Green Mountain Coffee Family of Brands Blog

Must Be Ice

 

In honor of the kickoff of Brew Over Ice season, this week’s trivia entry brings you fairly interesting info about the colder side of water: ice.

 

So, True or False – actually, scratch that…they’re all true.

 

  1. When water freezes to become ice, its volume increases by nine percent. This drop in density is why ice floats on water and allows lakes and rivers to freeze over rather than under.
  2. When a piece of ice breaks off from a glacier, it is called calving. Depending on the size of that piece, it could be a growler (less than a meter above the surface), a bergy bit (1 to 5 meters above the surface) or an iceberg (everything bigger).
  3. You can start a fire with ice. How? Carve a chunk of ice into a lens so that it works as a sort of magnifying glass, concentrating sunlight on one spot. Outdoors experts can do this with special effort. The rest of us are better off starting our fires with a match.
  4. Frank Zamboni invented the Zamboni in the late 1940s to fix the surface at the Iceland Skating Rink in Paramount, CA. His company later branched out, building or selling such products as the Astro Zamboni (to vacuum water from AstroTurf), the Grasshopper (to roll up artificial turf) and the Black Widow (to place dirt atop cemetery vaults).
  5. In the 1800’s, before mechanical refrigeration was invented, ice harvested from lakes in the northern U.S. was shipped to places as far away as India and regarded there as a great luxury.

 

Sources:

www.articles.ChicagoTribune.com and www.icecarvingsecrets.com

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Train Station Blog Post April 2014

 

Spring has sprung! It’s time to break out our iced coffee specialties at the Green Mountain Coffee Train Station!

Come try our Iced Wild Mountain Blueberry Maple Supreme! We ice our Green Mountain Coffee® Wild Mountain Blueberry® K-Cup® Coffee and add light cream and real Vermont maple syrup to make a sweet and refreshing treat for the season.

We also have our limited edition Raspberry Mocha Supreme available. It’s sweet raspberry Torani syrup, Ghiradelli chocolate milk, and a coffee of your choice! We recommend it with our Nantucket Blend® Iced Coffee K-Cup® Pack to give it a smooth, dark chocolate taste, with the slightest hint of berries. You can add whipped cream to make it a real treat!

Hurry in, we only carry these delicious treats until the end of April so, as it warms up this season, come cool down at the Train Station!

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Easter Baskets

 

I love an excuse anytime of year to give and receive treats, especially when they are packaged up ever so sweetly in a basket of sorts.  This year, I’m thinking outside of the “basket” and hoping for some alternative treats to those oh-so-delicious chocolate bunnies…or scratch that, I’ll take one of those, too!

What I’m hoping for in my basket this year:

A box of my favorite flavored coffee

A Keurig® K10 Mini Brewer, in White

Keurig® Café One-Touch Milk Frother – this accessory is awesome, and gives you your favorite café-style beverage right at home!

Chocolate, any flavor, any shape, any kind

A new mug, because my favorite just got a crack in it!

Some new baking sheets, so I can keep making these kinds of treats

And a new pair of running shoes so I can finish my marathon in some fresh kicks

 

I know, this sounds more like a Christmas list to Santa, but I’ll leave it at that, and hope for at least some chocolate.

 

What will be in your Easter baskets this year?

 

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Farm Fresh Egg & Yogurt Frittata

 

The other day I came home from work and had nothing, or so I thought, on hand to make for a cohesive and satisfying dinner. I went in the fridge and pulled out some kale, mushrooms and the last two eggs I had left that came from my friend and her lovely chickens.  I went to work and put together an amazingly delicious and satisfying “breakfast for dinner” that was healthy and light, while using all of the usual ingredients I had hiding in my fridge.  Feel free to substitute things in or out, I think the trick is balancing the vegetables with the egg/milk/yogurt and making sure everything is coated evenly!  Also,the nutmeg added a wonderful depth of flavor that was really nice. 

Ingredients:

½ Cup chopped cauliflower

2 Cups (uncooked) Kale

1 Onion

4 Large mushrooms

1 Clove of garlic, minced

2 Large fresh eggs

½ Cup Greek Yogurt

¾ Cup milk (I used whole, 2% is fine)

½ Cup cheddar cheese

¼ Teaspoon nutmeg

¼ Teaspoon paprika

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook the olive oil, onions and garlic until caramelized about 3-4 minutes. Add the cauliflower and mushrooms, sautéing for another 3 or 4 minutes. Finally, add the kale and cover with a lid on low heat until completed wilted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, nutmeg, cheese and yogurt. Slowly add the kale and mushroom mixture to the eggs and transfer to a pie or casserole dish. Finish with a dash paprika.  Bake for 35 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned, and the center is firm.

 

Enjoy for breakfast, lunch OR dinner!

 

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Hot Vs. Iced Beverages

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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First Signs of Spring…er, Mud Season

 

Ahhhhh….spring is finally in the air. The birds are chirping, my crocuses are starting to peak their heads out of my garden, the temperatures are ever so slightly rising, and all my shoes, car, and running clothes are covered in…mud?

The first signs of spring are all so wonderful aren't they? Here in Vermont though, we have an in-between season called mud season, which is, in my opinion, the official kickoff of spring.  This “season” falls right after winter releases its grip on us and before we can breathe easy and say that spring has arrived. 

During this time of year, I am revived by the warming temperatures and the promise that I can finally get back to my garden and am able to run outside without a million layers on. The quick floods and fragileness of our roads and bridges in Vermont, however, do caution me a bit. This time of year brings the added worry of “will the road be washed out?” with every heavy rain and the prospect of taking a new route to work each morning. 

Nevertheless, all of the changes in the weather and landscape do truly make me feel alive. There’s nothing quite like it. It’s a reminder that time is passing, but that each new season brings its joys and challenges.  Spring is in the air! That must mean summer is just around the corner…so grab a cup of Celestial Seasonings® Half & Half Perfect Iced Tea and enjoy the sunshine! 

 

What is your first sign of spring?

 

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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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Gooey - Chocolate Coconut Bars

 

If you love chocolate, coconut and graham cracker crusts, you will devour these bars, just like I did! Not only are they irresistible, they pair perfectly with our seasonal Green Mountain Coffee® Island Coconut coffee

 

Crust Ingredients:

12 Ounces ground graham crackers

¼ Cup sugar

¾ Cup unsalted butter, melted

 

Topping Ingredients:

1 Cup walnut or pecan pieces

1 Cup chocolate chips

1 14 Ounce can sweetened condensed milk

2 Cups unsweetened coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, combine the graham crackers, sugar and melted butter. Pulse until blended completely and there are no large cracker pieces left.  Press mixture into 15x10” baking sheet, or a 13x9 casserole dish will work fine too (the crust will just be thicker).  Bake until firm, for about 10 or 12 minutes.  Let crust cool completely, and sprinkle with nuts and chocolate. In a separate bowl combine the sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup of the coconut. Pour this mixture over top of the nuts and chocolate. Top with remaining cup of shredded coconut. Bake until coconut is a toasted brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack. 

These keep well for 2 or 3 days in a sealed, airtight container (if they last that long!!)

 

Enjoy! 

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Good Old Fashion Pranks

 

April Fool’s Day was a thrill growing up.  Simultaneously on guard and hyped up about the next surprise, I’m a little shocked more of us escaped that day unscathed than not.  Of course, looking back, it was a lot more fun to watch a “gotcha” than to be got.  No wonder my teachers had a deeply etched look of dread on their faces when March 31st hit: nothing good was to come from the next day’s activities.  But, boy, some of those gotchas were just great. 

 

Being kids at heart, our team decided to walk down memory lane to share some of the best tricks we played growing up.  Fair warning: do not try this at home, kids.

  • Putting honey in the shampoo bottle
  • Switching salt for sugar, and sugar for salt
  • Greasing the bedroom doorknob
  • Setting your parent’s alarm for 2 AM
  • Stuff paper towels into the toes of your family’s shoes
  • Hide one sock of every pair in your sister’s dresser
  • Glue a quarter to the ground in a busy place
  • Switch your dad’s Dark Magic® coffee   for French Vanilla - and then run!

 

Happy April Fool's Day, everyone! 

 

 

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Maple Goodness

 

I think March is my honest to goodness favorite month of the whole year. There’s something so hopeful about the sunshine, the ever-warming days, as well as the noticeably lighter nights.  Even in the midst of this record breaking cold, I’m still on the upswing and basking in the bounty that Vermont has to offer this time of year.  Last weekend, my family and I went to a Maple Open House – this is a somewhat new tradition for us (since we no longer boil our own sap) to visit with farmers and hobby maple sugar producers who open up their sugar houses for visitors to pour in, sample just boiled syrup, and purchase a gallon or two hot off the press.  I bought a pint from our friends the McBride’s in Westford and decided to get to work on using it in some recipes.  Of course, I had it on my Sunday morning waffles, but I decided to take a stab at incorporating it into granola.  So here’s my take and feel free to substitute in whatever nuts or dried fruits you have on hand. After making it, I realized that it would be better to wait to add the raisins after baking. It would also be really good with dried apricots.  Enjoy this over yogurt and paired with your morning cup of coffee! Mine is always Green Mountain Coffee® Mocha Nut Fudge brewed in my Keurig® brewer

 

 

Ingredients:

3 Cups old-fashioned oats

¼ Cup chopped pecans

¼ Cup chopped almonds

¼ Sesame seeds

¼ Teaspoon coarse sea salt

5 Tablespoons Vermont Maple Syrup

4 Teaspoons vegetable oil

½ Teaspoon vanilla

½ Cup raisins

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl combine all ingredients, minus the raisins.  Spread on a rimmed baking sheet with lined with parchment paper. Bake until golden brown, about 27 minutes, but watch it carefully. About ½ way through baking, rotate the sheet. Once cool, toss in raisins.  Serve over yogurt, fromage blanc or eat plain and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Trivial Matters: An Overdue Spring

 

The calendar says it’s spring, but for those of us in the Northeast…not so much. The thermometer is stubbornly stuck below freezing. We know the ground is somewhere below a couple feet of icy snow, but grass and daffodils will continue to snooze awhile. So if you’re lucky enough to put away the hats and mittens and open up the windows, well, good for you. In the meantime, we’ll be consoling ourselves with a steaming cup of coffee to warm our hands and lift our spirits.

In the interest of daydreaming of warmer days, this edition of Trivia Tuesday is all about, spring, that most refreshing of seasons.

1.      If you stand at the equator on the first day of spring, you will see the sun pass directly overhead. This is only true two times a year: the first day of spring and the first day of autumn.

2.      Benjamin Franklin was the first American to propose Daylight Saving Time in 1784; however, it wasn’t fully implemented in the US until after the Second World War.

3.      Baby birds are born with the ability to sing, but they must learn the specific song of their species. It’s believed they acquire their songs between 10 and 60 days of age and begin to sing them the following spring when they have matured at about 300 days old.

4.      Children grow faster in spring.

5.       Spring fever is real! It commonly occurs when a sudden warm spell follows a long cold period. When the temperature rises, there's a dilation or expansion of the blood vessels so that blood can be carried to the body surface, where heat can be released quickly. Some people experience an energetic feeling to this reaction.

 

 

Trivia sources: www.holiday-haven.com and www.parkrideflyusa.com

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Caramel Mocha Latte Recipe

To celebrate National Chocolate Caramel Day today, let us indulge in all that is wonderful about the combination of heavenly chocolate and the sugary, sweetness of caramel.

 

We bring to you: 

 

Caramel Mocha Latte Recipe! Enter as you dare...

 

Ingredients: 

1 Extra Bold Coffee K-Cup® or Vue® pack 

4 oz. of skim milk

4 teaspoons of caramel syrup or caramel ice cream topping

1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup

 

Directions:

Brew 6-8 oz. of coffee into a 14 oz. mug

While the coffee is brewing, prepare the hot milk in your Milk Frother

When coffee is ready, add 4 teaspoons of caramel syrup or topping

Stir in 1 tablespoon of chocolate syrup. 

Gently stir in hot milk 

Recommendation: Topped with whipped cream. 

 

 

Enjoy! 

 

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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!

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St. Patrick’s Day Treats

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! Today, we have some special treats to share with you all, so that you may have a day filled with luck, something green, and maybe even a pot of gold

 

 

Café Escapes® Café Vanilla Mint Shake

This is SUPER easy, and can be made right in your favorite glass or jar. I couldn’t believe how delicious it was, with hints of vanilla and spice, that felt refreshing with the splash of peppermint.

Ingredients:

1 Café Escapes® Café Vanilla K-Cup® brewed at 10 ounce setting, chill completely (I chilled mine overnight in the refrigerator, but 2-3 hours would likely do the trick).

½ Cup vanilla bean ice cream

1/8 Teaspoon peppermint extract

1 Drop of green food coloring

Optional add-on's: crushed chocolate and peppermint, and whipped cream – and a fun straw!

 

Directions:

After the Café Vanilla has chilled, pour into 14-16 ounce glass or jar.  Add the scoop of ice cream and blend together. I used a fork, and it took me about 20 seconds of constant stirring to get the consistency I wanted, it was also difficult not to spill it over the edge, so if you wanted to use an emersion blender or a stand alone blender this is where it might be helpful.  Add the peppermint extract and the food colors and continue blending until the color is throughout the glass.  If desired, top with whipped cream and crushed chocolate. Sip, and enjoy!

 

Not to overindulge on a day like today, I couldn't resist pairing this with an inspired recipe for baked donuts, that I decorated with an easy sugar glaze and a variety of toppings, including peppermint, chocolate sprinkles and sweetened coconut. 

Nutmeg & Vanilla Baked Donuts

These donuts have a really wonderful cinnamon and nutmeg taste to them. They are not super sweet, I was thinking they would be great for breakfast maybe minus the frosting.

Donut Ingredients:

Baking spray with flour

2 Cups all-purpose flour

2 Teaspoons baking powder

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

½ Teaspoon nutmeg

½ Teaspoon salt

1 Large egg

1 Egg white

1 ¼ Cups heavy cream

2 Tablespoons melted butter

2 Teaspoons vanilla

Glaze Ingredients:

Large egg

½ Cup confectioner sugar

½ Teaspoon vanilla

3 Tablespoons heavy cream

1 Drop green food coloring

Optional add-on's: crushed chocolate and peppermint, chocolate sprinkles, sweetened coconut flakes

 

 

Desired consistency is thick, but not dry. Liquid-y but not soupy.  I had to play with the sugar & cream consistency a bit.

 

Directions:

Once donuts are completely cooled lightly spoon frosting on top and cover to desired thickness (I like to pile mine on, and try to keep the frosting at a thickness that it won’t drip down the sides). Have a plate waiting with toppings and gently press frosting down onto sprinkles, coconut or chocolate peppermint.

Enjoy! 

 

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Coconut Café

Now that it is almost Spring, we're dreaming of the tropics! Let's settle for a Coconut Café indulgence, instead.

 

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon of cream of coconut (regular or low-fat)

1 French Vanilla Coffee K-Cup® or Vue® pack, brewed at 6-ounce setting

Milk or creamer

Sweetened whipped cream

1/2 teaspoon of toasted, shredded coconut

Directions:

Spoon cream of coconut into mug. Brew coffee into mug, add milk or creamer to taste, stir and combine. Garnish with whipped cream and toasted coconut.

To toast coconut: Add grated coconut to a small non-stick pan and heat over low heat for 2 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 1 Serving.

Happy brewing! 

 

 

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Trivia Tuesday

 

More Coffee Trivia…

 

For those of you who like to think about coffee as much as drink it, here are a few trivia questions to test your knowledge of this much adored (and needed) beverage.

 

  1. Where did coffee originate?
    1. Ethiopia
    2. Brazil
    3. Indonesia

(Answer a: Evidence suggests that the first coffee plants grew in the region of Kaffa in central Ethiopia.)
 

  1. What’s the origin of “Mocha” coffee:

a) Arabic word for chocolate
b) Yemeni Port City
c) Island off South America
 

(Answer b: Al-Mokha used to be a thriving port on the Red Sea Coast. It shipped a varietal of coffee native to Yemen and Ethiopia and lent its name to those beans.)
                               

  1. Which will give you the biggest shot of caffeine?

a) Arabica beans
b) Robusta beans
c) Yerba mate tea
 

(Answer b: A six oz. cup of drip-brewed Robusta coffee will give you anything from 140-200 mg of caffeine, compared to around 100 in a cup of Arabica.)
 

  1. Which country comes SECOND to Brazil as the world’s largest coffee producer?

a) Vietnam
b) India
c) Columbia

(Answer a: Coffee was introduced to Vietnam by the French in the mid-19th century. Robusta beans account for most of Vietnam’s coffee output – more than 3.1 billion pounds in 2011.)

  1. Who first told North America about coffee?

a) William Penn
b) John Smith
c) Christopher Columbus


(Answer b: Founder of the Colony of Virginia in 1607, Smith would certainly have encountered coffee on his Turkish travels, so he usually gets the credit.)
 

Question Source: National Public Radio

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Big Easy Beignet Dipping Sauce


 

In light of fat Tuesday, here’s a recipe to make you feel like you’re parading down Bourbon Street. An inspired coffee-cream dipping sauce, perfect for dipping homemade donuts, ladyfingers and beignets!

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup mascarpone cheese (room temperature)


6-8 tablespoons Dark roast coffee (to stick with the New Orleans theme I used Emeril’s® Big Easy Bold K-Cup® Coffee)

2 tablespoons powdered sugar


1/4 cup heavy cream

 

Directions:

Allow mascarpone cheese to reach room temperature. 

Brew coffee at the 2-oz setting in your Keurig® brewer. 

Whip together ingredients in a standing mixer, or with a hand mixer on low speed until the desired consistency is reached, then serve in a small bowl. Dip, and enjoy!

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Surviving the Vortex

 

You’ve heard us talk about how much we love winter.  The snowflakes on your eyelashes. The crispness of snow under your boots. The mornings of fresh powder on the mountain. 

But we've heard that another Polar Vortex is coming.  And we just got 15-inches of snow last week.  And my cute sweaters and vests have shrunk in the dryer.  In sum: It’s February and we’re over it. 

The challenge is that while we’re a little less than thrilled about the chilly temperatures, winter is still rolling on through.  So what to do?  Make the indoors, warm by the fireplace, that much more interesting.  Here’s what’s on our to-do list whilst the so-called Vortex makes its way through:

  • Warm up the house by turning on the oven!  Mocha Cake is first on the list.
  • Grow some flowers – or make them!  With a handful of pipe cleaners and K-Cup® packs, we’ll grow a garden to brighten the day.
  • Brew something cold!  Let’s kick-start warm weather with an iced coffee, sweet and creamy.  Or a raspberry iced tea, tart and tangy.  Or both.  Repeatedly until the sun comes back out.

 

What’s on your survival list? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Poached Pears Recipe

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

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

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

Ingredients: 

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

2 cups of water

1/3 cup of brown sugar

4 Pears, peeled, halved, and cored 

Directions:

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

Makes 4 servings. 

Enjoy! 

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Tea Trivia Tuesday

 

Time for Tea Trivia!

 

While we, at the office, love a great cup of coffee, there are a handful of us who really appreciate a nice, smooth, perfect strength cup of tea from our Keurig® brewer. So pinkies up, everyone, this Trivia Edition is all about Tea! 

 

1. Tea is a natural source of:

a.      Fluoride x

b.      Zinc

c.       Vitamin C

d.      Lycopene

 

2. Which country produces the most tea in the world?

a.      India x

b.      Sri Lanka

c.       China

d.      Kenya

 

3. What are the ideal growing conditions for tea?

a.      At sea level in temperate climates

b.      In well-drained, sandy soils with minimal rainfall

c.       In conditions with heavy rainfall, well-drained soils at high elevations

d.      In cool, dry climates

 

4. Who said, “Women are like tea bags. They do not know how strong they are until they get into hot water.”?

a.      Margaret Thatcher

b.      Eleanor Roosevelt

c.       Germaine Greer

d.      Rosa Parks

 

5. Tibetans drink tea made of:

a.      Pepper and pickle

b.      Vinegar and milk

c.       Honey and molasses

d.      Salt and rancid yak butter

 

 

 

Answers:

1.      a, 2. a, 3. C, 4. b, 5. D

 

Quiz Source: www.stlaurences.org.uk

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