• USO-NC Gives Veterans a Support Network

    by John Knotz | Jun 16, 2016

    IMG_1435.JPGWhen veterans return from combat and settle in back at home, who can they call for help? Critical programs like the Warrior Reset Program provide troops the support they need to bounce back after combat. Sgt. Brendan Cashion of the 211th MP Company (N.C. National Guard) is a volunteer suicide-prevention officer who has seen the impact of these programs.

    He says that military and USO training have opened his eyes to the scope of the problems returning veterans face — and to simple solutions. “Most of the time, veterans just want to talk to somebody who’s been there — people who understand what they’ve been through,” he says.

    Community Coffee Company has a long history of supporting military personnel. The company recently celebrated a landmark of 4.2 million cups of coffee shipped overseas to military personnel.

    Community Coffee also serves military members through the USO of North Carolina’s Patriot Circle, an elite group of corporate donors that demonstrate their support of the troops and their families by backing critical programs offered by the USO of North Carolina. Through this partnership, Community Coffee provides in-kind coffee products to be served at the five USO of North Carolina centers, its mobile center and at key events, along with a donation to support statewide education, health and human services programs, and career-transition programs.


    Cashion said he has known from a young age that he wanted to help troops reintegrate after combat, and he has experienced the pain of suicide in his own extended family. “I said to myself, ‘I’m not going to let that happen to someone else,’ ” he says. But it wasn’t until Cashion returned from his first deployment that he understood how difficult reintegration can be for military members. “I saw that it was a very serious ordeal. Soldiers were coming back and dealing with a lot of stressors, with PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder]. They were turning to substance abuse and alcohol,” he says.

    During his five years as a suicide-prevention officer, Cashion has completed 21 successful suicide interventions, including one long-distance intervention that involved a team of volunteers reaching a veteran in Georgia. Through his work, he has realized the importance of awareness — educating military members and their supporting community about veterans and suicide prevention. “I thrive on being able to open soldiers’ eyes,” he says. “When we do briefs at company level, at first people don’t pay attention, but the more I speak and involve the crowd, the more it touches everybody and opens their eyes.

    “Veterans aren’t sick. They aren’t crazy. They just need help, and they need to be integrated into society instead of pushed away.”

    Cashion says he’s encouraged to see more peer groups, like the the crowdfunded film “Project 22,” helping veterans talk through their experiences and find ways to cope.

    He attended a USO program at the Fayetteville botanical gardens, where he learned coping strategies for struggling veterans, like walking through the gardens and getting out into nature. “That opened my eyes to a lot of different avenues I wouldn’t have thought of,” Cashion says. “Most of the time when I intervene with people, I just try to talk to them. The USO puts on amazing programs I wish everyone could attend, to hear the speakers and watch the videos.”

    He encourages everyone to find ways to get involved with veterans’ groups. “The USO has a lot of great programs to help people see what’s really going on. If people want to go out and help, there are plenty of resources out there,” he says.

    We are proud to support Cashion’s work, as well as that of his colleagues at the USO of North Carolina.

  • National Tea Day

    by John Knotz | Jun 10, 2016

    If there's one thing the South is known for, it's our love of sweet tea. While we drink our fair share, tea is actually the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80% of all U.S. households. It is the only beverage commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion. On any given day, over 158 million Americans are drinking tea. We at Community Coffee Company join tea lovers across the U.S. celebrating National Iced Tea Day held annually on June 10.

    Steeped in History

    It’s said that tea is nearly 5,000 years old and was discovered in 2737 BC by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung, when as legend goes, some tea leaves accidentally blew into his pot of boiling water. In the 1600’s, tea became highly popular throughout Europe and the American colonies and if you recall The Boston Tea Party, you’ll remember how the product played a dramatic part in the establishment of the United States of America. The U.S. spurred usage of tea after inventing the tea bag and iced tea, both in 1904. By the First World War, Americans were buying tall glasses, which became commonly known as iced-tea glasses and long spoons suitable for stirring sugar into taller glasses.

    Cheers to Good Health

    Today, tea comes in different varieties and formats: black, green, herbal, hot, cold, etc. In addition, research shows the drink has numerous health benefits, especially green tea, which is loaded with antioxidants and may lower your risk of certain types of cancers. Tea has no sodium, fat, carbonation, or sugar and is virtually calorie-free. Human population studies have found that people who regularly consume three or more cups of black tea per day have a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Drinking tea has also been linked to higher bone mineral density (BMD) and has been shown to boost bone-building markers and improve muscle mass, both of which may reduce the risk for osteoporosis and fracture. In addition, several studies suggest drinking calorie-free tea may help with weight management.


    As tea’s popularity has grown, innovative tea lovers have expanded how this delicious beverage may be enjoyed. Whether you like it hot or cold, tea is the perfect vehicle for a range of ingredients. Lemon has been a long-time favorite, but almost any other fruit can be added such as strawberries, oranges, or kiwi. Some people intensify tea’s flavor by adding lemon or orange zest, or even mixing it with lemonade. Unique sweeteners like honey, stevia, or agave nectar all add distinct flavors. Spices and herbs such as cinnamon, clove, mint, ginger, allspice or star anise can liven up any brew. The English are known for adding milk to their tea, but coconut milk and almond milk are being used by the more adventurous. As you can see, the ways in which you can enjoy your tea are as varied as your imagination.

    A New Look for Community® Tea

    Just in time for the warm months ahead, Community® tea will soon hit the shelves with a new look. Still the same delicious, high-quality products you know and love, our Family-size and Individual Tea Bags have a fresh, new package design that embodies our Southern heritage and passion for high-quality ingredients. Whether you like it iced, hot, sweet, or with a hint of fruit added, tea makes a refreshing, delicious, healthy drink that’s more popular today than ever.


    11 Larsson SCVirtamo JWolk A. Black tea consumption and risk of stroke in women and men. Ann Epidemiol. 2013 Mar;23(3):157-60. 

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    24 Vernarelli JALambert JD. Tea consumption is inversely associated with weight status and other markers for metabolic syndrome in US adults. Eur J Nutr 2012 Jul 10.

    24 Hursel RViechtbauer WDulloo AG et al. The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis. Obes Rev 2011 Jul;12(7):e573-81.

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    2Dulloo AG, Duret C, Rohrer D, Girardier L, Mensi N, Fathi M, Chantre P, Vandermander J. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5.

    27 Chantre P, Lairon D. Recent findings of green tea extract AR25 (Exolise) and its activity for the treatment of obesity. Phytomedicine 2002;9(1):3-8.

    28 Venables MC, Hulston CJ, Cox HR, and Jeukendrup AE. Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2008;87(3):778-84.

    29 Nagao T, Hase T and Tokimitsu I. A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risk in humans. Obesity. 2007 Jun;15:1473-83.

    30 Nagao T, Komine Y, Soga S, Meguro S, Hase T, Tanaka Y, Yokimitsu I. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. Am J Clin Nutr 2005 Jan;81(1):122-9.

    31 Tian CYe XZhang RLong J et al. Green Tea Polyphenols Reduced Fat Deposits in High Fat-Fed Rats via erk1/2-PPARγ-Adiponectin Pathway. PLoS One.2013;8(1):e53796.

    3Murase T, Nagasawa A, Suzuki J, Hase T, Tokimitsu I. Beneficial effects of tea catechins on diet-induced obesity: stimulation of lipid catabolism in the liver. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2002;26(11):1459-64.

    33 Murase THaramizu SShimotoyodome ATokimitsu I. Reduction of diet-induced obesity by a combination of tea-catechin intake and regular swimming. Int J Obesity 2005 Oct:1-8.

    34 Shimotoyodome A, Haramizu S, Inaba M, Murase T, Tokimitsu I. Exercise and green tea extract stimulate fat oxidation and prevent obesity in mice. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2005 Nov;37(11):1884-92.

    35 Murase THaramizu SShimotoyodome ATokimitsu IHase T. Green tea extract improves running endurance in mice by stimulating lipid utilization during exercise. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2006 Jun;290(6):R1550-6.

    36Hegarty VM, May HM, Khaw K-T. Tea drinking and bone mineral density in older women. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:1003-7.

    37 Wu CH, Yang YC, Yao WJ, Lu FH, Wu JS, Chang CJ. Epidemiological evidence of increased bone mineral density in habitual tea drinkers. Arch Intern Med 2002 May 13;162(9):1001-6.

    38 Devine A, Hodgson JM, Dick IM, Prince RL. Tea drinking is associated with benefits on bone density in older women. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86(4)1243-7.

    39 Lloyd T, Rollings NJ, Kieselhorst K, Eggli DF, Mauger E. Dietary caffeine intake is not correlated with adolescent bone gain. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:454-7.

    40 Lloyd T, Johnson-Rollings N, Eggli DF, Kieselhorst K, Mauger EA, Cusatis DC. Bone status among postmenopausal women with different habitual caffeine intakes: a longitudinal investigation. J Am Coll Nutr 2000;19:256-61.

    41 Shen CL, Chyu MC, Yeh JK, Zhang Y, Pence BC, Felton CK, Brismee JM, Arjmandi BH, Doctolero S, Wang JS. Effect of green tea and Tai Chi on bone health in postmenopausal osteopenic women: a six-month randomized placebo-controlled trial. Osteoporos Int 2012; 23(5):1541-52.

    43Ling Tao, Jong-Yung Park, Joshua D. Lambert. Differential prooxidative effects of the green tea polyphenol, (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, in normal and oral cancer cells are related to differences in sirtuin 3 signaling. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Feb;59 (2):203-11. [Epub 2014 Nov 17].42


  • Father's Day Gift Ideas

    by John Knotz | Jun 09, 2016

    Most dads love coffee. For years, fathers have set out early in the morning to meet the workday, head to T-ball practice or tackle DIY projects around the house beginning with a fresh cup of Joe. You probably have fond memories of your dad and his coffee. Perhaps it’s being awakened before dawn by the delicious aroma and gurgling sound of the coffee pot dad put on before your hunting or fishing trip. Maybe it’s pops—hidden behind the Sunday paper at the kitchen table—his hand deftly reaching for his mug without ever taking his eyes off the sports section. Perhaps it’s your father’s ritual of a black coffee with one sugar after a good meal at a nice restaurant. If you can remember, it was most likely your old man who introduced you to your first coffee milk laced with more sugar than you’d dare use today. And it’s a safe bet that your father still has that “World’s Greatest Dad” mug you proudly presented to him in third grade—the one he dutifully used for years.

    This Father’s Day, celebrate dad’s love of java with a unique coffee gift he’ll appreciate. Need some ideas? We’ve got you covered. If dad’s a reader, introduce him to www.goodreads.com to help assemble a reading list of great books based on his taste. Yes, there are plenty of coffee table books, too, none better than the coffee table book that is actually about coffeeThe World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing—Coffees Explored, Explained and Enjoyed.

    If there’s anything dads like more than coffee, it’s meat. How about combining the two by serving him a rib recipe that features a Community® coffee rub? Dad will love the subtle coffee flavor and not having to do all the work. If you’re looking to satisfy dad’s sweet tooth, Fusion Gourmet offers its Bali’s Best coffee candy made with real Sumatran coffee originating from the islands of Java. Fusion also offers a range of other cookies, wafers and candies in a variety of flavors. For the no-fuss father who likes simple things that work, the Chemex® Pour-Over Glass Coffee Maker with Wood Collar is a one-piece vessel that provides a reliable method of making delicious, high-quality coffee. Looking for even more ideas? Community Coffee Company offers an array of coffee-related items that dad can enjoy, from mugs and tumblers to coffee gift baskets and Coffee Makers. Finally, if you want go with that third-grade throwback gift, we found the coffee-centric present that lets dad know exactly what you think of him. No matter what, tell dad that you love him this Father’s Day and that will be the best gift of all.

  • Homemade Balsamic Coffee Vinaigrette

    by John Knotz | May 19, 2016

    The secret’s out! Not only is coffee a worldwide favorite beverage, but it’s a handy flavor-enhancing tool for cooks and bakers, too. Really?

    DressedSaladAbsolutely! And this vinaigrette is proof. Most people will not pick out bold coffee flavor in this dressing but instead taste a lovely bright, sweet-savory flavor combination, which is heightened thanks to brewed coffee. And a splash of real maple syrup is perfect for adding a taste of springtime sweetness.

    Now, why doesn’t this dressing separate like most homemade versions? Well, there are several factors helping to keep the ingredients that don’t enjoy each others’ company – think vinegar and oil – emulsified or evenly combined. Both mustard and ground nuts work as emulsifiers in this recipe. And using a powerful food processor helps make the emulsion tight, lasting about a week in the refrigerator. I especially love the fact that the good-for-you olive oil does not solidify in this dressing after being refrigerated!

    But the true beauty of vinaigrette that stays well-mixed is in each bite. All the flavors remain in perfect combination, clinging to the greens. (No more searching for the vinegar, which slid into a pool beneath the greens.) So, you taste the dressed salad at its very best.     

    Think of this recipe as a template for making more dressings, too. Change the acid (balsamic vinegar in this case) to lemon juice or different vinegar, use honey instead of maple syrup, and change the walnuts to another favorite nut. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Just beware … once you start making your own vinaigrette's at home, it’ll be hard to go back to bottled!


    CoffeeVinaigretteBalsamic Coffee Vinaigrette

    2 cloves garlic, halved
    2 tablespoons brewed Community® coffee, cooled
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    2 tablespoons roughly chopped and toasted walnuts
    1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon ground white or black pepper
    ½ cup extra virgin olive oil


    Place multipurpose blade in food processor. With processor running, add garlic through the feed tube to mince. Add coffee, vinegar, syrup, walnuts, mustard, salt and white pepper. Process a few seconds until mixed; scrape down sides of bowl. With processor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through the feed tube; process until completely combined.

    Makes about 7 (2-tablespoon) servings


    • To toast nuts, place in heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2-4 minutes. Cool.
    • Toast more nuts than the recipe calls for and sprinkle on top of the salad.
    • If you don’t have a food processor, try a blender. Or, place all ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and vigorously shake. Just be sure to very finely mince the garlic and nuts before adding.
    • Variations: Substitute different vinegars or lemon juice for balsamic; try honey instead of maple syrup; use another favorite nut instead of walnuts. For a more mellow (less “vinegary”) dressing, increase the amount of olive oil to suit your preference (one tablespoon at a time, tasting after each addition).
    • Allergic to nuts? Leave them out. The vinaigrette may separate more quickly than if using them, but it still will have great flavor.
    • The vinaigrette should keep about 1 week in the refrigerator.
    • Salad serving suggestion: favorite greens, thin strips of prosciutto, blue or other favorite cheese, toasted walnuts and chopped dried figs or dates.


    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.


    by John Knotz | May 12, 2016

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    We have been thanking U.S. military personnel by doubling customer coffee orders for free through our Military Match program for almost a decade. Over 4.2 million cups of Community® coffee have given our heroes a taste of home and one customer recently reached back out to use to share his appreciation.

    At a Community Coffee Company employee event this fall, our team members had the
    opportunity to personally show their support of our military heroes by writing “Thank You” notes to military personnel, which were then placed in our Military Match boxes and shipped to servicemen and servicewomen across the globe.

    Recently, we received a thank you letter from Chris Chaisson, a U.S. Department of State diplomat, who has been serving overseas in various U.S. embassies for the last 11 years. He has been our customer since 2006 and is now posted in Pakistan during a hardship tour. He wrote to Our Company in response to the handwritten note that was delivered to him. 

    “Someone took time out of their day to write a handwritten note to me, which I sincerely appreciate.  It was not necessary and I truly believe that their sentiments are completely genuine. This simple and kind act only reinforced to me that your company deserves my total loyalty. While you had a loyal customer before, this simple card only ensured that I will only buy your coffee in the future and if I run out, I will just wait until your coffee arrives to drink more. Please accept my sincere appreciation for your generosity, kindness, and simple humanity that you have shown to me and all the millions of military members over the long years.”

    - Chris Chaisson, U.S. State Department and loyal Community® coffee consumer

    IMG_3971 (1)

    Community’s Military Match program is clearly making an impact of utmost importance on our loyal fans and customers overseas. We are proud to provide our coffee to those who truly deserve and appreciate it the most.

  • Coastal Restoration Concerns Everyone

    by Jordan Feeney | May 03, 2016

    Louisiana is challenged with the largest land loss crisis in North America: the loss of a football field of land every hour. When asked, citizens say that restoration of the state’s coastline is the most pressing environmental challenge of our lifetime. Coastal erosion will result in a loss of ecosystem services that protect communities, wildlife habitat and economic infrastructure essential to our economy and a stable environment.

    rsz_americaswetland_shoreline_1America's WETLAND, the seventh largest delta on earth and the largest port system in the U.S., is of world ecological significance. The potential collapse of this intricate ecosystem will have negative environmental consequences for wildlife habitat and marine life. This working coast is an economic engine for the entire nation, producing much of America’s seafood, moving commodities and goods in and out of the country and housing a vast energy network on and offshore that serves the entire nation and keeps America secure.

    In 2002, the America’s WETLAND Foundation (AWF) was launched with the goal of raising public awareness of the impact wetland loss has on the state, nation and world and gaining support for saving our coastline. This ongoing public education effort has helped elevate coastal land loss from a local or state issue to a national and international one.

    In early 2016, Community Coffee Company joined AWF and Gulf Coast industry and civic leaders in developing and implementing the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) Shoreline Stabilization and Restoration project in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana. For decades, navigable waterways designed to support commerce, such as the GIWW, have been lost to tidal surge. The resulting shoreline creep has led to widening canals, threatening freshwater marshes with saltwater intrusion and eroding private lands bordering the canals.

    The restoration project restored a one-mile stretch of embankment on the Gulf-facing/south side of the GIWW and featured the use of a vegetated, recycled plastic matrix foundation, Vegetated EcoShield™, an emerging “green infrastructure” solution. Creating this “living shoreline” will protect and fortify the embankment by promoting vegetative growth and building a habitat for wildlife, waterfowl and aquatic life.

    The project serves as a model of cooperation among private landowners, NGOs, state and federal agencies and private investment, dramatically reducing the time and costs of shoreline stabilization. AWF is confident this type of shoreline restoration can be a game changer all along the GIWW in Louisiana and Texas and can serve as a best practice for similar projects nationally, in which traditional technology such as rock dikes continue to be ineffective, unfeasible and expensive.

    Through public opinion polling by AWF over the years, citizens see teamwork between government and the private sector as critical when it comes to saving both environmental and economic resources along Louisiana’s coast.

  • Capturing the Distinct Flavor of Louisiana

    by John Knotz | Apr 29, 2016

    What makes Louisiana unique? As people who come here from elsewhere can attest, there’s an unmistakable feeling that sets the state apart — something in the air. People born and raised here feel it too when they return home from traveling. There’s something familiar about the way we do things in Louisiana, something comfortable.

    They say “time changes all things,” but when it comes to the heart and soul of our home state, three constants remain.

    Food is a Way of Life

    Bold, rich flavors and recipes steeped in Cajun and Creole culture are a staple here; seafood gumbo, red beans and rice, cochon de lait, boudin sausage and beignets are just a few of our favorites. Hours of work go into creating the complex flavors that Louisiana families enjoy together. We captured the distinctive flavors of our region in the Louisiana Blend® of our Private Reserve® coffees. The coffee’s dark, rich profile develops a bold flavor with a mild, fruity aroma.

    Local Community is Important

    We don’t mean only the Community® coffee you drink out of a mug. People here are friendly, and they treat strangers like family. When our founder, Cap Saurage, opened his first country store in Baton Rouge, he named his secret blend of rich, bold and smooth coffee “Community Coffee” to honor the friends, family members and neighbors who supported his business. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit here and a strong sense of duty to help others and make our neighborhoods, towns and cities better. That love and commitment is why we created the Louisiana Blend®, as a way to thank the region for its support and to honor its heritage.

    Traditions Run Deep

    Louisiana’s history is steeped in traditions, some as old as the Mississippi River is long. Jazz music was born here; masked krewe members have been throwing trinkets from fanciful Mardi Gras floats for nearly 150 years; many football fans have been tailgating in the same spot on LSU’s campus for as long as they can remember. Four generations of the Saurage family have overseen the expansion of the Community® brand since the company began nearly 100 years ago. And while we continue to grow, our heart remains in Louisiana. So sit down with a cup of our Louisiana Blend® and drink up the distinctive flavor of the place we call home.


  • Healthy Perks: Coffee Fixes Everything

    by Jordan Feeney | Apr 28, 2016

    Can food change the way you feel–for the better?  Some experts say yes. Even those most-craved items like a delicious cup of great tasting coffee have a place on the mood-boosting eating and drinking plan.

    So if you're feeling guilty for downing your morning cup of joe, maybe this will perk you up. In the National Institutes of Health Study of more than 400,000 people, researchers found that the more coffee people drank, the longer they lived. Most studies suggest drinking a moderate amount (3 to 5 cups) of black or almost black coffee per day to capitalize on all of its healthful benefits. Those who drink a moderate amount have been linked to a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart and lung disease, stroke, diabetes, infections, and even melanoma. Of course, these benefits are primarily limited to plain coffee, not the grandé-sized, sugar-loaded specialty drinks from some coffeehouses.

    Obviously genetics and lifestyle choices including healthy eating and good nutrition are long-established links to good health but it’s good to see our personal favorite—coffee—working its way up the list.

    And the health benefits don’t stop there. Drew Ramsey, MD, co-author of The Happiness Diet states that the foundation of good mental health is good wholesome food and lists coffee as one of these power food/drinks. Researchers have speculated that drinking coffee can increase the production of “feel good” hormones such as dopamine. If you feel that your morning coffee soothes your soul, it’s not your imagination, especially for ladies. A 2011 Harvard School of Public Health study found that women who drank at least two cups of coffee regularly had a 15 percent lower risk of depression than those who didn’t drink any coffee and their risk decreased by 20 percent when they downed four or more cups of coffee a day.

    As an added bonus drinking as little as two 8-ounce cups of coffee with breakfast may help you eat less the rest of the day. In one study published in Diabetes Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, overweight study participants given this amount of coffee consumed 550 fewer calories per day. The study credits caffeine, as well as a compound called chlorogenic acid, both of which may suppress appetite.

    After nearly 20,000 different studies on the subject, the results are still a bit mixed. “Overall, the research shows that coffee is far more healthful than it is harmful,” says Tomas DePaulis, PhD, research scientist at Vanderbilt University’s Institute for Coffee Studies. It is about time that we start recognizing coffee as a beneficial and perfectly reasonable addition to our healthy and balanced diets.

    Good mood, health benefits and potential weight loss – all good reasons to head to the coffee pot for another round…in moderation, of course.

  • Community Cash for Schools® Program

    by Jordan Feeney | Apr 20, 2016

    Throughout the history of Community Coffee Company, education, self-betterment and entrepreneurship have proven to be profound parts of our business. We've always had a sense of community which is the very basis of our name. That architectural fabric that consistently produces a delicious cup of coffee also created an educational program. Now in its 27th year, this program is woven into the landscape of the communities we serve.

    C4SRefresh_400x413_DLocal public and private schools have earned well over $6 million by saving UPCs through our Community Cash for Schools® program. The program supports and cultivates future generations by allowing educators to direct funds to programs and projects that best serve our youth. Schools are free to allocate funds in the best way they see fit, which has opened many doors for hundreds of schools. Most schools participate in pursuit of funds to support technology improvements, upgrades in textbooks and playground equipment as well as other activities that support children’s exploration of learning. However, we have seen some other outside-the-norm, yet innovative, ways to spend the money, including building a chicken coop.

    This program thrives when communities of businesses, parents, students and educators work together to collect UPCs. Each Proof of Purchase is worth 10 cents, which adds up fast when you have a large number of coffee-drinkers on your side. Our roots are firmly planted in future generations and we encourage coffee lovers to soulfully sip their delicious cup of coffee and civically cut the label for their local school in need.

    For more information on our Community Cash for Schools® program, or to register your school as the school’s representative, please visit CommunityCoffee.com/CashforSchools.

  • Spotlight: Chef Mark Quitney

    by John Knotz | Apr 14, 2016

    WYES New Orleans and Community Coffee Company are pleased to announce Chef Mark Quitney of Pelican Lobby Bar in the Sheraton New Orleans as the 2015 Cooking with Community® Coffee Contest winner!

    Chef Mark

    Chef Mark Quitney won for his Black & Gold to 
    the Super Bowl Doberge which featured layers of lemon curd & chocolate mousse, buttercream icing covered in a chocolate and lemon glaze burnt cream featuring Community® coffee. 

    Check out the winning recipe below:

    Lemon Curd:
    • 3 lemons
    • 3 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 4 ounces (1 stick unsalted butter), quartered

    • 8 ounces (2 sticks) + 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 6 large eggs
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup milk

    • 4 ounces (1 stick) softened unsalted butter
    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 2 drops yellow food coloring


    1. For the lemon curd: Grate the zest from 1 lemon and place in a medium heatproof bowl. Juice enough lemons to yield 1/2 cup lemon juice and add to zest with eggs and sugar. Place bowl with eggs over (not in) a pan of simmering water and whisk every 5 minutes until thick, about 20 minutes.

    2. Transfer curd to a food processor. With machine running, add butter, one piece at a time, processing for 15 seconds between additions and making sure the butter is incorporated before adding the next portion. Process until curd is completely smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl and blend another 15 seconds.

    3. Transfer hot curd to a glass or plastic container. Lay plastic wrap directly on top of the curd's surface and cover with a lid. Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

    4. For the cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Wrap the bottom in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet.

    5. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Stir vanilla into 8 ounces plus 2 tablespoons melted butter and set aside.

    6. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together eggs and sugar. Place over (not in) a pot of barely simmering water. Whisking constantly, heat the mixture until it is warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and whip on high until cool and tripled in volume, about 3 minutes.

    7. Reduce mixer speed to medium low and drizzle in the melted butter-vanilla mixture. By hand, fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture followed by 1/2 of the milk. Repeat, ending with flour. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until a toothpick tests clean, about 1 hour. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Unclasp the spring form pan sides and carefully remove the ring, and allow the cake to cool completely with the pan bottom still in place.

    8. Remove the pan bottom from the cake and divide it into 4 equal layers. Wash and dry the spring form pan and use it to assemble the cake. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray. Place two (20-inch-long) pieces plastic wrap in pan so entire bottom and sides are covered, allowing ends of plastic to hang over sides of pan.

    9. Place 1 cake layer in spring form pan and top with 1/3 lemon curd, leaving a 1/2-inch border of bare cake around the edge. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and lemon curd. Cover the top of the cake with the plastic wrap overhang (or another piece if there isn't enough), and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

    10. For the icing: In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix butter and sugar on low speed until combined. Add lemon juice and food coloring and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add 1 tablespoon warm water, and beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute more.

    11. Place four (6-inch-wide) strips of parchment paper hanging off the end of the platter. (This will keep the tray clean while frosting. Remove after you've iced.) Remove the plastic wrap from the top of the cake and invert cake onto the serving platter. Unhinge the sides of the spring form pan and remove. Peel off plastic wrap. Ice top and sides of cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cake can be served cold or at room temperature (even better).

    Executive Chef

  • Crossing the Globe to Honor Our Founder

    by Johnny Hoell | Apr 01, 2016
    It all started with one delicious cup of coffee and one determined founder. Founded in 1919, Community Coffee Company celebrates Founder’s Day every year on April 1. This birthday of sorts is celebrated by acknowledging our company’s rich history and enjoying a cup of our Founder’s Blend coffee

    Founder’s Blend is Community Coffee Company’s fourth-generation owner Matt Saurage’s special blend that he developed in honor of our founder, his great-grandfather, Cap Saurage. Founder’s Blend was developed as a medium-dark roast with a sweet, floral aroma, a complex and winey flavor, and a nutty, bold body. With every cup you can taste the semisweet flavors of South America, the rich flavors of Africa, and the smoothness of Brazil.

    A truly complex coffee, our Founder’s Blend highlights the unique taste profile of several regions. The first part of Founder’s blend is a South American coffee grown in Colombia out of special relationships exclusive to Community Coffee Company. We then add two other carefully-selected exceptional coffees from Kenya and Ethiopia in Africa, and round it out with rare flavors from Brazil.

    South American coffee trees thrive in Colombia’s high altitude and warm weather. The mountainous terrain provides the perfect growing conditions for quality Arabica coffee beans. Colombia is the third highest total producer of coffee in the world, and we are proud to source beans from this region.

    Community Coffee Company has supported the efforts of local coffee growers in this region by funding opportunities for social, economic, environmental and educational development, including developing a school for youth named Hogar Juvenil Campesino Toledito – Henry Norman Saurage III after our founder. Coffee from Colombia has been positioned as one of the finest quality coffees in the world and is a favorite among coffee consumers. Colombia’s coffee has a heavy body, and a smooth, semisweet flavor with hints of dark chocolate and a toasted nut finish. Our relationship with Colombia over the last 13 years and counting produces a great cup of coffee, and even greater opportunities for the region.

    Known as the birthplace of coffee, Africa grows some of the most celebrated coffee beans in the world. With its complex flavors, it is easy to see why people enjoy it. Coffee from this region tends to have a medium acidity and lighter body. African coffee farmers cultivate coffee in four different systems, which include wild forest coffee, semi-forest coffee, garden coffee and plantation coffee. The vast biodiversity and economical dependency on agriculture makes Africa a premier spot for coffee growers to produce a great tasting cup of coffee.

    Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world and the second largest consumer. Brazil provides rich soil and a humid climate for its coffee plants to thrive. Unlike some places, Brazil does not have a high altitude and therefore grows coffee in low-lying fields which produce a sweet, smooth and less acidic flavor. Brazil is known for its full-bodied coffee and Arabica coffee beans, perfect for a cup of Community® coffee.

    What started as a small country store selling coffee is now a thriving company with the best coffee beans from around the world. Community Coffee Company is the largest family-owned and operated coffee brand in America and remains committed to providing a great cup of coffee for our local communities and beyond. From sourcing our beans at coffee farms around the globe, to tasting the finished product at our own kitchen table, it’s all part of our commitment to being the best coffee company in America, every day.

    Find more information about our story here.

  • Coffee, Cheesecake, Pie … One True Love

    by Johnny Hoell | Mar 31, 2016

    Pie. Cake. And coffee. They’ve always gone well together, and this make-ahead recipe beautifully highlights them all in the same dessert. It’s a perfect treat to make any time you want to excite your taste buds!

    The pie crust couldn’t be simpler. Just mix together three ingredients and press them into the pan. You can choose the chocolate or traditional graham cracker version. The creamy filling shines with subtle coffee notes – both from brewed coffee mixed in with the cheese and from coffee ‘n’ chocolate swirled on top. Also, there’s no last-minute frosting, garnishing or fussing. Make this several days before serving so dessert is completely stress-free.

    And here’s one more thing to love. The new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (released in Jan. 2016) talks about incorporating moderate daily coffee consumption – about 3-4, 8-oz. cups or up to 400 mg caffeine – into healthy eating patterns. So, go ahead and serve a hot cup along with dessert, too!

    Coffee Cheesecake Pie

    1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (from about 20 wafers) or graham cracker crumbs
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons butter, melted

    ¼ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
    2 tablespoons strongly-brewed Community® coffee

    2 (8-ounce) packages Neufchatel cheese (lower fat than cream cheese), softened
    ½ cup granulated sugar
    ⅓ cup strongly-brewed Community® coffee, cooled
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 large eggs

    Preheat oven to 350°F.

    Combine wafer crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar. Add butter and thoroughly mix. Place in 9-inch pie pan sprayed with vegetable cooking spray; evenly press up sides and over bottom. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

    In small microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, place chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons coffee. Heat coffee to a simmer in microwave; do not boil. Stir until completely smooth. Set aside to cool.

    In large mixing bowl, beat Neufchatel cheese and ½ cup sugar until smooth. Add ⅓ cup coffee and vanilla; mix until combined and smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing on low speed and scraping bowl after each until blended. Pour over reserved crust.

    Drizzle reserved coffee mixture all over filling; gently swirl with a knife tip. Bake in middle of oven for 30-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

    Cut into 8 slices


    • American Neufchatel cheese has about one-third less fat than regular cream cheese. Though you can use full fat cream cheese, this version lightens the dessert up a bit without sacrificing creamy, satisfying cheesecake texture.
    • To soften Neufchatel cheese, unwrap both packages and microwave on high power 30 seconds or until slightly soft. If it’s too cold, Neufchatel cheese won’t easily blend and small lumps will remain.
    • Crust short-cut: process wafers and sugar in food processor to make fine crumbs; add butter and process until well-mixed.
    • The pie pan will be quite full before baking so carefully place in oven.
    • You certainly can omit the coffee, chocolate swirl … but it adds mocha flavor and immense eye appeal.
    • Cracks in the cheesecake may occur. So? Simply consider them homemade beauty marks!
    • Check out “Dietary Guidelines Committee Gives Coffee Thumbs Up” for more information on coffee, diet and health.

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.

  • Coffee Through History

    by Johnny Hoell | Mar 16, 2016

    In the Ethiopian highlands, where the legend of Kaldi, the goat herder, originated, coffee trees grow naturally today as they have for centuries. It is said that Kaldi discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became spirited. Kaldi dutifully reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery who made a drink with the berries and discovered that it kept him alert for hours.  Soon the abbot shared his discovery with the other monks, and ever so slowly knowledge of the energizing effects of the berries began to spread around the world. From Asia to Africa, Central to South America, to the islands of the Caribbean and Pacific, all can trace their heritage to the trees in the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau.

    The Arabian Peninsula: The Arabs were the first to cultivate coffee and begin its trade.  During the 15th century, coffee was grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the 16th century it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. Coffee was not only drunk in homes but also in public coffee houses, called ‘qahveh khaneh’, which began to appear in cities across the Near East. Coffee houses soon became the central location for all kinds of social activity. People came together to listen to music, watch performers, play chess and get news updates.  In fact, coffee houses quickly became such an important center for the exchange of information that they were often referred to as 'Schools of the Wise.'

    With thousands of pilgrims visiting the holy city of Mecca each year from all over the world, word of the 'wine of Araby' as the drink was often called, was beginning to spread far beyond Arabia. In an effort to maintain its complete monopoly in the early coffee trade, the Arabians continued to closely guard their coffee production.

    Introduction to Europe: By the 17th century, coffee had made its way to Europe and was becoming popular across the continent. With the coming of coffee to Venice in 1615, the local clergy condemned the beverage as the 'bitter invention of satan.' The controversy was so great that Pope Clement VIII was asked to intervene. Before making a decision, however, he decided to taste the beverage for himself and found the drink so satisfying that he gave it papal approval.

    PRBlogDespite controversy, in the major cities of England, Austria, France, Germany and Holland, coffee houses were quickly becoming centers of social activity and communication. In England 'penny universities' sprang up, so called because for the price of a penny one could purchase a cup of coffee and engage in stimulating conversation.  By the mid-17th century, there were over 300 coffee houses in London, many of which attracted patrons with common interests, such as merchants, shippers, brokers and artists. Many businesses grew out of these specialized coffee houses. Lloyd's of London, for example, came into existence at the Edward Lloyd's Coffee House.

    The New World: In the mid-17th century, coffee was brought to New Amsterdam, a location later called New York by the British. Though coffee houses rapidly began to appear, tea continued to be the favored drink in the New World until 1773 when the colonists revolted against a heavy tax on tea imposed by King George.  The revolt, known as the Boston Tea Party, would forever change the American drinking preference to coffee.

    Plantations Around the World: As demand for the beverage continued to spread, there was tense competition to cultivate coffee outside of Arabia. Though the Arabs tried hard to maintain their monopoly, the Dutch finally succeeded, in the latter half of the 17th century, to obtain some seedlings. Their first attempts to plant them in India failed but they were successful with their efforts in Batavia, on the island of Java in what is now Indonesia.  The plants thrived and soon the Dutch had a productive and growing trade in coffee. They soon expanded the cultivation of coffee trees to the islands of Sumatra and Celebes.

    In 1714, the Mayor of Amsterdam presented a gift of a young coffee plant to King Louis XIV of France. The King ordered it to be planted in the Royal Botanical Garden in Paris. In 1723, a young naval officer, Gabriel de Clieu obtained a seedling from the King's plant.  Once planted, the seedling thrived and is credited with the spread of over 18 million coffee trees on the island of Martinique over the next 50 years.  It was also the stock from which coffee trees throughout the Caribbean, and South and Central America originated.

    Coffee is said to have come to Brazil in the hands of Francisco de Mello Palheta who was sent by the emperor to French Guiana for the purpose of obtaining coffee seedlings. But the French were not willing to share. However, he was said to have been so handsomely-engaging that the French Governor's wife was captivated. As a going-away gift, she presented him with a large bouquet of flowers.  Buried inside he found enough coffee seeds to begin what is today a billion-dollar industry.

    In only 100 years, coffee had established itself as a commodity crop throughout the world.  Missionaries and travelers, traders and colonists continued to carry coffee seeds to new lands and coffee trees were planted worldwide.  Plantations were established in tropical forests and on rugged mountain highlands. New nations were established on coffee economies.  And by the end of the 18th century, coffee had become one of the world's most profitable export crops.

  • Going to Origin: Colombia Toledo-Labateca

    by Johnny Hoell | Mar 09, 2016

    It was a 3 hour drive from the airport. In the backseat of a Jeep Cherokee on a bumpy dirt road, we wound up the mountain path toward the cities of Toledo and Labateca. Two towns separated by a large river. As the sun set and the mountainous landscape disappeared into the night, I had no idea what to expect. This was my first trip to origin, let alone to Colombia. What I would find would be two amazing communities and a passion for maintaining a tradition of producing high-quality Colombian coffee.

    Community Coffee Company’s partnership with the towns of Toledo and Labateca started long before I joined the company.  Their regional coffee was first featured at a special exhibit at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s annual conference.  This coffee profile was bright and rich and stood out from among many regional Colombian coffees.  It would be the building block that established a long-term relationship between Community Coffee and Toledo-Labateca.

    16PR_Columbia_additionalAs the SUV slowed, we arrived at a small restaurant in Labateca and were warmly greeted by teachers, students and city officials.  Over a delicious meal featuring local fare, they shared stories about their coffee education program and the impact we’ve had on their communities. Going on its 13th year, Community Coffee has an agreement with the communities of Toledo and Labateca that includes exclusive ownership to distribute their coffee within the United States.  We also provide annual monetary support that funds programs that are needed within their local communities, such as renovation of schools and farming equipment.

    Over the past two years, Community Coffee’s contributions funded the “Sowers of Future Young Coffee Growers” program, which provides 100 students with coffee seedlings and teaches them how to care for and harvest the coffee beans. During my visit, these students and their teachers would be our tour guides, demonstrating what they’ve learned and the progress of their trees.  It was incredible to see their level of expertise and passion for coffee.  For many, these coffee plots were the start of their career.  For others, the profits gained from these plots would fund future endeavors— a college education in the nearby town of Calcutta or nursing school – that may not have been possible before the program. It was some of these stories that truly showed the long-term impact of what we were doing and how such a small contribution could impact so many lives.

    The next day, we got up early and traveled to the education center in Labateca. I was surprised to see our logo proudly displayed on the walls of the school and the uniforms of the students.  Overlooking rows of seedlings, we’re given instruction on how the plants are cared for to ensure they are at their peak to be transferred to the farms.  I continue to be amazed by the level of depth and passion for quality demonstrated by the students.  From there, we travel on a bumpy road to the Labateca farm. After a short hike through the coffee fields, we arrive at the main house. The students explain the various stages of growth and fermentation and demonstrate their pulping machine. We are treated to a traditional Colombian lunch- seared beef, guacamole salsa, potato and plantain.

    The next day we visit the students’ farm in Toledo.  After reviewing the coffee fields, we’re given a lesson on drying and sorting the beans based on quality.  The intricacy of the sorting process is astonishing.  A chip in the bean or small black speck can move a bean from specialty-grade to being discarded.  The importance of the growing process and detail required to preserve the quality of the bean is apparent throughout our trip.  Coffee is their passion and soon-to-be livelihood.

    16pr_columbia_additional_3The last day was by far my favorite.  After a quick breakfast, we head to the school at Toledo. This building was originally an old monastery complete with dormitories. Using funds from the program, the staff renovated it to be their new school, which now houses students during the school week whose homes are too far to travel daily. Located in a valley surrounded by beautiful mountains, it’s a picturesque setting for any type of education.

    After a tour of the school, including the computer lab we helped them purchase several years ago, we are ushered into the main hall for the presentations and awards. We watch a short video of the results of the past years’ work including commentary from the farmers and students. Then, to our surprise, their resident priest presents a very special honor- a change in the name of the school building.  The Toledo school is officially renamed in honor of Norman Saurage III, who helped establish this successful partnership. After more speeches from local officials and dancing and skits from the students, we enjoy another traditional Colombian lunch that the students helped prepare – chicken soup, yuca, chicken, potato, tomato and onion.

    As I sat on the plane heading back to the U.S, I reflected on everything we saw in Colombia and the contributions made over the past 13 years.  The amount of work and attention to detail required of coffee farming is immense.  I was extremely proud of the students and their passion for learning the industry.  It was obviously a labor of love.  But I was also honored to be a part of Community Coffee and proud of those in the organization that had the foresight to establish this program.  Not only are we supporting and enriching the futures of the children in Toledo and Labateca, but we’re able to bring back a fantastic exclusive coffee for our customers. While this was my first trip to origin, I’m hopeful it won’t be my last.
  • The Perfect Blend of Heart and Family

    by Johnny Hoell | Mar 03, 2016

    Community® coffee is now served on all Southwest® flights. Southwest Airlines Co. selected Community® coffee based on our superior taste and their desire to ensure that their passengers received the best possible in-flight experiences while traveling Southwest Airlines.  In a double-blind taste test conducted by the airline, Community® Signature Blend—a 100% Arabica coffee beans blend—was voted number one.

    The Perfect Blend of Heart and Family: Community Coffee Company’s founding family celebrates the Southwest partnership with Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Airlines. Pictured left to right Catherine Saurage, Gary Kelly, Donna Saurage and Matt Saurage.
    “We continuously look for ways to enhance the Customer Experience onboard our aircraft, and Community coffee hits the spot,” said Sonya Lacore, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Cabin Services. “Community Coffee Company offers a high-quality product and shares our commitment to invest in the communities where our Customers, Employees and Suppliers live and work.”

    For every pound of Community coffee served on a Southwest flight, the airline and Community Coffee Company will provide funding to the ECOM Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring a better life for origin producers. The donations will fund educational programs to support the children, families, and farmers in Mexico where Community Coffee Company’s high-quality Arabica coffee beans are grown. Hear from some of the coffee growers who will benefit here.

    CC_Blog_ImageInitially, the collaborative effort will support the opening of two satellite schools in rural Chiapas, Mexico, where residents have historically been challenged by the difficult terrain and weather conditions to reach schools in far-away towns. The schools will serve not only children, but the community at large through secondary education opportunities including advanced farming techniques for farmers and community training.

    For more information about the collaboration, visit southwest.com/coffee.

  • A Guide to Coffee Roasts

    by Johnny Hoell | Feb 25, 2016
    Many people prefer one coffee roast over another. To get the perfect cup of any roast, there is extensive preparation and perfecting of the process known as roasting.

    Roasting is a heat process that transforms raw beans into the fragrant and flavorful dark brown beans we know and love.

    The task is a technical skill that combines science and art. It takes years of training to become an expert roaster with the ability to ‘read’ the beans and make decisions with split second timing. The difference between perfectly-roasted coffee and a ruined batch can be a matter of seconds.

    Roasting brings out the aroma and flavor that is locked inside the green coffee beans. A green coffee bean has none of the characteristics of a roasted bean.  It is soft, with a fresh grassy smell and little or no taste.  Roasting causes numerous chemical changes to take place. The sugars, fats and starches that are within the beans are emulsified, caramelized and released as the beans are rapidly brought to very high temperatures. When they reach the peak of perfection, they are quickly cooled to stop the process. Roasted beans smell like coffee and weigh less because the moisture has been roasted out. They are crunchy to the bite, ready to be ground and brewed.

    guidetocoffeeroast_2Most roasters have specialized names for their favored roasts.  In general, roasts fall into one of four color categories—light, medium, medium-dark or dark.  The perfect roast is a subjective choice that is sometimes determined by national preference or geographic location. In the U.S., people on the West coast tend to drink a darker roast, while those on the East coast generally prefer a medium roast.

    The Roasts

    Within the four color categories, you are likely to find common roasts as listed below. As coffee roasts get darker, they lose the original flavors of the bean and take on more flavor from the roasting process. Consequently, caffeine moderately decreases as the roast time increases. Regardless of roast level, all roasts will differ in taste. Two coffee varieties grown in different environments are likely to taste different even when roasted to the same level, so it is important to try a variety of coffee to find what best suits your taste.

    Light Roasts

    Light roast coffees have a light body and pronounced snappy acidity. There is no oil on the surface of the beans. The original flavors of the bean are retained to a greater extent than in darker roasted coffees. Light roasts retain most of the caffeine from the coffee bean. Community Coffee Company’s signature light roast is known as our Breakfast Blend.

    Medium Roasts

    Medium roasted coffees are medium brown in color with more body than light roasts. Medium roasts exhibit a more balanced flavor, aroma and acidity.  This roast is often referred to as the American roast because it is generally preferred in the United States.  Community’s Amber Sunrise™ Blend is a perfect example.

    Medium—Dark Roasts

    Medium-Dark Roasts has a richer, darker color with some oil on the surface of the beans. A medium-dark roast has a heavy body in comparison with the lighter or medium roasts. Our ground Café Special® is a better known medium-dark roast.

    Dark Roasts

    Dark roasts are dark brown or almost black. The beans can have an oily surface and a pronounced bold rich body. As roasting times increase, acidity decreases which provides smooth mellow flavor.  A perfect example of a dark roast is Community® Signature Blend Dark Roast blend which provides Dark rich satisfying flavor that Dark Roast drinkers are known to love.

  • Employee Spotlight: Emily Arbour

    by Johnny Hoell | Feb 18, 2016
    Although a good cup of coffee is timeless, the world of the coffee business is ever changing. That’s where Emily Arbour, General Manager of Brand Strategy and Innovation, comes in. Her focus at Community Coffee Company is to utilize multiple data sources and custom marketing research to develop highly actionable communications and product strategies. She leads our aggressive innovations program to ensure continued market growth and customer-driven product evolution to keep up with consumers’ wants and needs.

    EmilyOriginsPost_Notes“Innovation is about openness to new ideas and understanding how to truly create value for your consumers,” says Emily. This passion and openness are key values in helping to create and maintain an innovative culture focused on growing with our customers.

    Each Community employee has a personal commitment to providing exceptional products, services, and solutions to our customers, and this value is integrated across our organization. However, the Marketing team specifically sets aside time to dive into the consumer culture.  Emily suggests,  “Taking this time enables us to better understand our user and create synergistic platforms that create true value.”

    What’s the biggest challenge of Emily’s job? It’s distinguishing between a true need and a passing fad.  Through Emily’s research, our company knows there are over-arching trends impacting consumers’ shopping habits. In the 2015 IRI New Product Pacesetters report, general consumer food and beverage needs revolve around seeking simplicity, excitement, and wellness. However, the definition of healthy is evolving as well. It is more about balancing indulgence with healthy products rather than eliminating the opportunity for both. Emily adds, “Ensuring we understand the nuances of these evolving needs and then find ways to deliver on them for our consumers is an ongoing innovation initiative for Community Coffee Company.”

    EmilyOriginsPost_CuppingBKnowing what draws consumers is essential to being a proactive and adaptive company. In our industry, we see consumer tastes becoming more sophisticated.  Consumers want a better, higher-quality cup of coffee and are increasing their search for new specialty beverages that offer a unique experience.  Staying in tune to these trends allows Emily and Community Coffee Company to make educated product choices that appeal to consumers.

    Additionally, Emily says, “We also maintain an evolving innovative product launch calendar and are committed to providing marketing support for a new flavor or blend promotion to get the attention of our customers.” With the help of her research and insights, looking into the future is an exciting thing for Community Coffee Company.

  • Coffee Pairing: The Perfect Match

    by Johnny Hoell | Feb 12, 2016
    Valentine’s Day. You can smell the love in the air! Or is it just Community® coffee brewing? This Valentine’s Day, there’s no need to stress about what brew goes with your favorite treats. We specialize in coffee and it only makes sense to provide Valentine’s Day perfect pairings for you and your perfect match.

    Here are some irresistible combinations for you and your special someone:​
    • To start your Valentine’s Day off right, try a steaming cup of our Breakfast Blend and a plate of blueberry pancakes. You can also impress your honey with the rich yet smooth taste of medium-dark roast Café Special® blend. Pair it with your favorite breakfast foods like cinnamon scones or sausage casserole.
    • Our Café Special® coffee blends well with a creamy dessert like coconut custard or bananas foster. Creamy desserts and sweet cakes, such as cheesecake work well with this semi-sweet, full-bodied medium-dark roast coffee.
    • The Colombia Toledo-Labateca coffee is the perfect complement to a tart key lime pie or lemon pie. Rich cakes and pies, like carrot cake or pecan pie benefit from the strong flavor of a dark roast to balance the tastes.
    • For later in the day, Community® coffee French Roast and brownies are a perfect combination. The rich chocolate in this treat plays very well with the full-bodied and smoky taste of this coffee.  For a less smoky flavor, pair rich chocolate sweets with premium dark roast coffees, such as our Signature Blend Dark Roast.

    A general rule of coffee-pairing thumb is the richer the dessert (i.e. chocolate, praline or peanut butter flavoring), the darker the roast. If you need help finding a great heart-felt recipe utilizing Community® coffee as an ingredient, check out our previous post.  

    Take our advice and surprise your Valentine this year with one of our perfect pairings. What’s not to love?

    Valentines Gift Giving Ideas

    Valentine’s Day, while romantic, can be fraught with gifting and planning stress.  The average consumer spends over $100 on their valentine. This year, swap out conventional for innovative with some non-traditional gift-giving ideas for your special someone. Here are some tips and ideas on how to elevate traditionally popular gifts like flowers, chocolates and jewelry to a truly personal, memorable experience.

    The New Relationship: Don’t go overboard. For a just budding relationship, consider giving a gift you might bring a hostess at a party: wine or treats. Try something other than candy. Choose cookies, a favorite snack food, or dinner at a new restaurant in town.

    Flowers are a great go-to option.  Make sure that the memories last longer than the bouquet by making flowers part of a special event or moment.  Plan a romantic picnic at your local botanical gardens or park.

    Personalize: If you're in a longer-term relationship, from 6 months to 6-plus years, you probably know enough about the other person to personalize your gift. Show how much you appreciate and care for your significant other by putting a special twist on an otherwise ordinary gift.

    You can’t go wrong with chocolates.  To show that you put some extra thought into your gift, consider ordering custom monogrammed chocolates with your loved one’s initials. If you’re sending chocolate to your loved one’s office, a good tip is to send enough for his/her officemates.  You’ll be a real hero among the co-workers.

    Jewelry is always a luxurious, well-received gift, but it can sometimes feel a little impersonal. Take the extra time to have it personalized with a small engraving, whether initials, I love you, a special date, etc. If you plan far enough in advance, have the jewelry custom made based on your loved one’s favorite stones, colors, designs.

    It Really IS the Thought That Counts: Catering to your love's special interests or giving something that promotes you being together will mean much more than three dozen red roses or expensive jewelry.

    Going out to dinner or even dining in on Valentine’s Day is pretty standard fare, but there are ways you can make it a more memorable occasion. If you are dining at home, have a special bottle of wine chilling on the table and a menu planned that features their favorite foods or meal. To complete the perfect meal, pair your favorite desserts with a Community® coffee blend as suggested by our coffee pairing guide.

  • Mardi Gras Top 10 Countdown

    by Johnny Hoell | Jan 25, 2016
    It’s time to put your revelry shoes on and celebrate. The origins of Mardi Gras in New Orleans can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice to evolve into the ornately-costumed festivities we see today.  There’s a lot of tradition and heritage that have helped to produce the Mardi Gras scene as it’s currently celebrated. So here are our top ten good things to know to enjoy Mardi Gras like a native.

    Number 10

    How to spell “krewe” and “flambeaux” and “Mardi Gras” and, well, you get the point.

    Number 9

    Technically, Carnival is a season, and Mardi Gras is a day. But we tend to generalize and refer to the weeks of parades leading up to Fat Tuesday as Mardi Gras.

    Number 8

    The Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold. Remember to coordinate your outfit appropriately.

    Number 7

    The Captain of the Krewe is more important than the King. But the King gets all the glory, while the Captain does all the work.

    Number 6

    If you miss a doubloon thrown from a float, never reach down to pick it up. Always put your foot on it. If you go with your hand, you're either too late or you'll get your fingers stepped on.

    Number 5

    If you bite into a plastic baby in a King Cake, that's a good thing.

    Number 4

    Any beads shorter than two feet long are unacceptable unless they are made of glass -- the bigger and longer the beads, the better.

    Number 3

    Once any beads have touched the ground, they are sullied and should not be picked up unless under the rarest of circumstances.

    Number 2

    The vast majority of people in the French Quarter during Carnival are from out of town.

    Number 1

    The Number 1 thing you must know about Mardi Gras season is that Community© Mardi Gras King Cake coffee hits the shelves. We suggest you celebrate with the “king” of all flavored coffees, our delicious Mardi Gras King Cake coffee with light vanilla and cinnamon flavoring.

    For a limited time you can have your cake … and drink it, too.

  • St. Thomas More Uses Funds to Support Teachers

    by Johnny Hoell | Jan 15, 2016
    Big things are happening behind the doors of St. Thomas More Catholic School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With the help of the Community Cash for Schools® program, the school earned $3,300 to put toward fun, educational items. Each school can allocate the money to various things their school needs, whether it is textbooks, playground equipment, computers or anything else the school sees fit. St. Thomas More has a different approach to the funds. They distribute the money to each teacher who then purchases items for his or her classroom based on what they think is best. Teachers get pretty creative with their funds.

    StThomas_400x413_AThis year, St. Thomas More’s teachers bought puzzles, parachutes, exercise equipment, and bracelets. The bracelets were Mr. Quantrille’s idea to teach children valuable character traits. Mr. Q, as his students call him, implemented a reward system that allows his students to receive beads for certain characteristics they display. Each bead is color coded to match a characteristic, such as red for caring, yellow for respect, and blue for honesty.

    In addition to the bracelets, the physical education classes are enjoying a new parachute, jump ropes, balls, and other equipment. Inside the classroom, children can continue the fun with educational items for all ages. In Mrs. Burke’s classroom, the kids can play with new, interactive puzzles. These new items are focused on making everything from learning to exercising fun and engaging for the children.

    St. Thomas More is committed to educating the whole child—mentally, physically, and spiritually, which helps the children become the best they can be. The Community Cash for Schools® program continues to help schools work toward their goals and provide for the teachers, the students, and the whole school community.

    Community Coffee Company supports schools by paying 10 cents for every proof of purchase turned in to teachers. Coffee products, tea products, creamer, sugar and coffee filters contain eligible Proofs of Purchase. For more information on the Community Cash for Schools® program, visit CommunityCoffee.com/CashforSchools or call 1-800-884-5282.