Company of greatness standing on high…Green Mountain Coffee Roasters



By Thomas Cominelli

Test Engineer, Brewer Engineering

Morning light breaks the night,

sky begins to glow.

Contemplating what’s ahead,

my feet are moving slow.

Green Mountain Coffee scents the air,

now nose and toes are leading.

With cup in hand I’ll make a stand

to end my palate’s pleading.

One sip to start, you’ve stolen my heart

but now I’m on my way.

My steps have spring, I start to sing

looking forward to a glorious day.


La Guatemalteca

By Luther Leake

Manager, R&D Innovation

A woman in coastal Guatemala

Picked coffee all day for a dolla.

But what she was paid

Increased with Fair Trade

And lifted her family from squala.


Preventing Cervical Cancer in Coffee Communities

Grounds for Health is a non-profit organization based in Waterbury, Vermont that focuses on cervical cancer prevention awareness. Cervical cancer remains the #1 cause of cancer related death for women in low-resource settings, although it is nearly 100% preventable. In October 2011, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters awarded Grounds for Health a three-year grant totaling $900,000 to support projects in collaboration with coffee cooperatives in Nicaragua, Mexico, Tanzania and Peru to tackle the dangerously high rate of cervical cancer in these regions.

Grounds for Health has been able to reach women without access to appropriate health services and by partnering with local organizations. They train local community health promoters as well as provide local doctors and nurses with equipment and technical assistance.

Grounds for Health’s efforts are part of a growing movement worldwide to prevent cervical cancer and increase awareness on prevention methods.

Grounds from Health unveiled the video below at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Conference in April:


Streamline Restoration with the Intervale Conservation Nursery

GMCR Employees volunteering at Intervale Conservation Nursery

The weather in Vermont the past few weeks has been wet. So wet that Lake Champlain and many rivers are at or above flood level. It is events like this that remind us of the importance of streamline work like that done by the Intervale Conservation Nursery.

 In early June, the employees working in the Specialty Coffee Category Team based in Waterbury volunteered at the Intervale Conservation Nursery in Burlington, VT.  The team spent the day planting Silky Dogwood and Black Willow seedlings that will eventually be used in riparian restoration projects.  Tree growth along riverbanks helps greatly reduce pollution in rivers which then flows into Lake Champlain.  Riverbanks without trees suffer from decreased soil quality due to run off of topsoil.  Trees can also help to filter phosphate pollution that can create algae blooms in the lake.

The team activity was planned by Lesley Graham, a Waterbury CAFE Captain.  CAFE Captains are employees who are passionate about volunteering and want to share that with others by planning their own volunteer activities.  Lesley connected with the Intervale to determine what they needed help with, recruited her team to participate in the activity, and coordinated all aspects of the day.  The team enjoyed their experience so much that they plan on going in the fall to plant mature native species along the riverbanks; Lesley is planning that activity too!  Many GMCR employees have also volunteered with Intervale over the years and they greatly appreciate the support of all our employees.

GMCR Employees Volunteering at Intervale Conservation Nursery

The Intervale Conservation Nursery has been a grant recipient of the Vermont Employee Community Grant Program for the past two years.  This year, our grant of $31,000 supports expanded volunteer and educational opportunities at the Nursery, the creation of an onsite outdoor classroom, and the growth of local trees and shrubs for riparian restoration projects in Vermont. 


A New Understanding: My First Attendance at the SCAA

The post below is by Claudia Gonzalez. Claudia works in on our Supply Chain Community Outreach.

Claudia Gonzalez at the Food 4 Farmers booth at SCAA

"Not long ago, I began my journey in the high quality coffee world.  Always having been a coffee enthusiastic, it wasn’t until I joined Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. last year that I began to emerge myself on what it means to drink a high quality cup of coffee. From the moment the coffee cherry ripens to the time it reaches our customer’s hands, it takes a long chain of events and people to make it all come together.

I work with the supply chain community outreach group providing human and economic development financial support to our coffee and non-coffee supply chains.  As such, I am learning more and more about the challenges coffee farmers face, in particular during the “the thin months”, a time when food and other economic resources becomes scarce in the coffeelands.

In April 2013, I had the opportunity to attend the 25th annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) conference in Boston, Ma. The conference is the world’s largest gathering of the high quality coffee community.

The experience was grand; there was so much to take in all at once, the aroma of coffees from a multitude of countries at my fingertips, the most highly skilled of baristas, most importantly a community full of knowledge on high quality coffee, and interested in finding out more about the challenges coffee farmers in the coffee supply chain face.

As such, the conference was a suitable opportunity to attain more awareness on the pressing issues within coffee growing communities. In particular, what helped to build some of my new knowledge and awareness was the opportunity to speak to many of our coffee’s producers and hear directly from them some of the pressing issues in their communities. 

A dominant theme I heard throughout the conference was la roya; a coffee rust fungus epidemic that affects Arabica coffee bean leaves and it’s currently spreading throughout Latin American coffee growing countries. For instance, in Guatemala, it is estimated to affect up to 70% of coffee crops, thus resulting in the government calling a state of emergency.

The SCAA held several informative workshops for the conference’s participants, quite a few based around food security and la roya. One particular workshop based on la roya, Leaf Rust: Testing our Resiliency as an Industry was an informative session into what la roya means for small scale coffee farmers and the high quality coffee industry. 

Other workshop themes throughout the conference were food insecurity within small scale coffee farmers, coffee farmers and industry sustainability efforts and productivity for coffee production.

Attending the SCAA’s conference meant being present in a space where I could see the coffee supply chain play out all before my eyes, from the farmers that first harvest and picked the coffee cherries to the baristas that whip out the most inventive of designs.  This experience is not one to be missed for coffee lovers."


Ask the Coffee Lab: Teaching Lab

What does it mean to have your Coffee Lab certified as a "Teaching Lab?"

It sounds so collegial to call our lab a Teaching Lab, as if there were professors in lab coats and lecture halls and brick walls with ivy on it. But it is called a Teaching Lab by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and we do have a nice lab (but we don’t wear lab coats – that’s our R&D team). It's actually a hard certification to get because the SCAA sets pretty high standards. You can read what they are here.

Mostly the certification is to make sure that the classes and tests that the SCAA and Coffee Quality Institute put on around the country are using the same standards and the same environments. We wanted to become a certified lab so that we could host our own Q Grader Certification Classes for employees. We first did it in June 2012, then again just a few weeks ago. And now we have close to 20 employees who are Q Grader Certified, which is a lot of people to have such great training and skill.  The more graders we have, the more senses we have on our coffee, and better cup of coffee you get to drink.


Pueblo a Pueblo receives Sustainability Award during 25th Annual SCAA Conference

April 2013 marked the 25th annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) conference; the largest specialty coffee conference in the world which recently took place in Boston.

Amongst the event’s highlights was the work of Pueblo a Pueblo, a non-profit organization focused on improving the lives of indigenous Guatemalans and this year’s recipient of the Sustainability Award in recognition of their Organic School Garden project in Guatemala. The award honors individuals and organizations, within the specialty coffee industry, working to create substantial positive change through projects that promote sustainability.

GMCR proudly partners with Pueblo a Pueblo and has supported the Organic School Garden project in Guatemala for over 2 years. The project seeks to improve the lives of those living in coffee growing communities in Guatemala though strengthening food security at the household level and diminishing malnutrition levels for school-aged children.

In 2012, 1,151 children attended weekly garden activities and 86 teachers and directors received trainings on organic agriculture techniques. This project has been complimented by school initiatives, including incorporation of the produce harvested from the organic school gardens into school lunches.  In addition, the provision of a daily meal has increased school attendance, students’ learning capability and improvement in the overall health of participating children resulting from the increased diversity of food in their diet.

Below is a video which highlights their great work in Guatemala

For all their admirable work and tremendous positive change created in Guatemala, we congratulate Pueblo a Pueblo on their Sustainability Award.


Summer of Brewing

Summer brings with it a litany of fun things to do, and in my world that translates to sampling specialty beverages at some stellar events.

This month, our Barista Prima Coffeehouse® team just wrapped up a great activation at the Food Network Magazine Chicago Lounge. Great city, great food, great coffee... great time!   They even incorporated Italian Roast into mini coffee gelato cones

Brew Over Ice is in the midst of a mini sampling tour, sharing the joys of our versatile Keurig® brewing systems with stops at multiple blogger events, including the recent Bloggy Boot Camp in Charlotte, NC and the BlogHer Food event in Austin, TX. Next up on their schedule is our biggest stop yet: BlogHer’13, a massive show in Chicago in July.  Get your tumbler ready!  We’re brewing over ice!  

The Green Mountain Coffee® brand has its hands full this month as an annual supporter and underwriting sponsor of the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival. For ten days each June, the city of Burlington, VT becomes the epicenter of cool, hosting world-class artists that both define and expand the parameters of jazz music (this year’s headliners include Bobby McFerrin, John Scofield, Branford Marsalis and the incomparable Dr. Lonnie Smith). An already vibrant music and arts scene virtually explodes during the Discover Jazz Festival, and thousands of locals and visitors alike congregate to share in the excitement and revelry. If you make it to the festival, keep an eye out for me – just look for the visibly over-caffeinated guy with a huge smile on his face!

Enjoy the magic of summer, and I hope to see you at an event real soon…



The Cafe Goes to The Specialty Coffee Association of America

Tom Berry learning to cup!
Thomas Amelott cupping at the Guatemala country booth!

By Kiley - our famous latte arist at the Visitors Center!

The Special Coffee Association of America threw a fantastic gathering and exposition this year – and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR) was the sponsor! Our little Café was lucky to be able to have five of our employees go to bring experiences and stories home in addition to the over 200 GMCR team members that made the journey to the exposition.

The educational lectures brought up points concerning every angle of the coffee business and family from roasting and the science behind it to customer service to the new generation of social media. Our speakers were experienced and deeply involved and embedded in their specific specialties. We were able to see the reach of the business and family. It was incredible!

The people we were able to meet were amazing too. I met people from Kenya, Guatemala, El Salvador, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia and, of course, from all across the United States. It was quite the experience to meet our large and expansive coffee family. 

We also had the chance to watch the Barista Competitions and the skills shown there were phenomenal. Not only were they producing beautiful latte art but listening to them explain their coffee roasts and blends really brought you into their cup of coffee. The passion seen there was inspiring.

Even working the GMCR booth was fantastic. So many people came up to our booth and so many walked away with a smile. The interest in our coffee left our team with a good feeling too. Having the opportunity to meet and talk with our suppliers, producers, and happy customers really enforced the strong feeling of family and the relationships we so cherish. 

This year has left us with so many memories, new found skills, and inspiration. I hope we will have the chance to meet back up with our Coffee Family and friends again next year!  Back to our Café and Visitor Center we go.  


Ski Season at the Visitor Center

Inside the Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center and Cafe

In Waterbury, Vermont, the Green Mountain Coffee® Visitor Center & Café located at the historic train station is bustling with activity. The café is nestled in between five ski resorts and the energy is high this time of year. The holidays have passed and many are working off those extra calories on their skis or snowboards. In the morning, we see many energetic faces gearing up for a day at the mountain by starting it off with a hot Golden French Toast® Maple Supreme. We start off with hot Golden French Toast coffee, steamed light cream, and a shot of pure Vermont maple syrup. Of course, a dollop of whip cream can be added for those planning to hit the slopes hard. Although ,if you prefer a good ol’ cup-o-joe over a specialty drink, we have seven daily brews of the day to choose.  A mug for every mogul you tackle that day?

Being a stop before and after skiing has its perks for us. Skiers and riders are happy to tell us what the conditions were on the mountain that day, and we make sure to pass that information on to our other guests. Most recently, we had a skier coming back from one mountain report that as he was just getting off of the lift and about to rip down the mountain and he saw a moose chasing a fellow skier. Yes, a moose! Fortunately, the skier was able to get good speed quickly and the moose gave up the chase and retreated to the woods.  Wonder if the mountain will now put up a moose crossing sign at the top of the lift…

The Visitor Center & Café also serves as a stop on the Amtrak Vermonter line. If it’s not the skier and riders stories that keep us entertained daily, it is the periodic visits we receive from major news outlets. Just last week, CNN visited the train station with the Vermont Department of Tourism for an interview to discuss the improvements on the high speed rail and Vermont being the first state to complete the improvements. Vermont certainly has a lot of firsts and this is just an example of the progressive nature of our state.

There are still many powder days ahead of us in Vermont which powers our local economy and helps make us a great retreat from the hustle and bustle of cities like Boston and Montreal. Won’t you come and see us soon?


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.


Brewing with Green Mountain at Hampton Beach

Imagine a lazy late-summer weekend, with warm winds whipping the white caps up and down the New Hampshire coast, and acres of options for fresh-from-the-ocean culinary delights. Not too bad, right? The only thing that would improve the image is an oasis of free freshly brewed hot and iced gourmet coffee served up by our knowledgeable and enthusiastic sampling team.


Now you’re in the frame of mind – you’re walking along Ocean Boulevard at the Hampton Beach Seafood Festival, and there, like a mirage, in stark contrast to the multiple white tents of vendors selling everything from driftwood art to emu oil soap, is our giant green and blue Green Mountain Coffee® tent, doling out thousands of complementary cups of great Keurig® Brewed® coffees.


Green Mountain Coffee at Hampton Beach! By Nick Lockwood


The tent is alive with activity as many people, like you, were drawn there, enticed by the lure of specialty coffee. You enter the massive booth, and read about coffee harvesting and processing.  Who knew?  You choose from one of the 12 Green Mountain Coffee® varieties being offered (ooh, Dark Magic®, good choice – I was thinking the same thing!). You take a goofy picture with your friends inside our 9 ft. tall My Coffee Moment coffee cup-shaped photo booth, and can’t wait to share the picture on your Facebook wall Monday morning. You take a caffeinated coffee quiz and get some fun prizes for showing your java knowledge. Suddenly your good day just got a whole lot better…nice! So good to see you, thanks for stopping by.


And if we missed you at Hampton Beach (maybe fried dough and lobster quesadillas aren’t your thing), hopefully we’ll see you in our backyard, Burlington, Vermont, for a rocking good time at this weekend’s Grand Point North Festival!


One Year Later at the Café

As you walk in the front door of the Green Mountain Coffee® Visitor Center & Café one of the first things you will notice is our quote of the day board. A recent quote reminded me of a triumph for our town of Waterbury, Vermont: “At any given moment you have the power to say this is not how the story is going to end.”

Thanks to Bryan for taking this photo!

Almost one year ago Tropical Storm Irene shocked our town where our visitor center and café is located at the historic train station. This past year has been one of rebuilding and perseverance for our small, yet vital community. We were fortunate to only have the train station basement flooded, however that was a tough blow in itself and forced us to close for four months during renovations. Being an employee of Green Mountain Coffee for some years now I can attest first-hand our perseverance to become a leader and trailblazer in the specialty coffee industry today. For many of us that determination drove us to do what we do best, and serve a great cup of coffee.


Although our visitor center was closed, for sixty-five days following the storm our team served free coffee to the community from the local park, rain or shine. We were transformed in to listeners, sympathizers, and cheerleaders to our fellow community members who often came to us covered in dirt, wearing masks, and sporting mud boots. We were looked upon to provide the metaphorical cup of coffee sought to start the day that helps us rejuvenate, focus, and revitalize. It brought a sense of normalcy in what was a turned upside down community. Our triumph during this time was to see a glimpse of a smile under a mask, and even a hug from a regular customer whose home had been devastated.


I am pleased to let you know that driving through the town of Waterbury today is as beautiful as it was before. Progress continues due to the efforts of many community members and other volunteers. We are proud to be part of such a great community that came together and chose how our story was going to end.


Cheers to Waterbury!


River Cleanup: Catch of the Day

As you know, we’re spending a week on the river. But we haven’t ‘gone fishing’ – at least not in the traditional sense. During our signature volunteer event, we ‘fish’ for trash in our local Winooski River. Our ‘big catches’ are bottles and cans, tractor tires, or old signs.. We know how important clean water is to our world and to our cherished cups of specialty coffee, so for the past eight years we have volunteered hours and energy to maintaining water health in our own backyard.

This is my second year in a row participating in River Cleanup, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about some of the litter we’ve managed to clean out of the river already. Last year, the ‘catch’ I was most excited about, the story I recalled over and over to my friends and colleagues, was the ancient laptop we’d pulled from the bank – it didn’t even have a full screen! This year has already topped that ‘catch’ by far. Just this morning my volunteer group dug two shopping carts out of the river. Talk about cleanup in Aisle Three...

Our crew wasn’t afraid to get down and dirty for the cause, either. Our volunteers come from every department in our company, from the manufacturing plant to the high-tech coffee lab, and everyone worked together and put in a tremendous effort. Catching those two shopping carts (along with over a hundred tires, and bucketful’s of trash) was hard work, but completely rewarding. And while I don’t have a fish story to share for my time on the river, I think my catch of the day might be even more special.




Barista Prima Team Wins Graphic Design Award

The Creative Department in our specialty coffee team is not only “creative”, they are some of the most innovative and fun people here, putting together the exciting visual side of our Family of Brands. Recently, one of our creative teams got special recognition for their efforts as one of the Graphic Design USA Magazine’s 2012 Inhouse Design Award Winners!

Ryan Dreimiller, Art Director, Carolyn Brown, designer and Rick Slade, creative director, each won for their work on this elegant Barista Prima direct mail piece. The mailer, a small booklet highlighting the different luxury blends of the Barista Prima collection, spoke to the brands history of creating European coffee artistry and caught the attention of Graphic Design USA. The Graphic Design USA competition has been held annually since 1963, and aims to assure that the outstanding work of Creative teams – like ours – is fully recognized by work colleagues, the creative world, and the community.

We’re so proud of our Barista Prima team. Doesn’t their award-winning piece just inspire you to brew a deep, rich, European inspired cup?


Heifer International: Fighting Hunger in Coffee-Growing Areas

Denise Henderson is the Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Heifer International. Below, she is a piece she wrote about her recent experiences visiting Heifer projects for After The Harvest.org - the website for the documentary about food security in coffee communities

"For several years through a partnership with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR), Heifer International has been committed to fighting hunger and seasonal poverty in coffee growing areas, most notably in Mexico and Central and South America.

Through its work, Heifer conducts agriculture and livestock programs that enable farmers to achieve food security, improve yields and generate revenue by diversifying crop and animal production. Heifer applies improved farming techniques and helps farmers bring products to market through its community-based approach.

In the past few months, I have had the opportunity to see the partnership between Heifer and GMCR in action, both in the field and here in the United States.

In February, I traveled to Honduras with a group of Heifer International staff. While visiting coffee farmers in Marcala, our group observed a distinct difference between families who had the good fortune of participating in a Heifer program designed to address food security and income, and those who didn’t. The families participating in the Heifer projects we visited were healthy and well fed.

In contrast, it was difficult to bear the sight of visibly undernourished residents and their animals that grazed on patches of grass wherever available…usually on the side of a narrow, crooked road with lots of cars and trucks going by.  We were alarmed when our driver screeched to a stop to prevent hitting a cow stopped in the road.

While we were able to see only a few coffee farmers, it was apparent the great struggles of many who provide one of our greatest pleasures – a good cup of coffee - must experience each year. I’m proud to be part of the Heifer-GMCR partnership working to end seasonal hunger and poverty in this part of the world.

In April, I was part of a delegation of Heifer International representatives who attended the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) event in Portland, OR. 

While at SCAA, we were awestruck by the collaboration beginning to form.  Global non-government organizations are beginning to consider collective impact and what it might look like to work together. Competing companies are joining forces to help their coffee producers, for the good of their farmers and their coffee supply chain. Individual agendas are being abandoned in favor of a collective approach to improve hunger and poverty during “the thin months.” It seemed that all are beginning to understand that there won’t be great coffee if there are no coffee growers.

We at Heifer are very happy to be part of the solution of addressing hunger in the coffeelands, and we look forward to our continuing relationship with those in the coffee industry who share the same ideals."


5th Annual Music On The Porch Series

The weather is warming up in Vermont and our porch is lined with tables for our guests. Now, all we need is the music. Beginning this Sunday, May 27th, we kick off our 5th annual Music on the Porch series at the Green Mountain Coffee®Visitor Center & Café located in Waterbury’s historic train station. Join us every Sunday through September 2nd from 1-3 p.m. on our porch. Sit down and relax, watch the train go by, and enjoy a cup of iced coffee or another specialty drink. Each week we will raffle off a new Vue™ brewer and all proceeds collected will benefit Food 4 Farmers, a non-profit whose mission is to facilitate the implementation of sustainable food security programs in coffee-growing communities. We are very excited to support a cause that is addressing a serious issue in coffee-growing communities. Please visit food4farmers.org for more information.

Rain or shine, we hope to see you Sundays on our covered porch!


K-Cup Finder: There's an App for That

Your smart phone is about to start brewing!  Introducing K-Cup® Finder, your free mobile reference for K-Cup® portion packs.

What exactly does it feature?  Since you asked:

  • Over 100 varieties represented including Green Mountain Coffee® and other brands

  • New varieties added as they are released

  • See reviews and ratings from other K-Cup® fans, and share your reviews with other K-Cup Finder app users and on Twitter

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Irrigation for Food Gardens in Tanzania

Drip Tech Systems in Kibwigwa Village

This is a guest post by Mary Beth Jenssen. Mary Beth works on our Supply-Chain Outreach Team.

It’s hard to imagine the need for water when much of the United States experienced significant rain and flooding this spring and summer, but in many parts of the world the issue is just the opposite: drought threatens communities’ crops, livestock, and survival. Not only can drought be an issue, but access to water can be just as challenging for some communities.

GMCR has worked with Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers for several years now. Sustainable Harvest is a coffee importer, as the name says, but they also offer “Relationship Coffee” services. What does that mean? They work to connect growers to markets through direct relationships while investing in training, technology and management systems to improve farmers’ ability to create a better quality of product and thrive in the specialty coffee market.

Water Tank in Mkabogo

In 2010, GMCR supported a project with Sustainable Harvest in Tanzania focused on food security. The main project component was planting family gardens. Shortly into the start of the project, it was realized that the garden could not thrive, let alone survive, without a water irrigation system. In 2011, GMCR agreed to support a drip irrigation component added on to the family garden project. While the drip irrigation system does allow for easier access to clean drinking water, it also allows for easy access to water for participants’ food gardens, allowing the original goal to be achieved: food security for coffee farmers and the community.

In May of this year, community members in Mkabogo worked hard to install the water system in time to be used during a period of little to no rain. With the support of experienced technicians, the participants carefully chose locations for the water tanks, considering both security and fertilizers in the area.

Kibwiga Village Community Water Facility

In July, two months later, work moved along as the 35 Driptech systems were installed in Kibwigwa Village. The Driptech system is sturdy, efficient, and has the added benefit of being able to water laterals at different times – not only alleviating the issues of slope, but also allowing for crops with different water requirements to be planted on the same plot.

In the coming months, Sustainable Harvest will support crop planting, monitoring and evaluating the drip irrigation system functionality, conducting a market survey for the sale of excess crops and continued research and training on the best practices in vegetable production. Check out an update on the project from Sustainable Harvest themselves: http://blog.sustainableharvest.com/?cat=41