Vermont Country Blend

Maple Round Up

 

Maple isn't just a word, a tree, or a flavor; it’s a way of life.  The sweet life, that is.  As the temperatures sink below zero at night and rise to Spring-like levels in the daytime, you can almost hear the sap begin to flow down the lines and into the sugar house. 

And with that sound, our desire to coat most things on the menu in pure maple syrup goes up exponentially.  There’s nothing like the thick, concentrated liquid, whether you’re a traditionalist and pour it over a short stack of fluffy pancakes or more of an innovator and marinate chicken in it for the barbie.  If we have a choice of maple-applications, it would come down to these three recipes:

 

How do you treat your “liquid gold?”  

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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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Green Mountain Coffee Is a Little Bit Country in Vegas

Our Google Plus Hangout

In April, the Green Mountain Coffee® brand worked with the Dial Global radio network to sponsor two days of remote radio broadcasts from the MGM Grand - the Las Vegas venue hosting the 2013 Academy of Country Music Awards. Nearly 50 radio stations were in attendance, providing Country music royalty like Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Kelly Clarkson, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift and many more, with easy access to eager listeners tuning in from all over the nation.

Besides providing branded reusable shopping bags filled with great Green Mountain Coffee® thermoses and bags of Vermont Country Blend (get it?) for all the artists and VIPs, a Green Mountain Coffee® sampling team was on hand providing everyone with a nice selection of fresh K-Cup® packs from our array of Keurig® Platinum brewers. Event favorites were Dark Magic and Caramel Vanilla Cream.

And as many of us can attest, there’s something about photo booths that always brings out the silliness in people, so besides delicious coffee and fun gifts, we also brought our 9-foot tall coffee cup-shaped photo booth. The “My Coffee Moment” cup looked resplendent inside and out, wrapped with new Brew A Better Day imagery, and staffers and celebrities alike had a blast stepping into the giant cup and leaving with a silly souvenir photo.

As the sponsor representative on site, I was honored (and delighted) to be a part of the interview cycles, and over the course of what felt like a crazy two hours, I did live interviews with over two-dozen national Country stations. I used the opportunity to discuss the great connection between Country music fans and the Green Mountain brand – points of similarity like our devotion to authenticity and the promotion small-scale farmers and sustainable supply chains.

As exciting as the interviews were, a personal highlight of the event was teaming up with my friend Cadillac Jack, a Las Vegas radio personality from KCYE 102.7 FM, to host a live Google+ Hangout on the internet. While Cadillac and I talked about Fair Trade coffee – and music – with three Green Mountain Coffee® super fans, some very special guests like Gary Allen, Billy Currington, Thompson Square, and the aforementioned Ms. Underwood, stopped by our show and chatted with our online guests. These types of things are probably old hat for industry insiders like Cadillac Jack, but it was a real treat for me, and I know our online guests enjoyed it as well. It’s not every day you get to call your kids and say, “You’re never going to believe who I was just talking to!”

**And of course, note that none of the people above are actually endorsing us - they just stopped by for some coffee. 

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Green Mountain Coffee Goes Country at the CMAs

Green Mountain Coffee at the CMAs

Life is always interesting in the event marketing world, and you never know where the opportunities may take you or who you may be rubbing elbows with. From both a professional and personal standpoint, you can mark down the Green Mountain Coffee® sponsorship of the 46th Annual Country Music Association (known as the CMAs to us fans) Awards in Nashville in the time-well-spent column.

In October, the Green Mountain Coffee brand sponsored a massive 2-day marathon of remote radio broadcasts preceding the Country Music Association Awards (CMA) Show in Nashville, TN. Personnel from 50 Country stations from around the U.S. were there, all part of the Clear Channel Premiere Radio Network. Naturally, all those radio personalities need people to interview, so also in attendance were over 100 of the biggest names in Country music today. Artists and bands like Faith Hill, Luke Bryan, Little Big Town and Kelly Clarkson were there, along with Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Zac Brown Band, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift, and many more. Many of them enjoyed the unlimited access to our Keurig® sampling array and tasty lattes and cappuccinos served up by a talented local barista that we partnered with.  To say the least, it was an elbow rubbing time.

(My strictly un-scientific poll revealed that the Green Mountain Coffee Caramel Vanilla Cream K-Cup® packs were the belle of the ball, and seemed to be the variety of choice for many country fans.)

 

We also served free samples of great K-Cup® pack varieties like Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve and Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend® to all the fans lined up in front of the hotel, waiting patiently for photos and autographs from some of their favorite Country stars. 

Another part of our sponsorship entailed working with a great new band called The Henningsens. The band is currently in the midst of a ten-city promotional tour, and are criss-crossing the country in a beautifully wrapped Green Mountain Coffee bus. Let us know if you happen to spy the bus in your area!

Hope to rub elbows with you at an event sometime soon…

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Why I drink Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend

It’s actually very simple:



I love Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend® for its clean full taste from the first sip to the last.  It is a perfect coffee to enjoy any day, any time.  And to me it represents Vermont – true and fresh.

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A Musical Weekend of Sampling

Water views, great music, worthy causes, a full moon, beautiful sunrises, and spectacular sunsets – just some of the things you would have encountered if you were in Nantucket, Burlington, or Stowe this past weekend.  Green Mountain Coffee® was involved in events at all three locales, and all were equally awe-inspiring and successful.

On Nantucket, the Boston Pops, featuring special guest Carly Simon, headlined a fundraising concert for the Nantucket Cottage Hospital.  In addition to sponsoring the event, a team of Green Mountain Coffee brand ambassadors was on hand giving away cups of Keurig® brewed hot and Brew Over Ice favorites to eager attendees, as the music washed over beautiful Jetties Beach.  Naturally, Nantucket Blend® was one of the varieties of K-Cup® portion packs that were featured.



In Burlington, the 4-day Lake Champlain Maritime Festival took place, drawing thousands to the idyllic Waterfront Park and multiple other venues along the shores of the lake.  As part of the larger festival, Vermont’s own Grace Potter and the Nocturnals headlined their own mini-festival called Grand Point North.  There was nothing mini about the caliber of invited talent however, as amazing acts like Fitz and the Tantrums and the incomparable Taj Mahal took turns electrifying the huge crowds.  Country music star Kenny Chesney even joined the Grace on stage to close out the festival’s last set for an ecstatic throng of fans.  Green Mountain Coffee sponsored both festivals, and provided complimentary sampling stations in the artist hospitality tent and the VIP tent, as well as multiple bags of coffee for the artists' welcome bags.  Just think, Taj Mahal and Kenny Chesney could be enjoying some Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic House Blend on their tour buses right now

The beautiful setting of the von Trapp Family Lodge was the starting point for the 100 on 100 Heart of Vermont Relay.  Beginning in the beguiling hills above Stowe and winding its way along 100 miles of Route 100 all the way to Okemo Resort, this relay is a local and regional favorite.  Nearly 150 teams consisting of 6 runners each compete for top billing and bragging rights, while raising money for the Long Trail Association and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Vermont.

Those are just a few examples of the ways we've  been joining local events and getting the chance to chat with you all, face to face.  Hope to see you at an event real soon!

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Brewing a Better BBQ with Coffee and Tea Recipes

Last weekend, a team of Green Mountain Coffee and Brew Over Ice foodies rolled into Washington, D.C. fueled with the idea that coffee, tea, and BBQ would make for a winning combination at the Safeway Barbeque Battle.  After three days of late nights, early mornings, and more coffee around the brewer than we can count, the results are in:

 

Flatlander BBQ’s Celestial Seasoning Sweet Southern Tea Perfect Iced Tea-rubbed and Brew Over Ice Nantucket Iced coffee sauce-smothered pork ribs took 3rd place in the Barbeque Battle!  These caffeinated ribs garnered our team a pig-topped trophy and $500, which will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Washington, D.C., the marquee charity of the event.  To top it all off, it turns out we placed 9th out of 41 teams, competing among some of the top teams in the country. “Wow,” would be an understatement.

 

 

Wanting to spread BBQ coffee revelations around and to thank you all for cheering us on, it’s time to share our recipes in time for everyone to enjoy them during the Fourth of July.  Look below to learn how to make our Coffee-Rubbed Brisket, Half-and-Half Chicken, Nantucket Blend-Rubbed Pork Shoulder and award-winning Sweet Tea Ribs.  Not to mention our Jalapeño Coffee Barbecue and Tricky Barbeque Saucel!  Read the recipes below:

 

 

Coffee-Rubbed Brisket


RUB:
2 Tablespoons Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade Organic Sumatran Reserve OR Nantucket Blend K-Cup® Portion Packs

2 Tablespoons paprika

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar (Fair Trade Certified™)

2 Tablespoons coarse salt

4 Tablespoons ground black pepper

1 Tablespoon ground ancho chili powder

1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest

Open the portion packs and empty the contents into a bowl with other ingredients.  Mix well.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Trim a full packer brisket of most exterior fat and silverskin, or you can use just the brisket flat

Coat the brisket with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then coat with coffee rub, rubbing it into the meat.  Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large resalable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the brisket, fatty-side up, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the brisket with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour. Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.

After 4 hours of cooking, put the brisket in an aluminum foil pan, fatty side up; return brisket to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. Continue mopping the brisket if it looks dry. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until severely browned and blackened in spots or very well-done (about 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the brisket), 6 to 8 hours total.

Remove the pan from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Trim any excess fat; slice brisket across the grain. Serve with barbecue sauce.

 

Sweet Tea Ribs

 

RUB:

4 Celestial Seasonings Southern Style Sweet Tea Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

1 Tablespoons paprika

1/2 Tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon Tiny Spice Company Citrus Pepper OR substitute 1 teaspoon black pepper

Peel the foil off the portion packs, empty into a spice or coffee grinder, and grind until powdery.  Mix with the paprika, salt and pepper.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Pat ribs dry and trim the membrane from the underside.

Coat ribs with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then rub the tea mixture into the ribs

Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large resalable plastic bag and let marinate for at least 4 hours.

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 30 minutes. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the ribs, bone side down, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the ribs with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour.  Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.

After 3 hours of cooking, wrap the ribs in aluminum foil and return ribs to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until the ribs are flexible when you try to pick them up using tongs or oven mitts, 5 to 6 hours total.  They should not be falling off the bone, but tender and flexible.

Remove the ribs from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Place on grill directly above coals and baste generously on both sides with sauce, turning frequently to prevent burning.  Remove from grill and cut into portions.

 

Chicken Rub

2 Celestial Seasonings Half & Half Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

4 Tablespoons Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Seasoning

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Empty the portion packs into a coffee or spice grinder and grind until powdery.  Mix with other ingredients.

TECHNIQUE:

Use the rub on your favorite cut of chicken or a whole chicken: if using a cut with skin, be sure to get under the skin.

Barbecue or grill chicken as you normally would.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nantucket Blend-Rubbed Pork Shoulder

RUB:

1 Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs

3 Tablespoons light brown sugar (Fair Trade Certified™)

1 Tablespoon Tiny Spice Company Citrus Pepper (or substitute black pepper)

½ teaspoon anise seed

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon anise seed

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Open the portion packs and empty the contents into a bowl with other ingredients.  Mix well.

MOP:

1/2 cup apple juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

4 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

TECHNIQUE:

Trim a pork shoulder (Boston Butt) of  most visible fat and silverskin.

Rub with a thin layer of yellow mustard and then cover with coffee rub

Wrap in plastic wrap or place in a large plastic bag and let marinate overnight

Rest the meat at room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour. Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat, about 250 degrees.
Put the pork shoulder, fatty-side up, on the grill away from the heat; cover the grill. Baste or spray the brisket with the mop whenever the surface looks dry, about once every hour.  Keep the temperature of the grill or smoker around 250 degrees, adding charcoal as necessary.
After 4 hours of cooking, put the pork shoulder in an aluminum foil pan, add ½ cup apple juice and cover tightly with aluminum foil; return shoulder to the grill away from the heat. Cover the grill; continue cooking. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay about 250 degrees during the entire cooking time. If using charcoal, add fresh coals about once an hour.

Cook until severely the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 6 to 8 hours total.

Remove the pan from the heat; let rest 20 minutes. Using heat-proof gloves or forks, pull pork apart in foil pan, using the jus in pan to moisten and flavor the meat.  Remove any connective tissue or fat that didn’t cook out.  Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce.

 

Tricky Barbecue Sauce

 

2 Tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard (we use Fox Meadow Farm 3-Peppercorn Dijon from Vermont)

2 Tablespoons yellow mustard (we use Fox Meadow Farm Vermont Maple Mustard)

1 cup cider vinegar

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce

¼ cup regular soy sauce

2 cups ketchup

2 cups honey (Champlain Valley Apiaries Honey)

1 Nantucket Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Pack brewed on 6-oz setting without ice

3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 Tablespoon paprika

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon maple sugar OR 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons maple syrup

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a light boil.  Boil while continuously stirring for about 15 minutes, or until thickened.

 

 

 

Jalapeno-Coffee Barbecue Sauce

2 Green Mountain Coffee Nantucket Blend Brew Over Ice K-Cup® Portion Packs brewed on 4oz setting

1 cup ketchup

¼ cup molasses

2 Tablespoons orange juice

2 Tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 jalapeno peppers, pierced all over with a fork

3 shots hot sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except hot sauce.  Cook, stirring frequently, over low heat until slightly thickened, 10 to 15 minutes

Remove from heat and let cool.  Discard peppers and season with hot sauce to taste.

 

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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


--

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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Connections

Connections: Part 1

We just started buying coffee from a small cooperative in El Salvador called APECAFE. It's not a super unusual group with an amazing tale of hardship or uniqueness, but it is a group that illustrates one of the models we use to buy coffee. With our certified coffees, we use a two tiered approach to sourcing and maintaining good relationships with our supply chain. The first part is fair pricing and clear quality expectations. The second tier is social investments.

As you might know, we take 5% of our pre-tax profits and invest a portion of that in our supply chain, with a strong emphasis on food security to help combat the thin months or "los mesos flacos" in Spanish. Right now we're funding over 50 different projects in over 10 different countries to the tune of over 4 million dollars per year. One of those fundees is Sustainable Harvest, a highly regarded importer of certified coffees based in Portland, OR.

This past summer, they put on a Let's Talk Coffee Food Security Event, that we helped fund, for their and our supply chain. Here's right from their website:

Sustainable Harvest pays growers prices well above the Fair Trade minimum price for their coffee; yet, when we visit coffee-producing communities in Latin America and Africa, farmers still tell us that they struggle to provide food for their children at certain times of year. We realized that simply paying a just price for coffee was not enough. We wanted to help farmers provide food for their families all year round. We began working on mushroom production projects in Tanzania and peer training in Central America.

Sustainable Harvest began our work in food security by leveraging the Let’s Talk Coffee® format—peer-led, hands-on training combined with technological innovations and a market-based approach—to scale initiatives that provide coffee farmers with greater food security. Sustainable Harvest invited approximately 60 people from cooperatives across the region to the Food Security Solutions event in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. There, participants learned innovative, effective strategies to improve food security that they can replicate in their own communities.


One of the groups there was APECAFE.  Jorge Cuevas, Director of Trade Operations for Sustainable Harvest, met with them and they had this to say about us, "we find that very few companies are interested in our livelihoods, our caloric intake, and the nutrition of our children." They wanted to be in our supply chain and we needed coffee. So Jorge connected us: first over a Skype call for an "introduction" as well as some emailed pictures from the event at Selva Negra in Nicaragua. Then, like a good importer does, he facilitated an exchange of quality expectations and helped both sides negotiate a fair price. Now we all have signed contracts and are eagerly awaiting their fine coffee. When it does get here, we're going to put it in our Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend.

Jorge was kind enough to let me do a quick interview with him giving some more background information on the coop. He was here in March and of course it was snowing, which doesn't happen that often in Oaxaca, Mexico where Jorge is from. Poor guy, about half the time he visits here it's snowing or raining and every time we visit him it's sunny, dry and warm.
---------------

Connections: Part 2
One of our other fundees is Catholic Relief Services in Guatemala and they're also doing food security work. At that same conference in Nicaragua was Michael Sheriden from CRS. He has been working for awhile with APECAFE, in particular Las Cruces, which is a primary level coop in APECAFE. He keeps a really nice bog called CRS Coffeelands Blog.  Michael does development work in Central America, but to read his posts and see his pictures, you would think he came from the New York Times and National Geographic.  Great pictures of farmer and employees of Las Cruces.

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Recipe: Irish Coffee and Mudslide

What would March be without a coffee recipe dedicated to St. Patrick's Day?  Thankfully, our fabulous team at our at our Visitors Center and Cafe in Waterbury, Vermont offered us not one, but two coffee recipes that sing of the Emerald Isle: An Irish Cream and a Mudslide.  Of course, the classic versions of both of these drinks (like this one from our own Doug) involve whiskey or Irish cream, but we thought you'd all appreciate a little non-alcoholic version to share with the family.

Irish Coffee:

  • Brew or pour six ounces of hot, fresh brewed coffee (like Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend) into a large mug

    • Use an Irish coffee glass for a traditional feel


  • Add 1 ½ ounces of your favorite Irish cream syrup, such as Monin, and stir.

  • Add steamed heavy cream until it reaches the top of the mug.

  • Take a sip through the cream, check for a milk mustache, and enjoy!


Waterbury Mudslide:

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#NameThatCoffee Twitter Contest

Updated 6/23/11:  Stay tuned for another #NameThatCoffee contest on Twitter on Friday, June 24!  Read below to get details on how to play!

Updated 5/16/11:  You never cease to amaze us!  This week's coffee was Fair Trade Island Coconut - congrats to our 5 winners!

Updated 4/25/11:  Vermont Country Blend was our #NameThatCoffee prize this week!  Mmm, brisk and bright!

Updated 3/23/11: #NameThatCoffee was another success with Breakfast Blend Decaf!  Thanks for brewing along with us!

Updated 2/22/11:  Another contest down and you're all still amazing!  This week's coffee was Mocha Nut Fudge - how nutty you all were! :)

Updated 1/19/11: WOW - what a group of coffee connoisseurs we have on Twitter!   This week's coffee was Fair Trade Sumatran Reserve.   Guess we'll have to choose something a little harder next time...

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Can you name a Green Mountain Coffee with only three clues to help you? Let’s see:



  1. Subtle.

  2. Nutty.

  3. Fair Trade.



Name that coffee!



If you said, “Fair Trade Rain Forest Nut®,” you’re right!

See? Whether you’re someone who has tasted through the Green Mountain Coffee collection or just sticks to a few time honored favorites, it’s easy to tap into your tasting knowledge and pick the right coffee that we’re describing – and win it, too.  Win? Yes! Here are the “Ground” rules for our #NameThatCoffee Twitter Contest:

Here’s how it works:


  • Follow @GreenMtnCoffee on Twitter.

  • On Thursday, April 28, 2011 at 9 AM, we’ll tweet out three clues about a variety of Green Mountain Coffee.

  • @reply us with the coffee’s name and the hashtag #NameThatCoffee.

    • Example Reply: @GreenMtnCoffee It’s Rain Forest Nut! #NameThatCoffee



  • The first three followers to guess the coffee correctly will win a bag/box of that delicious mystery java.

  • For Official Rules, see below:


Green Mountain Coffee Name That Coffee Twitter Contest - UPDATED for 6/23/11

OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE THE CHANCE OF WINNING. INTERNET ACCESS NECESSARY TO ENTER AND WIN.  RESTRICTIONS APPLY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED.

ENTRIES POSTED TO THE CONTEST ACCOUNT ARE NOT EDITED BY SPONSOR AND ARE THE VIEWS/OPINIONS OF THE INDIVIDUAL ENTRANT AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SPONSOR.
ELIGIBILITY: Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (“U.S.”) who are 18 years of age or older as of June 19, 2011. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. This Contest is subject to the laws of the United States and Vermont and all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Employees of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., and Keurig, Incorporated and each of their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising, Contest and fulfillment agencies, and members of the immediate family or household of each of the above are not eligible to participate.

SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this Contest is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., 33 Coffee Lane, Waterbury, VT 05676 (“Sponsor” or “GMCR”).

ENTRY PERIOD: The Green Mountain Coffee Name That Coffee Twitter Contest (the “Contest”) runs between 8:00:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) to 11:00:00 AM EST on June 24, 2011 (the “Contest Period”).   Entries must be received no later than 11:00:00 AM EST June 24, 2011.  No entries will be accepted outside of the 8:00:00 AM EST to 11:00:00 EST entry period.

HOW TO ENTER: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE THE CHANCE OF WINNING. To enter, visit www.Twitter.com and log-in or create a free Twitter account. Then become a follower of @GreenMtnCoffee.  Once @GreenMtnCoffee tweets out the three clues, entrants must reply to @GreenMtnCoffee with the correct name of the coffee and the hashtag #NameThatCoffee.  Winners will be notified from the @GreenMtnCoffee page (or as otherwise determined by Sponsor in its discretion).  All entries must be received by 11:00:00 AM EST on May 19, 2011.  All entries must be submitted via Twitter.  NO OTHER FORMATS OR METHODS OF ENTRY ARE ACCEPTABLE.

Limit one (1) entry per person/Twitter account/day.  No person/Twitter account can win more than one time for the duration of the Contest. No mechanized, programmed or robotic entries are eligible, and use of illegal entry mechanisms may result in disqualification of the entrant.

ALL ENTRIES BECOME THE PROPERTY OF SPONSOR.  BY SUBMITTING AN ENTRY, ENTRANT ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HIS/HER ENTRY WILL BE OWNED BY SPONSOR, AND MAY BE POSTED ON SPONSOR’S WEBSITE OR DISPLAYED ON SPONSOR’S OTHER PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS IN ANY MEDIA THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IN PERPETUITY IN SPONSOR’S DISCRETION WITHOUT ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION TO ENTRANT. Sponsor reserves the right to, but may or may not, monitor or screen entries and may or may not edit any entry in its sole discretion. By entering, you acknowledge that Sponsor has no obligation to use or post any entry or any entry in its entirety.  You assign all rights in the entry to Sponsor, its successors and assigns in perpetuity.  You waive any moral rights in your entry.  You warrant that your entry is your original work, has not been previously published, is not defamatory, scandalous, offensive or unlawful, and does not infringe on the intellectual property, privacy or other rights of any third party.  Your entry does not endorse any commercial product or service other than Sponsor’s products and services.   You entry does not disparage Sponsor or any third party.

All entries are subject to verification by Sponsor.

PRIZE: One (1) ten- (10) or twelve (12)-oz. bag or twenty-four (24) count box of Green Mountain Coffee, to be selected by the Sponsor. ARV of Prize: $8.49 to $15.45.  Prize includes shipment to winner’s address in the US or Canada.  Taxes are the responsibility of the winners.

ALL PRIZES ARE AWARDED “AS-IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. ALL WARRANTIES, INCLUDING ANY IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, ARE EXCLUDED. WINNERS AGREE TO ACCEPT THE PRIZE “AS-IS.”

ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning are dependent upon the total number of eligible entries received.

RESTRICTIONS: No assignment, transfer, cash redemption, or substitution of prize is permitted, provided that Sponsor reserves the right to substitute any listed prize for one of equal or greater value if the designated prize should become unavailable for any reason.

Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules will not constitute a waiver of that provision.

WINNER: Contest Prize winners will be selected by Sponsor from the first three correct eligible entries received in the Contest Period. Contest Prize selection will occur on June 24, 2011.

Winner notification will be by Twitter or any other method chosen by Sponsor.  Potential winner will be required to contact Sponsor by direct message to Green Mountain Coffee via Twitter or as directed within forty-eight (48) hours of winner notification (the “Response Period”).   Return of a prize notification as undeliverable or failure to respond within the Response Period will result in disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. If the winner chooses not to accept a Prize, an alternate winner will be chosen. In the event of a dispute, entries will be declared made by the authorized account holder of Twitter account submitted at time of entry. Unless otherwise noted, allow 6-8 weeks for delivery of a Prize following completion of notification and prize acceptance process. Prizes will only be delivered to addresses within the United States.

PUBLICITY: Except where prohibited, participation in the Contest constitutes the winner’s consent to Sponsor’s use of winner’s name, photograph, image, voice, opinions, biographical information, hometown and state for Sponsor’s purposes in any media in perpetuity without further payment or consideration.

GENERAL RELEASE: By participating and/or submitting an entry in this Contest, entrants agree: (a) to these Official Rules and all decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final in all respects relating to this Contest; and (b) to release and hold harmless Sponsor, and Keurig, Incorporated and their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers and employees and agents from and against any claim, cause of action, liability or expense (including attorneys’ fees) arising out of participation in the Contest or receipt or use of any Prize.   SPONSOR MAY REQUIRE EXECUTION OF A SPECIFIC RELEASE PRIOR TO AWARD OF ANY PRIZE.

LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY, DISPUTES: If, for any reason, the Internet portion of the program is not capable of running as planned, whether due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of the Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest. In the event of termination, a random drawing to award the Prizes will be conducted from eligible entries received up until the time of termination, if such a drawing can be fairly conducted in Sponsor’s judgment.

Sponsor is not responsible for (i) technical failures of any kind, including but not limited to the malfunctioning of any computer, cable, network, hardware or software, printing or typographical errors or lost, illegible or incomplete entries; (ii) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any providers, transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (iii) unauthorized human intervention in or unauthorized alteration to any part of the entry process or the Contest; (iv) electronic or human error which may occur in the administration of the Contest or the processing of entries; or (v) any injury or damage to persons or property, including but not limited to entrant’s computer, hardware or software, which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Contest.

CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY A PERSON TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEB SITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS CONTEST IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

Entrant agrees that as a condition of entering the Contest: (i) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the state and federal courts of the State of Vermont; (ii) by participating or submitting an entry in the Contest, entrant consents to the personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction of such courts for such purpose; (iii) the parties waive any right to trial by jury; (iv) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred by entrant, including costs associated with entering this Contest but in no event entrant’s attorneys’ fees; and (v) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain award for, and entrant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and further waives any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE RESTRICTIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.

GOVERNING LAW: All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Vermont, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law Official Rules.

ENTRY INFORMATION: Entry information becomes property of Sponsor subject to Sponsor’s privacy policy as posted on its website at the following Internet address: www.GreenMountainCoffee.com.

WINNERS LIST: For a list of winners, mail a self-addressed stamped envelope by August 1, 2011 to: Green Mountain Coffee Name That Coffee Twitter Contest Winners List Request, 33 Coffee Lane, PO Box 370, Waterbury, VT 05676-9927. Limit one request per envelope. Vermont residents do not need to include return postage.

COPY OF RULES:  For a printed copy of these Official Rules, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Green Mountain Coffee Name That Coffee Twitter Contest Rules, 33 Coffee Lane, PO Box 370, Waterbury, VT 05676-9927. Limit one request per envelope.  Vermont residents do not need to include return postage.

©2011 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.  K-Cup® is the registered trademark of Keurig, Incorporated.   Green Mountain Coffee is the registered trademark of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc.

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New Year’s Eve Recipe: Fair Trade Coffee Marinated Steak

I don’t know about you, but New Year’s Eve is a stay-at-home kind of night for our family. We rent B-movies, build a fire, and settle down with our dinner on the couch.  At 11:59 PM, we count down the seconds to the New Year and let out the obligatory, “Happy New Year!” as the ball drops in Times Square and fireworks go off in our neighbor’s backyard.

With such a no muss, no fuss evening, we like to have a no muss, no fuss, but oh-so tasty meal for dinner.  Thankfully, this year Gina De Roma of The Philosopher’s Spoon has us covered with her coffee marinated steak recipe – made with Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend!  Here’s what she has to say about this Fair meal:

“This recipe for Coffee Marinated Steak is a perfect opportunity to vote with your wallet.  Green Mountain Coffee…is committed to brewing a better world through fair trade, environmental sustainability and a focus on reducing poverty and hunger.  Their outstanding Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend makes a sensational cup of coffee and a perfect steak marinade.”


Coffee Marinated Steak

 

This simple marinade produces a tender, melt-in-your-mouth steak.  The flavor of the coffee enhances but doesn't overpower the flavor of the meat.  I let mine marinate for about six hours.

1 lb. of Certified Humane ribeye steaks

1 cup cold, strong, Fair Trade Certified coffee

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Fair Trade Certified golden brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a glass baking pan.  Mix with a fork or wire whisk until sugar is dissolved.  Add steaks and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.

Grill over medium heat to desired doneness.  Turn steaks half-way between cooking time (5 to 7 minutes for rare, 9 to 11 minutes for well).  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving (steaks will continue to cook after removing from the grill so stop cooking a little bit before your desired doneness is achieved).

Serves 2

 

 

Be sure to upload picture on our Facebook page if you make this recipe! We’d love to see your Fair meals in action!

Have a coffee recipe you’d like to share?  E-mail us at social[dot]media[at]gmcr[dot]com

Happy New Year!

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Ask the Coffee Lab: Does Coffee Grow in North America

It’s the first week of November, and you know what that means: time for another edition of Ask the Coffee Lab.

This week’s question is a grouping of a number of inquiries from the Twittervesere and Customer Care:


“I've heard of coffees from Africa and South America, but why not North America?”


--
Great question! This is one that we get quite a bit.

First, some background: Coffee comes from a plant that grows in over 100 hundred different countries around the planet, generally between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. If you don't have a map in front of you, those are the two lines on the globe at 23.5 degrees North and 23.5 degrees South of the Equator. As a refresher back to grade school, the Equator is where the days and nights are the same length, they never vary, and it's pretty hot.

Coffee is a tropical plant that needs plenty of sun and water, but it also is a bit of a "Goldilocks" plant. It doesn't want to be too hot, not too cool, not too rainy, and not too dry. It does terribly with frost and hates drought.

With all of that in mind, coffee does actually does grow in North America. Mexico is one of the top ten largest producers in the world and is (another refresher from school) part of North America.

But what I think you may have really meant is if coffee grows within the United States.  Yes, coffee does grow in the United States, in the country’s 50th state specifically!  Hawaii is a great place to grow plenty of coffee like the Kona coffee in our Extra Bold 10% Kona Blend.  It’s tropical, hot, and has weather patterns that make coffee plants quite content.

Vermont is not tropical, hot year-round, and tends to have weather patterns that change hourly; however, in our coffee lab here in Waterbury, Vermont, we have a coffee plant sitting inside by a big window. There's also a nice older lady who lives 30-minutes south of here and has a number of coffee trees on her patio, but only in the summer. Plenty of people grow coffee trees in the continental United Sates, but no one is doing it commercially to our knowledge.

Hope that helped to answer your coffee quandary!

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Join us online for our Fair Trade-Out Coffee eTasting!

What’s better than an afternoon coffee break? An afternoon coffee break with us online!

We're hosting a live guided coffee tasting tomorrow online on Ustream of our newly converted Fair Trade Our Blend and Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend® with Lindsey Bolger, our Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships, from our cupping lab in Waterbury, Vermont.

We'll taste these newly "traded-out" coffees, chat with Fair Trade USA’s CEO Paul Rice and our special guest coffee farmers from Costa Rica, and take questions from our caffeinated audience (that's you).

-Date: October 26, 2010
-Time: 4:00 – 4:30 PM ET, 1-1:30 PM PT (Perfect time for an afternoon coffee break)
-Location: We’ll be live broadcasting on our Ustream channel, http://www.ustream.tv/GreenMountainCoffee, from Waterbury, Vermont, and on Twitter at @GreenMtnCoffee using the hashtag #etaste. Powered by Ustream.

-VIRTUAL TASTING INSTRUCTIONS-

You and your friends can participate by following these steps:

1) Get a bag or box of Fair Trade Our Blend and Fair Trade Vermont Country Blend.

2) On October 26th, get your brewing set-ups ready so that you can brew and taste with us.

4) A little before 4 PM ET, log on to our Ustream channel and follow along with Lindsey as she brews and tastes these traded-out coffees.

5) Ask questions and share your own reactions and observations by 1) registering with Ustream and using the “Chat” tab, 2) commenting on Ustream’s “Social Stream” through your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media account, or 3) following us on Twitter via the hashtag #etaste.


So, are you ready to trade-out?

[Psst - wonder what our last eTaste was like?  Check out the recording of our virtual tasting of Spring Revival® Blend in May below.]

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Celebrate Fair Trade Month with a Fair Trade-Out

Today marks the first day of Fair Trade Month and the beginning of Green Mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade-Out campaign.  During the month of October, we’re encouraging coffee drinkers around the country to “trade-out” their daily cup of conventional coffee for a Fair Trade variety.

To celebrate the trade-out of two of our most popular blends – Our Blend and Vermont Country Blend® – to be Fair Trade Certified™, we’re giving away 2,500 samples a week of these Fair Trade coffees so you start to trade-out, too. Join us on our Facebook page and sign-up to receive a free sample of one of these delicious coffees (and some extra goodies, too).

Then we’re coming to you! Green Mountain Coffee’s guerrilla sampling team is trading out conventional coffee for Fair Trade in offices, on the street, and in a variety of locations in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston and Washington, DC. Coffee lovers in these cities can campaign to get traded out via Green Mountain Coffee’s Twitter account by using the hashtag #TradeMeOut.

To top it all off, we’re also hosting our second e-Tasting! Join us on October 26 at 4 PM ET via UStream for a virtual guided tasting of Fair Trade Our Blend and Vermont Country Blend.  With your free sample in hand, taste along with Lindsey Bolger, our Director of Coffee Sourcing and Relationships, and some of the Costa Rican farmers who are behind these coffees.  Follow us on Twitter or the #etaste hashtag for the latest e-taste news.

So, are you ready for the Fair Trade-Out?

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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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Green Mountain Coffee Top Holiday Gift Picks

Happy Black Friday!  Hope the shopping spree is going swimmingly!

Unless, of course, you haven’t been up since 5 a.m., sorting your flyers and coupons and mapping out your shopping route with precision, a travel mug full of caffeinated joy clenched in your hand?

Well.

If you’re one to avoid the lines, crowds, and frenetic pace that is Black Friday, let’s see if we can help you out with your laid back, clickable, PJ-wearing Cyber Monday with some GreenMountainCoffee.com Top Picks:

Better World Gift Basket

1. Our Better World Gift Basket: The reusable, eco-friendly tote overflows with Fair Trade, organic, and sustainable treats.  Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate sauce come from farmers who were paid a fair wage. Throw in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and you have it all: java, justice, and joy.

Fair Trade Organic Coffee Sampler

2. Our Fair Trade Organic Sampler: This sampler includes three 10-oz. bags of coffee to fit every mood – bold and dark with French Roast, sweet and swanky with Sumatran Reserve, and bright and vibrant with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. With certified Fair Trade and Organic coffees, this sampler is perfect for the socially-minded with a coffee habit that’s never routine.

Holiday Seasonal Eggnogg

3. Our Limited Edition Seasonal Coffees: Only available during this time of year, Holiday Blend, Spicy Eggnog, and Gingerbread are all created to complement the special foods and festivities of the season. All three coffees are Fair Trade Certified™, which means small-scale farmers were paid a fair price for their beans. Available bagged and in K-Cups.

Taste of VT Breakfast Basket

4. Our Taste of Vermont Breakfast Gift: Brings the beauty of the Green Mountain State right to your doorstep. This special collection represents the best of Vermont's food artisans, including maple butter and maple syrup fromHighland Sugarworks; Raspberry Preserves from Side Hill Farm; a tin of Lake Champlain Fair Trade Organic Cocoa. Mitzi’s Maple Granola made out of Stowe, Vt. Our own Vermont Country Blend and Breakfast Blend coffees round out your tasty tour of Vermont.

Happy hunting…or clicking!

-Kristen

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Special Events Abound This Summer Season

By Roger Garufi

This time of year always brings with it a plethora of special events and community gatherings.  As we sweep out our mud rooms, wash winter’s grit off our cars, and welcome summer back into our lives (a late-emerging and all too brief occurrence in Vermont), we also make time for the many local and regional sampling and sponsorship opportunities.

Green Mountain Coffee started the busy events week last Thursday at the Vermont Ski Areas Association Annual Meeting.  Held this year at the Killington Grand Hotel, we were on hand to show support for our marketing partners at the VSAA, and to distribute K-Cup samples of, among other things, our new seasonal offerings, Summer Safari ™ Blend and The Perfect Peach™. 

Saturday kept two sampling teams busy at two different events.  One team helped our friends at Cabot Creamery celebrate their 90th anniversary, at a special community event at their original Cabot location.  Closer to home, the other team provided free coffee to the attendees of the Waterbury Kids Fest /Green Mountain Coffee Safety Day, an annual event held in the park directly in front of our Visitor’s Center and Café.

wtby-kids-fest-2009-024

On Sunday, at the beautiful Shelburne Museum, a row of Keurig machines and a huge selection of complimentary K-Cups awaited volunteers and participants of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation annual fundraising walk.

Next weekend, I’m off to Hague, NY, to help the volunteers and the racers at the Northern Country Triathlon jump-start their day.  On the same day, a crew of local Green Mountain Coffee employees will be rolling down Main Street on our custom-built float, tossing hundreds of bags of coffee and travel mugs to the crowds gathered for the Waterbury 4th of July Parade.  On Sunday, June 28th, a remote sampling team will be sharing our fine offerings with folks at a special ‘Edible Garden’ event at New York City’s Botanical Garden.  Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse will be in attendance…hopefully they’ll be enjoying their very own Summer Safari.

Hope to see you at an event sometime soon….

Roger

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Down:2:Earth Expo

On April 3rd I traveled, along with two of my coworkers, to the Down:2:Earth Expo in Boston, MA. We were invited to exhibit at "Boston's premier destination for conscious consumers...a marketplace for eco-friendly products, a public stage for community initiatives, and an educational forum that addresses sustainability issues on the minds of us all".

Jasna Brown helping a D2E attendee sample seasonal coffees.

After a rainy drive down on Friday and a smooth booth setup, the expo opened that evening for the  Local Bites Preview Party. This was my favorite part of the whole weekend. There was food and beverage sampling from area restaurants/breweries. I discovered one of the restaurants actually has a shop up in VT. If you're in Burlington, check out Boloco: Inspired Burritos on Church Street.

We met some interesting companies and people while sampling our Organic House Blend Decaf, Spring Revival Blend and Island Coconut (all Fair Trade and available now!). Island Coconut got the most attention, having many surprised coffee-connoisseurs raving about a  flavored coffee! We also liked seeing Equal Exchange, who not only showed up in this great ride but were grinding their coffee beans on the spot as well as sampling their delicious chocolate.

Another highlight of the weekend was seeing so many familiar VT faces! We were among many Vermont companies who made the trek to D:2:E. Cabot setup right next to our booth, providing me a constant supply of their Seriously Sharp, Horseradish and Chipotle Cheddars. I learned from the Cabot folks that all their cheese is lactose free since they naturally age their cheese. Other Vermont companies in attentendance were Vermont Soap (my bag still smells like lavender), Brighter Planet, Ibex, and Tara Lynn Studio.

We'll be back in Boston next weekend at the Project Hunger's Walk For Hunger. The Walk for Hunger is the country's oldest continual pledge walk and the largest one-day fundraiser to alleviate local hunger.

Sign up for the walk - your support will help provide nutritious meals for those who would otherwise go without in Massachusetts.

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