• 5 Tips for Cyber Monday Savings

    by Amy Cimo | Nov 21, 2018
    The day online shoppers have been waiting for all year is right around the corner: Cyber Monday! On Monday, November 26, savvy shoppers across the nation will scour the web hoping to find the best holiday deals. If you’re planning to participate this year, check out the tips below to get the most bang for your buck!

    1. Do Your Research
    To help calculate your savings, look for Cyber Monday announcements before the big day (like our promo for 33% off all online orders with the code SAVINGS). Though many retailers won’t publish Cyber Monday deals on their website ahead of time, some will announce deals on their social media channels or through online newsletters. Checking out last year’s deals can also give you a good idea of what to expect this year.

    2. Make a List
    Put together a shopping list before Cyber Monday to keep yourself on track and avoid overspending. Make note of the typical pricing for items so you can easily compare it with the Cyber Monday price and determine if they’re worth purchasing.

    3. Sign Up for Rewards
    Make the most of your online shopping by earning rewards with each purchase. As Entrepreneur writer Lydia Belanger points out, “If you’re not already using apps such as Ebates and Shopkick to get coupon codes and cash back on purchases, consider downloading one of them before you spend big on Cyber Monday.” Ebates offers a $10 bonus to new members, and after you spend $25 through the site, you can refer a friend for an additional $25 bonus. Don’t forget to check with your credit or debit card company to see if they’re offering any cash back deals, too!

    4. Create Accounts in Advance
    Many online retailers require you to sign in or create an account before purchasing. If you have an idea of which online stores you’re planning to visit on Cyber Monday, create an account before then to save time and streamline the checkout process. If you already have an account, make sure you know the username and password associated with it.  

    5. Start Early
    Last year, 81 million consumers shopped on Cyber Monday and spent an estimated $6.59 billion—a record for the most ever spent on the digital holiday. In order to avoid the stress of the dreaded “sold out” notification, start your Cyber Monday shopping early in the day. Plus, early morning shoppers generally land the steepest discounts.

  • Find Your New Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe

    by Amy Cimo | Nov 19, 2018
    Whether it’s grandma’s secret gravy recipe or a sweet spoonful of cranberry sauce, we all have our favorite Thanksgiving dish. An estimated 88% of Americans will chow down on turkey this year, and almost 50 million pumpkin pies will be eaten on the holiday. But did you know that the first Thanksgiving menu may not have featured turkey?

    Culinary historians believe that much of the first Thanksgiving meal consisted of seafood like mussels, lobster and clams, which were abundant in New England at the time.

    If you’re searching for some new and different Thanksgiving recipes, we’ve collected a few family favorites with help from our social media fans.

    Homemade Hoosier Pie
    This simple and sweet pie recipe comes from Nick's Kitchen, a historic restaurant in Huntington, Indiana. Pair with Community® Café Special® for a special post-dinner touch!

    2 c. heavy cream
    1/2 c. all-purpose flour
    1/2 c. brown sugar
    1/2 c. granulated sugar
    3 tbsp. granulated sugar
    1/2 c. whole milk
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    1 store-bought piecrust
    1 tbsp. unsalted butter
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. For filling: In a medium bowl, combine heavy cream, flour, brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, milk, and vanilla.

    Fit crust into a 9-inch pie pan and dot bottom with butter. Pour filling into crust. Combine cinnamon and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and sprinkle on top.

    Bake pie until set and center is firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

    Oyster Dressing
    This Gulf Shore-inspired Thanksgiving recipe is by Lucy Buffet, owner of LuLu’s restaurant in Gulf Shores, Alabama and sister of musician Jimmy Buffet. “Usually, it’s all gone by the end of the day because the kids go back for thirds and fourths, just digging directly into the pan,” Buffet says.

    1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
    1 (8-inch-square) baked and cooled cornbread, preferably on the sweet side
    15 slices white or wheat bread, toasted and cooled
    1/2 large white onion, finely chopped
    2 celery ribs, finely chopped
    1/2 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
    1/2 cup chicken broth
    2 dozen freshly shucked or jarred oysters, preferably Gulf oysters, drained and coarsely chopped (reserve the oyster liquor)
    1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 tablespoon hot sauce
    1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon ground sage
    1 1/2 teaspoons truffle salt or sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper


    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by 13-inch baking dish.

    Crumble cornbread into a large bowl. Tear toasted white or wheat bread into very small pieces, add to cornbread, and toss to combine

    Melt 8 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and bell pepper; sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are almost translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove cover, add broth, and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, for 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to cook mixture for 1 more minute, then remove from heat, add to bread mixture, and stir to combine.

    In a medium bowl, stir together oysters, lemon juice, hot sauce, parsley, sage, salt and white pepper. Add to bread mixture and stir well to combine. If dressing seems too dry, add a little oyster liquor and up to 1/2 cup more chicken broth; mixture should be very moist.

    Pour dressing into greased baking dish. Cut remaining 4 tablespoons butter into small pieces and scatter over top of dressing. Bake until top and sides are browned, 40 to 45 minutes.

    Stuffed Cabbage
    This delicious recipe is from Tori Avey, author of The History Kitchen column for PBS Food and creator of the popular cooking blog ToriAvey.com. “Stuffed cabbage is a wonderful dish for the autumn and winter months,” Avey says. “It’s cozy and satisfying, and it’s also pretty healthy. It’s gluten free (when using certified GF packaged products), low in carbs, high in protein and full of fiber.”

    1 large green cabbage 3.5-4 lbs.
    1 lb ground beef, ground chicken, or a mixture
    1 cup cooked long grain rice, white or brown
    1/3 cup finely minced onion
    2 tbsp fresh minced dill
    1 large egg
    1 1/2 cups sauerkraut divided
    28 oz tomato sauce, divided 2 cans
    14 oz diced or crushed tomatoes 1 can
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or more to taste
    2 tbsp brown sugar or more to taste
    2 tbsp tomato paste
    1 tbsp paprika
    1 clove garlic minced
    1/4 tsp allspice
    1/2 cup chicken stock or water
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Rinse the cabbage clean, then immerse it in a large pot of boiling water and cook it for 4-5 minutes until leaves are soft and pliable, but not overly soft. Drain the cabbage in a colander and let it sit until cool enough to handle.

    Prepare your filling. In a bowl, mix together ground meat, cooked rice, minced onion, minced dill, egg, ½ cup sauerkraut (drained of juice), 1/3 cup tomato sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Peel off the large cabbage leaves from the head of cabbage, keeping only the leaves that are whole/intact and big enough to stuff. Chop up the remaining smaller leaves along with the core of the cabbage. Reserve.

    Place your large leaves on a cutting board. Take a leaf and pat it dry with a paper towel. Shave down the tough, thick part of the stem at the base of each leaf using a paring knife, being careful not to cut through the leaf itself. Repeat process for the remaining leaves.

    Place a leaf on the cutting board, stem end closest to you. Place 1/4 to 1/3 cup of filling at the base of the leaf, centered, about 1/2 inch above the edge. Do not over-stuff the leaves. Fold the base of the leaf up and over the filling till it’s completely covered. Fold the left edge of the leaf inward. Leave the right side of the leaf open. Continue rolling the leaf till it’s completely rolled up (with the right end still loose/open), then tuck the loose end of the leaf inward. Repeat for the remaining leaves.

    In a small saucepan, combine the rest of the tomato sauce with the diced or crushed tomatoes, lemon juice, brown sugar, tomato paste, paprika, garlic and allspice. Warm up over medium heat till bubbly and fragrant. Put remaining 1 cup of sauerkraut and the chopped cabbage leaves/core into the bottom of a pot. Spread the mixture out to create an even layer, then pour ½ cup of chicken broth or water over the top of the leaves.

    Add in the stuffed cabbage leaves, and top with the rest of the sauce. Heat the pot over medium high and bring the sauce to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and cover the pot. Let the cabbage leaves cook for 2-2 ½ hours till the thickest parts of the leaves are tender.

  • Community Coffee Salutes to Freedom

    by Amy Cimo | Nov 12, 2018

    By: John Falkenbury, USO of North Carolina president and CEO

    Bagpipes. Colors. Uniforms. Service Anthems. These mark the beginning of the USO of North Carolina’s Salute to Freedom Gala each year. The gala is an opportunity for North Carolinians to come together in support of America’s service members and military families. Military members share stories of heroism and leadership, and attendees learn about how their support is making an impact on the lives of those who serve. It’s safe to say that the gala is my favorite night of the year. You can feel the Patriotism across the room, and I am so proud to be part of such a special evening.

    October 6, 2018, our team hosted the 14th Annual Salute to Freedom Gala at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel in Durham, North Carolina. Presented by Community Coffee for the 4th consecutive year, the event raised more than $300,000 for our military.

    As Community Coffee approached its 100th anniversary, our team knew that we wanted to make a special presentation to recognize the company’s outstanding effort to partner with the USO of North Carolina and help strengthen those who serve. We were honored to host two generations of the Saurage family – Mr. Matt Saurage, and his mother Donna, along with the Community Coffee team. We presented Matt Saurage with a one-of-a-kind shadow box, highlighting the history of our partnership and all of the good that has come from it.

    Saurage took the stage and had one, strong and inspiring message for military members in the audience: “I respect and thank you for what you do in honor of our flag, for your service to our community and our country.”

    Guests enjoyed music, dinner and dessert accompanied by Community Coffee’s signature dark roast coffee, but most importantly, heard the stories of six outstanding service members from each branch of our military. Each service member was nominated by their command to be recognized for going above and beyond in and out of uniform. From volunteering at home and overseas, to jumping into action in emergencies, and even standing in the face of danger to save their brothers and sisters in arms - these service members stories reflected the upmost values of our military.

    They are the reason that the gala is so important. They are the reason that the USO of North Carolina and Community Coffee continue to team up year after year to make sure that we connect those service members to family, home and country.

    Outside of the gala, Community Coffee is the “official coffee of the USO of North Carolina,” providing coffee to 11 locations across the state. Additional support includes holiday programs for service members and their families to boost morale during a season that can mean separation for many military members that cannot return home for the holidays.

    Most recently, the Community Coffee trolley deployed with the USO of North Carolina Mobile Center in support of National Guard service members that were working disaster relief after Hurricanes Florence and Michael. Soldier’s faces lit up every time that they saw the trolley and realized that they were about to receive a cup of warm, real coffee, rather than what was provided in their MREs (Meals Ready to Eat).

    Community Coffee customers carry on that commitment year round by participating in the military match program, which reminds service members that they are missed, loved and respected.

    As we reflect on an amazing year of partnership, and an amazing evening recognizing those who serve, we are so grateful for the kindness, support, and touch of home made possible by the Community Coffee team and its customers. We are honored that you have chosen us as part of the community you serve. Thank you for being the Force Behind the Forces!

  • Get in the Spooky Spirit with Halloween-Inspired Brownies

    by Amy Cimo | Oct 29, 2018

    Headed to a Halloween celebration this week? You’re in good company!

    According to the National Retail Federation, more than 175 million Americans are planning to partake in Halloween festivities this year. Total spending on the spooky holiday is estimated to reach $9 billion, and consumers are expected to spend $2.6 billion on candy alone. Americans will purchase nearly 300,000 tons—equivalent to the weight of six titanic ships—of the sugary sweets. Now that’s a lot of candy!

    Instead of bringing another bowl of candy corn to the party, try putting a spooky spin on some of your favorite recipes.

    Use red gel frosting to top baked goods for an easy gruesome look, like in this Bloody Good Cheesecake recipe. Add candy eyeballs to cookies or tarts for an instant mummy effect, or make marshmallows into ghosts with some quick chocolate piping.

    This decadent spider web-inspired brownie recipe is the perfect dessert to serve at Halloween get-togethers, and will keep your friends and family guessing about the secret ingredient—coffee!  Coffee is a great way to intensify and enhance the flavor of chocolate in recipes. (Check out our post “Don’t Just Sip … Eat Your Coffee!” for more on cooking and baking with coffee.)

    To complete the treat, we recommend pairing these brownies with a smooth, full-bodied dark roast, like our Private Reserve® Evangeline Blend™.

    Spider Web Swirl Brownies
    Serves: 12-16 / Prep: 15 Mins / Cook: 35 Mins

    • 1 cup unsalted butter
    • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
    • 2 tbsp. ground Community® Signature Blend Dark Roast coffee
    • 1 1/3 cups sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract
    • 6 large eggs
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
    • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

    1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with baking spray.
    2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, chocolate and ground coffee on low heat. Whisk constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the chocolate mixture, 1 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add 5 eggs, one at a time, whisking until glossy and smooth.
    4. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until combined.
    5. Spread batter into the prepared baking pan.
    6. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add remaining 1/3 cup sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and remaining 1 egg, beating until combined.
    7. Gently pour the cream cheese mixture into the baking pan. Swirl together using a knife.
    8. Bake 30-35 mins and let cool completely.
    9. Use a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to shape brownies, if desired.
    10. Enjoy!

  • St. Bernard Knows the Importance of Community

    by Amy Cimo | Oct 24, 2018

    St. Bernard School in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana is constantly searching for new ways to bring together family, friends, and faith. For years the school has participated in the Community Cash for Schools® program, but this year the school was thrilled to find that out of over 800 schools, they were one of our top earners. St. Bernard is excited to use the funds to thank students and parents for all the hard work they do.

    While many participants in our Community Cash for Schools® program use their earned funds to purchase books or tangible materials, the staff at St. Bernard decided to do something a little different.

    Community keeps the town of Breaux Bridge alive, and they are always looking for new opportunities to bring everyone together. St. Bernard School decided to use their earnings to host several events with a community focus. Tangible items will eventually need replacement, but the memories of these events will never fade for members of the Breaux Bridge community.

    St. Bernard School first hosted a Father Daughter Dance. The evening was full of dancing and good times to be had by all attendees. Next came the Mother Son Bowling event called Blessings and Bowling. These two events help to foster closer family relations.

    The final event the school chose to host had a spooky Halloween theme. The event was called Boo Bash. The Boo Bash gave children and their families from all over the community the opportunity to congregate at the school and trick-or-treat together. This event allowed children to show off their Halloween costumes while still being in a safe, family-friendly environment.

    Although the ways to spend their earnings are nearly endless, St. Bernard chose to help students and members of the surrounding community make lasting memories.  

    Learn more about the Community Cash for Schools® program at CommunityCoffee.com/CashForSchools.

  • Ways to Avoid a Caffeine Crash

    by Amy Cimo | Oct 23, 2018
    We’ve all been there.

    It’s Monday morning and you wake up exhausted. Maybe you had a busy weekend, or maybe you’re struggling with jet lag. Tackling the day seems impossible, so you enjoy a cup or two more of coffee than you normally would.

    Then, a few hours later, 1:00 pm hits and you start to feel tired. You check the clock and realize you’ve been hit by a caffeine crash.

    A caffeine crash typically occurs 3-4 hours after a person has consumed a moderate to high dose of caffeine and was previously in a tired state. Symptoms can include tiredness, irritability and fatigue.

    So, how can you avoid an afternoon slump?

    Don’t Consume Caffeine on an Empty Stomach

    Food gives us the energy we need to perform at our best and make it through the day. Enjoy a healthy protein-packed meal before your cup of coffee to keep your energy levels stable. Check out our morning time-saving tips to help make time for a nutritious breakfast.

    Spread Out Caffeine Consumption
    Avoid a midday crash by spreading your coffee consumption throughout the workday. Instead of loading up on coffee in the morning, try sipping one cup during the course of the day, or enjoying one cup in the morning and one in the afternoon. It may even make you a better co-worker!

    Stay Hydrated
    We all know that drinking about eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is essential for our bodies to function properly. But did you know that it can help your caffeine consumption, too? Dehydration causes us to feel tired—meaning we’ll feel the effects of a caffeine crash even more. Staying hydrated may help improve concentration and keep us more alert throughout the day. 

    Get a Good Night’s Sleep
    Though it may seem obvious, getting an adequate amount of rest is crucial to avoiding a midday drop in energy levels. We usually drink the most caffeine when we feel tired, so we’re going to notice as soon as that temporary energy boost wears off. For adults,7-9 hours of sleep per night should do the trick. 

  • Coffee 101: The Format

    by Amy Cimo | Oct 15, 2018

    Whole bean and instant and ground, oh my! Coffee can be consumed in a variety of different formats, all of which can affect the flavor, strength and texture of your cup.

    Now that we know all about coffee roasts, let’s take a look at another important part of your coffee experience: the format.

    Whole bean coffee contains the dried, roasted beans found in the red cherries of coffee plants, and requires grinding before brewing. Though grinding your own beans may take more time, it gives you greater control in the coffee-making process, and allows you to experiment with different grind sizes, brew methods, water to coffee ratios and more to create your perfect cup.

    Short on time? Tired of experimenting? Ground coffee is coffee that has already been ground for you. Pre-ground coffee typically has a fine grind size and can be used in an array of brewing methods, from auto-drip coffee makers to the French press.

    Single-serve coffee is pre-ground, pre-measured coffee packaged in soft pods or hard capsules. These capsules are used in single serve brewers—the second most common brewing method in the U.S. last year—and help make a smooth, hot cup of coffee.

    Just add water! Instant coffee is coffee that has been brewed and then dehydrated, leaving behind a fine, crystal-like coffee powder. Making instant coffee is easy: measure the granules, add hot water, stir and enjoy!

    Espresso capsules are small pods that are packed with finely ground coffee and used in home espresso brewers, like the Nespresso® OriginalLine. Espresso is made by shooting boiling water under high pressure through the finely ground coffee. The result is a strong, full-flavored shot of coffee. 

    Cold Brew is generally coarse-ground coffee that is soaked in room temperature water for 12 or more hours, then filtered to remove the grounds before serving. Cold brew offers a strong and smooth coffee concentrate with a considerable caffeine buzz. Check out our Cold Brew pouches for an easy way to make a pitcher of tasty cold brew.

  • How to Overcome Writer’s Block

    by Amy Cimo | Oct 01, 2018

    Whether you’re a new writer or a seasoned pro, there will be times when you sit down at your computer and ... nothing happens. You can’t think of anything to write. You can’t think of the next sentence, the next phrase or even the next word.

    You may start to doubt whether you’re really even a writer.

    But with a few tricks to jumpstart your mind, you can get past it. Here are a few of our favorite tips for breaking through writer’s block, straight from the experts.

    Gather Your Thoughts

    Your English teachers were right: Creating an outline to plan what you want to write about helps you develop your ideas.

     “Before I write anything, I outline the piece, thinking about key points I want to cover,” says Andrea Emerson, a writing coach who leads a Facebook community for fellow writers. “Then I go back through each section and fill in key ideas, proof points or quotes I want to include.” Even if the outline has incomplete sentences or is just a collection of bullet points, it will help you get started, she says. “I once heard someone compare it to mise en place, what professional chefs do when working on a recipe: They have all necessary tools and ingredients lined up, and within easy reach,” Emerson says. “There's no running back to the fridge or pantry; all items are organized in front of them, ready to be mixed together.”

    Embrace the ‘Zero Draft’

    Another trick is to just start writing... “Even gibberish or a shopping list — just write whatever comes to mind and don't worry about it,” says Gundi Gabrielle, who blogs her world travels as SassyZenGirl. “Then you’ll gradually get back into the flow again.” 

    Camaron Brooks, a former TV reporter and author ot “Studio Baby: Adventures of a TV Reporter Turned Stay-at-Home Mom,” says that her writer’s block is actually about perfectionism and a fear of failing, which just have to be powered through “Clichés can be fleshed out, grammar can be edited. But you must write something.”

    Adam Cole, a jazz musician and the author of several novels and nonfiction books, agrees: “I give myself permission to write as little as I want each day, so long as I write something, any movement forward is a win, from a sentence to a chapter.” 

    Step Away for a Break

    Sometimes you just need to step away from the project to clear your mind.

    Devoney Looser is an English professor at Arizona State University and the author of “The Making of Jane Austen.” When Looser can’t write, she says it’s a sign that she needs to refocus and relax. But her method of doing this will depend on how much time she has. “If I have an hour, then I go to the nearby church roller rink that lets me pop in for a few minutes and whiz around the otherwise empty skate floor,” she says. “I leave completely recharged and writing-ready.”

    However, if you only have a few minutes to spare, grab a cup of coffee or a cold brew and find a brief diversion to clear your mind. If she only has 10 minutes to spare, Looser says she likes to read two pages from her favorite Austen book: “Pride and Prejudice.” “There’s always something there to make me laugh, something that moves me, even in a part I know really well,” says Looser, who also taught at Louisiana State University for a time.

    Karen Ullo, managing editor of Dappled Things Journal, and author of several books, composes music to get back into her creative groove, but knows writers who paint, garden or even knit socks. “Just make something - let your brain reestablish the habit of creativity, and then return to writing,” says Ullo, who lives in Baton Rouge, La. “The cure for blocked creativity is often creativity itself.”

  • Cool Off with the Hottest Drink, a Zesty Combo of Lemonade and Coffee

    by Amy Cimo | Sep 25, 2018

    One of the big reasons cold brew has taken the coffee world by storm in recent years is the iced drink’s versatility. The rich, bold iced beverage plays well with so many flavors, including coconut, herbs and even fancy fizzy waters.

    But perhaps the hottest twist is a lemon one. It may sound a little odd at first, but trust us, the flavor combination makes for a surprisingly refreshing treat, perfect for those long, hot days. It’s a little sour, a little sweet and entirely invigorating.

    Most coffee-ade recipes call for fresh-squeezed lemon juice combined with a dash of simple syrup, but commercial lemonade will do in a pinch. The trick here is to complement, not overwhelm, the coffee flavor in the cold brew. When the ratios are spot on, the lemon and simple syrup add a touch of citrus and sweetness that are a superb counterplay to the rich flavors of most cold brews.

    These three recipes all start with regular cold brew, which generally is made from coarse-ground coffee that’s soaked in room-temperature (or below) water for 12 or more hours, then filtered to remove the grounds before serving. For an even faster route to a pitcher of tasty cold brew, try our ultra-convenient cold-brew pouches. These 100 percent select Arabica beans are expertly blended and ground to help you create a flawless cold-brew beverage at home without any mess or filtering.

    So brew up an ice-filled glass of one of these three refreshing coffee-ades, find your favorite porch or patio, and take a moment to savor the summer sunshine before it’s all gone.

    Basil Coffee-Ade

    This is the original coffee-ade recipe, with a touch of basil for a note of added complexity. 


    • 2 ounces of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons simple syrup
    • 5 ounces of water
    • 5 ounces cold-brew coffee
    • Fresh-smashed basil to taste


    Combine lemon juice and simple syrup, then dilute the solution with water. Add the cold brew and basil, then shake or stir until fully mixed.

    Sparkling Mint Coffee-Ade

    This light and bubbly version of lemonade coffee borrows from the popular sparkling cold-brew trend. 


    • 2 ounces of lemon juice
    • 3 tablespoons simple syrup
    • 5 ounces of club soda or seltzer
    • 5 ounces cold-brew coffee


    Mix the simple syrup into the lemon juice. Add the club soda or seltzer. Stir in cold brew.

    Light Coffee-Ade

    This low-calorie version of the basil coffee-ade recipe is perfect for coffee lovers looking to control their sugar intake. Add fresh mint or basil to kick it up a notch. 


    • 2 ounces of lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon Stevia
    • 5 ounces of water
    • 5 ounces cold-brew coffee
    • Optional fresh-smashed mint or basil


    Add simple syrup to the lemon juice, then mix water into the solution. Combine the mixture with the cold brew, add herbs, then shake or stir.

  • The Importance of Outdoor Time At Sts. Leo-Seton Catholic School

    by Amy Cimo | Sep 11, 2018

    Any educator or parent will gladly preach the importance of core subjects such as math, science, or English, but Amos Batiste, Vice Principal of Sts. Leo-Seton Catholic School, also realizes the necessity of outdoor time. He stresses the point that children should have ample safe yet fun playground equipment available to them. Each day, students at Sts. Leo-Seton Catholic School stay active by running, jumping, and sliding through their school's playground.

    Over the past ten years the younger population as a whole has become much less active, and are shown to play outside only half as often as their parents might have. A substantial percentage of children haven’t even been to a park or rural area in over a year. Practices previously mentioned are seeping into the older population as well. On average, children aged 10 to 16 spend less than 15 minutes a day participating in some type of vigorous outdoor activity, and these numbers are only continuing to drop.

    With each new improvement to the Sts. Leo-Seton playground, the school is combating these unfortunate statistics. Teachers at the school even say that after the installment of the new playground, the children come back to the classroom alert and ready to learn. The faculty believes when students are given an enjoyable, constructive way to let out their energy during the day they’ll be less fidgety in the classroom. Parents and teachers alike are thrilled with the positive results brought about from playground improvements.

    For the past few years, Sts. Leo-Seton has participated in the Community® Cash for Schools program and used the money to keep their playground in prime condition. This year the school was surprised to find that out of over 800 schools, they had earned the title of our top earner. Members of the faculty informed us that the school had plenty of support from the surrounding community.

     Although they didn’t have the intentions of becoming our top earner for 2018, the children were absolutely thrilled when the school was able to set a fresh layer of mulch over the entire playground. Faculty and staff always try their best to keep a sharp eye on every child during recess, but not every scrape or bruise can be prevented. The new mulch the school installed works to cushion the fall a child may face during an exciting round of tag.

  • Coffee 101: The Roast

    by Amy Cimo | Aug 27, 2018

    Whether you prefer a bold, black coffee or a light and caramel-y cup, we all have our favorite coffee roasts. Ever wonder what makes one roast darker than the other? And what is the roasting process, anyway?

    Aside from the type of bean used, one of the most important factors in the flavor and intensity of your coffee is the roast—or the degree to which your coffee beans are roasted. Before they’re roasted, coffee beans bear little resemblance to the aromatic brown beans we know and love. Referred to as “green coffee beans” or “green coffee,” these raw, unroasted beans are light in color, soft, smell grassy and have little to no taste.

    Green coffee is usually roasted in large roasting machines, which maintain a temperature of about 500-550 degrees Fahrenheit. The machines keep the beans constantly moving to avoid burning them. Coffee beans begin to turn color when they reach an internal temperature of about 400 degrees. As the coffee beans absorb heat during the process, their color becomes darker, shifting from white to tan to darker shades of brown. The longer the beans are exposed to the heat, the darker they become.

    Expert roasters are used to determine when the coffee beans have finished roasting. It takes years of training to become an expert roaster, as the difference between perfectly roasted coffee beans and a ruined batch can be a matter of seconds. Our Lead Roaster, certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America's Roasters Guild and seasoned by decades of experience, has mastered the secrets of time and temperature and is an integral part in making our coffee bold and rich, bright and surprising, or smooth and subtle.

    Roasts are usually described by the color of the finished, roasted coffee beans and fall into one of four color categories—light, medium, medium-dark or dark. Lighter roasts will exhibit more of the beans’ "origin character"—flavors created by their variety, the location where they were grown, and when they were grown. As coffee roasts get darker, they tend to take on more flavors from the roasting process. For more about the taste of each color category, check out our blog post here.

    Though we were founded almost a century ago with our Signature Dark Roast, we have a wide variety of roasts to fit almost any preference.

    If you like lighter roasts and snappy acidity, try our Breakfast Blend. For a bit more body and balanced flavor, try our 5 Star Hotel Blend™ or Amber Sunrise Blend™.

    If medium-dark roasts are your favorite, give our House Blend, Café Special® or 100% Colombia Altura® coffee a try. And if you prefer your coffee black as night, check out our Private Reserve® Louisiana Blend® and Evangeline Blend™ coffees.

    Or, why not try them all? Now that you know all about roasts, you might as well put your knowledge to good use. And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a cup of coffee that you enjoy a little bit more than the last.

  • Behind the Research to Save Coffee From Severe Weather Conditions

    by Amy Cimo | Aug 06, 2018

    Innovative breeding programs and a new international wave of scientific research are helping ensure coffee farmers will be able to adapt to challenging climate conditions and meet a rising global demand for coffee in the coming years.

    The cutting-edge science push is spearheaded by World Coffee Research (WCR), a nonprofit organization founded by the international coffee industry to ensure high-quality coffee and environmental health for future generations.

    At Community Coffee Company, we have forged strong relationships with growers across the globe in coffee-producing communities in Mexico, Colombia, Rwanda and more. As part of our company’s commitment to global responsibility, we are a gold sponsor of World Coffee Research and a strong supporter of the organization’s efforts to ensure farmers will be able to thrive in the face of a changing climate. Here’s how the organization is helping.

    An International Challenge

    Nearly half of current coffee production comes from countries predicted to lose more than 60 percent of their suitable coffee areas by 2050, but climate change is already affecting coffee production as growing regions around the world become hotter and drier.

    For example, In 2012, a massive outbreak of coffee leaf rust — a devastating fungal disease that damages and ultimately destroys the coffee tree — severely affected the industry in Central America, putting an estimated 1.7 million people out of work in the region. Researchers believe the overall rise of temperatures and the associated weather patterns created a more favorable environment for the disease, leading to the widespread outbreak.

    The scope of the problem is vast. The latest scientific research estimates that by 2050, 79 percent of currently suitable coffee areas will face hottest-month maximums of 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), with more than half of coffee land facing hottest-month maximums above 32 degrees Celsius. This represents a considerable challenge, given that Arabica coffee’s, the coffee beans found in premium coffees, optimal average annual temperature range is a cool 18 to 21 degrees Celsius.

    Breeding Programs

    The creation of new coffee varieties more resilient to climate change is critical for the future of coffee. By leveraging the latest breakthroughs in coffee genetics and working in collaboration with breeding programs in multiple countries, WCR is helping develop the next generation of coffee varieties to meet emerging climate challenges. 

    The organization has set its sights on climate-smart breeding that produces plants that can cope with temperatures as high as 32 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit). Last year, WCR joined a major coffee-breeding effort funded by the European Union to address the challenges posed by climate change through coffee breeding, and it has set up its own breeding programs around the world.

    It’s also focusing on agroforestry — growing coffee under shade — by researching and developing varieties that can thrive without full sun.

    Worldwide Research Centers

    Like the coffee industry itself, WCR’s efforts have been truly international. In its first five years, the organization has built an unprecedented international network of research trials. WCR has established two breeding hubs in Central America and East Africa, while creating a plan for the global conservation of wild coffee species for future breeding.

    It has also launched a global network of on-farm trials to study multiple varieties and their profitability, and it has produced a technical manual for agronomists for holistic management of coffee rust.

    These efforts are helping to close a research gap in the world of coffee, which for decades lagged behind the scientific progress achieved by other agricultural industries. At Community Coffee, we believe this vital research and development holds the key to preserving coffee for future generations.

  • How Science Is Protecting the Future of Coffee

    by Amy Cimo | Jul 23, 2018

    A considerable amount of dedication and hard work goes on behind the scenes long before coffee ever reaches the shelves of your local supermarket or favorite neighborhood shop. Coffee is an international crop that requires mostly small farmers around the world to navigate a huge range of ever-growing challenges — including changing climate patterns.

    To help overcome those challenges and ensure that farmers thrive and consumers continue to have access to the coffee they love, the global coffee industry joined forces in 2012 to form World Coffee Research, a nonprofit organization working to ensure the future of coffee.

    World Coffee Research operates in 27 countries to further its mission to grow, protect and enhance supplies of quality coffee while improving the livelihoods of the families who produce it. Community Coffee Company has been a strong supporter of the organization since its inception. Matt Saurage, Community Coffee chairman, is a founding board member of the group.

    Here is a look at some of the initiatives the global organization is undertaking to improve coffee yields, coffee quality, climate resilience and the livelihoods of farmers who make the coffee we love possible.

    Climate Change Initiatives

    Research shows that a changing climate poses the greatest threat to the future of coffee. Changing weather patterns, increased temperatures and higher rates of disease and insects could create a potentially disastrous decline in the supply of coffee in the coming decades. Today, nearly half of current coffee production comes from countries predicted to lose more than 60 percent of their suitable coffee areas by 2050.

    WCR is leading the charge in research to help farmers prepare for these climate challenges by investing in advances in agricultural science, such as breeding programs and the establishment of research centers in coffee-producing regions around the world.

    International Research Centers

    In its first five years, WCR has built an unprecedented international network of research trials to dramatically increase the amount of valuable data collected on coffee varieties and farming techniques. The organization’s network is testing variety performance and agricultural approaches for climate resilience and tracking the movement of coffee disease and pests that can damage crops, while also building new research capacity with its partners in coffee-producing countries.

    WCR has field trials in place in 21 countries, many of which have have already paid off. Last year, for example, a trial yielded the discovery that several hybrid varieties are tolerant to frost. The varieties were created in Central America, which typically does not experience frost, so this tolerance was previously unknown. The finding could open up new opportunities for production in certain climates.

    Better Plants for Farmers

    In its first five years, WCR has developed 60 new coffee varieties, two global breeding hubs, as well as an international network of research trials to test the performance of these new varieties.

    But breeding is only part of the organization’s mission. The most resilient and high-performing varieties in the world are useless if they are not available to the farmers who need them — and currently most of the world’s farmers do not have access to improved varieties.

    WCR is spearheading programs aimed at expanding information about and access to high-quality varieties around the world, through partnerships with both the public and private sectors.

    Among the initiatives is a catalog of major coffee varieties that connects to a database of certified nurseries that can provide healthy, genetically pure plants for each variety. The organization is also creating an international seed exchange of some of the top-performing varieties in the world to allow farmers in different countries to test new varieties.

    It’s all part of the coffee industry’s growing effort to ensure the future of coffee in the face of a changing climate and other emerging challenges.

  • Celebrate the 4th of July With These Yummy Recipes

    by Amy Cimo | Jul 02, 2018

    We, as Americans, have always loved our tea. Granted, our ancestors dumped 342 chests full of British tea into the Boston Harbor -- but they had a good reason for doing that, and they were smart enough to have a backup plan to smuggle in tea from the Dutch, because, we really do love our tea! 

    Thankfully, we’re now having tea parties under more peaceful circumstances. And what better way to celebrate the yearly anniversary of America’s independence (and its stand against taxing tea) than by sipping a nice, cold glass of Community® Porch Breeze™ tea? It’s the perfect complement to any Fourth of July meal, and a great way to honor those brave men and women who fought against tea tyranny.

    And if you’re searching for some new Independence Day recipes, here are a few ideas.

    Coffee Rubbed Pork Ribeye with Java Q Sauce

    This recipe is by Stuart Reb Donald, executive chef at Bella Sera Gardens in Loxley, Alabama, and co-host of "Sip and Chew with Mike and Stu" on 106.5 FM in Mobile. “This recipe is perfect for the grill or the stove,” Donald says. “The pork ribeye [a boneless rib chop] is a decadent but inexpensive cut that you should be able to get at your local butcher.” 


    • 4 pork ribeye chops (1 1/2 inches thick) 

    For the rub:

    • 1 cup Community­® Signature Blend Dark Roast coffee or espresso
    • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
    • 1 tsp. pepper
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder

    For the Java Q Sauce:

    • 2 cups strong coffee
    • 1 cup ketchup
    • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
    • 1/3 cup molasses
    • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
    • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
    • 1 Tbsp. cumin
    • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
    • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
    • Salt to taste 


    Whisk together all ingredients for the rub.

    For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes or until desired thickness is achieved.

    Completely coat each ribeye in rub and cook on a medium-high grill or in an oiled pan, 6-8 minutes per side. Target internal temperature is 150-155 degrees for medium. Serve the sauce on the side or drizzle it on the ribs.

    Brisket Sliders with Carrot Cilantro Slaw

    If you’d rather celebrate the Fourth with sandwiches, check out this recipe from Aurora Satler, New York City-based author of “The Ultimate New Mom’s Cookbook.”

    “These sliders make for an insanely tasty meal,” Satler says. “The carrot slaw adds great fiber and is a fun switch from traditional coleslaw as a topping.” 


    • 2 lbs. cooked brisket
    • 4 potato rolls/brioche buns for serving
    • Carrot cilantro slaw (recipe below)

    For the slaw:

    • 1/2 teaspoon honey
    • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp. cumin
    • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 2 cups grated carrot
    • 1 cup cilantro leaves
    • 1/3 cup sliced scallions (about 2 scallions)


    In a medium stock pot, rewarm the brisket on medium-low until it’s warmed through.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, olive oil, cumin, garlic and salt as a dressing for the slaw. In a medium bowl, mix grated carrot, cilantro and scallions, then add the dressing to taste.

    Divide the reheated brisket on the four buns. Add the slaw on top, or serve it on the side. Serves four.

    Red, White & Blueberry Cake

    4th of July
    This recipe from Claudia Sidoti, head chef at HelloFresh, is as impressive as it is patriotic. “Whether you’re the host who wants to impress their guests or a guest that wants to wow the host, this beautiful, colorful and fruity-fresh cake is the perfect treat that looks as good as it tastes,” Sidoti says. “Fresh, bright and juicy berries make this dessert truly stand out.”


    • 2 cups blueberries
    • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
    • 2 tsp. baking powder
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2/3 cup coconut milk
    • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 cup unsalted butter
    • 1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
    • 6 large egg whites
    • 2 cups raspberries
    • 24 oz. white frosting (flavor of choice!)
    • Raspberries and blueberries for decorating


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of a baking pan (13 by 9 inches) and line with greased parchment paper. Dust very lightly with flour.

    Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk and vanilla. In another large bowl, beat butter and 1 1/2 cups of the sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly add the flour and milk mixtures, switching back and forth, mixing after each addition.

    Rinse out the bowl used for the milk mixture and add the egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer until foamy, then gradually add in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold the mixture into the batter until thoroughly combined. Spread into the pan and bake for 45 minutes.

    While the cake bakes, mash two cups of raspberries with a cup of the frosting. After the cake has cooled, split it in half lengthwise using a serrated knife. Spread the filling on the bottom half, and then put the top back on, pressing firmly to secure. Completely frost the cake on the top and all sides. Use your berries to make the stars and stripes of the American flag, alternating with extra frosting for the white part.

  • How an Overseas Airport, a Stranger and a Hug Led to a New Perspective on Travel

    by Amy Cimo | Apr 30, 2018

    By the time Trish McFarlane stepped off a plane in Amman, she was exhausted and a bit disoriented from the 15-hour flight from Chicago to Marka International Airport, the bustling Mideast hub just outside Jordan’s capital city.

    FMBM-43018-1McFarlane, a human resources consultant who travels extensively for work, was on her way to Dubai for a major industry conference. The business trip was the Missouri native’s first to the Middle East, and she had by chance arrived on the same night as the 2015 Paris terror attack, which had ratcheted up tensions around the globe.

    As McFarlane walked through the terminal, she saw the images from the tragedy on television screens. The fear of the unknown from arriving alone in such an unfamiliar place loomed large. “I was very anxious and overly tired,” she says.

    McFarlane was still frazzled as she grabbed her luggage and headed to the ladies room, where she immediately encountered an older woman working as an airport custodian. They were the only two people in the restroom, and the stranger — whom McFarlane describes as “grandmotherly” — seemed fascinated by the Midwestern American who had just walked through the door. Neither of the women spoke the other’s language, but they did their best to communicate. “We were just trying to figure each other out,” she says. “I think she could tell I was nervous.”

    Then something remarkable happened. “She just walked up and hugged me,” McFarlane says. “Really hugged me — like your grandmother would hug you. And I just let her. I normally wouldn’t do that.”

    McFarlane says she’s not sure whether her own anxiety and fear of the unknown were so transparent that the woman felt the need to comfort her in an overt way, or if the woman was just extremely friendly by nature. Regardless of the motivation, the woman’s gesture helped put McFarlane at ease and move beyond any fear about how she would be treated traveling alone in an unfamiliar region of the world. She thanked the woman, who was smiling and nodding as McFarlane left.

    “It gave me such a great start to my trip because I went into the rest of my trip and had a wonderful time,” she says. “People on the whole trip couldn’t have been more wonderful to me. I was so paranoid about what other people thought about Westerners and it wasn’t that way at all. Everybody I met was so warm and welcoming to me. But I feel like it all started with her.”

    McFarlane says that beyond easing her immediate concerns about that trip, the moment was pivotal in transforming her approach to travel and allowing her to open herself up more to the idea of making connections with new people in unfamiliar places.

    “I realized you can be really nervous about something, you can be really apprehensiveFMBM-43018-2 about something, but you just have to remain open in the moment,” she says. “We’re really not all that different. You don’t have to speak the language, but you can make a connection with someone on that basic human level. It’s changed my travel outlook when I go anywhere now. I’ve been to a lot more countries since then and I’m always really open to those encounters and not afraid. She just changed me as a traveler. She was their best ambassador.”

    McFarlane, who while growing up near St. Louis traveled only to Florida every year for family vacations, now sees her trips as an exploration, as well as a chance to cultivate connections and build relationships with people from different cultures and backgrounds, experiences she relishes after having been raised in what she says was a “sheltered Midwestern town.”

    “Whether you’re going to London or Hong Kong or New York, you’re meeting people from all over the world and everybody fits,” she says. “I think that’s what I like the most.”


    Community Coffee Co. has launched a new “Fly More When You Buy More” campaign in partnership with Southwest Airlines®. In an effort to thank our customers, we’re offering the opportunity to get Southwest Rapid Rewards® bonus points with the purchase of specially marked packages of Community® Signature Blend Dark Roast and Breakfast Blend single-serve coffee. From now through the summer, customers can earn 150, 200 or 500 Southwest Rapid Rewards® bonus points with the purchase of 12-count, 18-count or 80-count specially marked boxes. To participate, enter the unique product code located inside each specially marked package at CommunityCoffee.com/Rewards to receive a certificate via email to claim your Southwest Rapid Rewards® bonus points. A Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® account is required to redeem the rewards. Visit southwest.com/enroll to enroll.

  • Louisiana Beignets: How To Make the Traditional Sugar-Dusted Fried Dough Treats at Home

    by Amy Cimo | Apr 24, 2018

    The Louisiana tradition of beignets, the light and puffy fried-dough treats doused in powdered sugar, stretches back more than 200 years to the early days of New Orleans.

    Thought to be first introduced to the Crescent City by French-speaking immigrants in the 1700s, these square, crispy and chewy donuts truly became a phenomenon after they turned up in the city’s French Market coffee stands in the early 1900s. They remain a beloved treat to this day, enjoyed by the thousands daily in French Quarter cafes or among the oak trees in historic New Orleans City Park, often with a strong cup of coffee.

    That rich and enduring tradition inspired Community Coffee to create our Sugar Dusted Beignet blend. Made with 100 percent select Arabica coffee beans, this unique French-dough-flavored coffee is lightly dusted with powdered sugar for a delightful finish. For a more traditional combination with your beignets, consider our Coffee and Chicory blend. Our version of this Southern favorite combines rich, roasted coffee beans with high-quality chicory for a bolder, sweeter flavor than coffee alone. We recommend trying it café-au-lait-style with steamed milk for a time-honored New Orleans-inspired flavor.

    While New Orleans was the launching pad for the beignet tradition, the fried treats — which are now the official state doughnut of Louisiana — have spread far beyond the banks of the lower Mississippi. They also come in a range of shapes, sizes and flavors.

    At the charming Berrytown Corner Cafe in historic downtown Ponchatoula, Louisiana, the beignets are served bite-sized and stuffed with a variety of sweet surprises, from strawberry to white chocolate to real whipped cream.

    Their beignet bites come in servings of eight and are often paired with Community® Coffee and Chicory blend, says Berrytown owner Kathy Gueydan. They are among the eatery’s most popular items.

    “People eat them for breakfast, they eat them for lunch, they eat them as snacks,” Gueydan says. “They eat them with powdered sugar, without powdered sugar, with whipped cream. They are a great treat.”

    They’re also surprisingly easy to make at home. The key ingredient — other than large quantities of powdered sugar — is patience, particularly during the resting time recommended before cutting the dough into pieces and dropping them into the hot oil.

    So brew a cup of your favorite coffee, procure the largest bag of powdered sugar you can find and help continue a tasty tradition that has been part of Louisiana for more than two centuries. Just don’t forget to dust yourself off afterward.

    Fresh Beignets

    • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1 1/2 cups warm water
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 7 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
    • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

    In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let set for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, eggs, milk and butter. Blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add up to 3 cups of flour to make a pliable, tender dough. Cover and chill for 2-24 hours.

    Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry in 360 degree F (180 degrees C) hot oil until golden. Drain onto paper towels. Shake confectioners' sugar on beignets. Serve warm.

  • How Catholic Elementary of Pointe Coupee Uses Community Coffee Program to Support Technology Initiative

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 12, 2018

    Catholic Elementary School of Pointe Coupee is working to ensure that all of its students have access to their own personal computer, and the Community Cash for Schools® program is helping administrators reach that goal.

    The school raised $2,620 this year through the program thanks to the efforts of parents and teachers. Each school participating in the program can allocate the money they receive to various things their school needs. For Catholic Elementary, the funds will go toward technology, such as laptops and tablets, which the school incorporates into the everyday learning environment.

    “Over the next two years, that’s our goal: to make sure every student on our campus has a laptop to use,” Assistant Principal Jason Chauvin says.

    Located in New Roads, Catholic Elementary of Pointe Coupee prides itself on its high level of parental participation. At the center of that participation is the Home and School organization, through which parents raise money for the school and commit to an annual number of volunteer service hours at school functions.

    The school’s families have been participating in the Community Cash for Schools® program for well over a decade, but fundraising efforts have ramped up in recent years since the school implemented an incentive program encouraging parents to collect Community® product labels. For every 100 Community Coffee labels that parents turn in, they get credit for one service hour at school. The response has been impressive, school administrators say.

    The end result is a substantial financial boost to Catholic’s ongoing efforts to ensure that every student has access to the latest learning tools.


    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. Schools can choose to allocate the money toward new textbooks, computers or events. For more information on the Community Cash for Schools® program, visit CommunityCoffee.com/CashforSchools or call 1-800-525-5583.

  • How Folds of Honor Helps Families of Fallen and Disabled Service Members

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 05, 2018

    An encounter while returning home from a second tour of duty in Iraq led Maj. Dan Rooney, an F-16 pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, to dedicate his life to making a positive impact for his fellow veterans and their families.

    The spark of inspiration came as his flight landed and the pilot asked passengers to respectfully remain seated while a casket carrying the remains of Army Cpl. Brock Bucklin was removed. Rooney watched as half of the passengers ignored the pilot’s request and left the plane — and he witnessed the fallen soldier’s twin brother guiding the flag-covered casket to meet other family members, including Bucklin’s wife and young son.

    Rooney says he decided then and there he had to do something to honor that sacrifice and support the families of fallen service members. In 2007 he founded Folds of Honor, a nonprofit that provides scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members.

    Community Coffee Company is a proud supporter of the organization, which has awarded nearly 16,000 scholarships over the past decade.

    “We’ve grown a vast amount over the past 10 years,” says Folds of Honor Regional Development Officer Sarah Duncan. “We’ve grown through big corporate partners like Community Coffee but also through grassroots campaigns and the American people, both individually and as groups, really getting behind our cause and supporting us.”

    Paying Tribute and Supporting Families

    FOH FamilyThe Folds of Honor motto is “Honor Their Sacrifice. Educate Their Legacy.” Fulfilling that mission has become a national movement. There are more than 1 million dependents of military service members, and nearly 90 percent do not qualify for educational assistance from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs or other governmental programs. 

    Folds of Honor typically provides $5,000 scholarships to cover higher-education costs, paid directly to the accredited institution. The organization has awarded scholarships to recipients in all 50 states, plus Guam, Puerto Rico and several countries overseas. A separate children’s fund provides money for K-12 students for private schools, summer tutoring or other educational needs.

    Duncan, whose father was an F-15 pilot who died in 1995, was a recipient of a scholarship. She says that while the scholarships’ monetary support is vital, the knowledge that others are honoring the memory of a loved one can also have a significant effect.

    “For me personally just to know there is a group of people out there who wake up every day and commit to honoring and remembering the sacrifice that not only my dad made but our family made as well is a gift you can’t put a price tag on,” she says.

    Community Cares

    Folds of Honor awarded 3,509 scholarships in 2017; 2,416 were for higher education and 1,093 came through the organization’s children fund. At Community Coffee, we believe this is an accomplishment that should be both celebrated and supported.

    In November, we asked people to participate in our #CommunityCares campaign to raise money and awareness for our service members by sharing what veterans mean to them. The response was overwhelming, with people sharing hundreds of personal stories about the positive impact veterans have made in their lives, as well as heartfelt remembrances of loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

    At the conclusion of the campaign we were pleased to donate $25,000 to Folds of Honor, enough to cover five $5,000 scholarships for family members of fallen service members.

    Local Support

    As the organization’s impact and profile have grown, supporters across the country have organized to help raise funds to further its mission — and they’ve created a movement in the process. There are nine chapters operating around the country as independent volunteer organizations working to raise vital dollars for the national group’s efforts, with several more in the works.

    “We’re so fortunate to have so many amazing supporters across the country,” Duncan says.

    Among the organization’s largest and most popular fundraisers is the annual Patriot Golf Day, featuring tournaments nationwide that have raised millions for the Folds of Honor Foundation.

    In Louisiana, fundraising golf tournaments have been held in Lake Charles, Lafayette and New Orleans. Among the longest-running events is the Patriot Shootout at the University Club golf course in Baton Rouge each October.

    These fundraisers are just one example of the powerful community effort in the Gulf Coast region to support those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

  • Celebrate the Magic of Dr. Seuss Day with this Healthy Recipe for Green Eggs and Ham

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 28, 2018

    First published nearly 58 years ago, Dr. Seuss’ children’s story “Green Eggs and Ham” has become one of the best-selling books of all time, with some 8 million copies distributed worldwide.

    The simple but enduring tale encourages children to not prejudge an experience — in this case, brightly colored ham and eggs offered by a diminutive and mischievous creature named Sam — before actually giving it a try. It’s a story the author wrote using only 50 different words, in response to a challenge from a friend, and with that simplicity it has stood the test of time.

    At Community Coffee Company, we are enthusiastic Dr. Seuss fans because we understand that classic stories are an effective way to engage young readers and support early literacy that is critical to a student’s later success. Literacy programs are one of the education initiatives Community supports through the Community Cash for Schools® program.

    The program helps schools by paying 10 cents for every proof of purchase turned in to teachers. Coffee and tea products contain eligible proofs of purchase. Schools can choose to allocate the money toward reading programs, computers or events. For example, Mermentau Elementary School uses its proceeds to fund a play day to reward students who hit reading milestones throughout the school year.

    Readers young and old celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday each year on March 2. Dr. Seuss Day is a perfect time to celebrate the power of books and reading — and have some Seussian-inspired fun in the kitchen as well.

    Green Eggs and Ham Mini-Frittatas

    greenIf you’re looking to introduce a new reader to “Green Eggs and Ham,” March 2 is the perfect opportunity. For a fun twist, try making the book’s signature dish for your little ones to help the story come alive.

    If you’re looking to avoid food dyes, food writer Jamie Sanders has a solution: a green eggs and ham recipe for mini-frittatas (photo shown here) that are versatile enough for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. If your children, like the curmudgeon in the Seuss story, will not eat spinach in a box or with a fox, this fun recipe is a great way to sneak some veggies into a tasty and whimsical package that is green enough to do the story justice.

    “The kids will love these and they’ll definitely get everyone in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit, and of course are the perfect recipe for Dr. Seuss Day,” Sanders says. “The best thing about this green eggs and ham mini-frittata recipe is that gorgeous green color is completely natural! Absolutely no food coloring.”

    Check out the full recipe at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom.

  • Celebrate National Sticky Bun Day with This Satisfying Recipe

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 19, 2018

    Food writer Amber Wilson says that when she was growing up, waking up to sticky buns in the oven was always a good sign.

    “They were reserved for special weekend brunches or holidays,” Wilson says. “There was a celebration of sorts whenever we had them. I knew when I woke up to the scent of sweet, buttery sticky buns baking in the oven that that day was going to be sweet.”

    Wilson, a Louisiana native who writes about Southern cuisine and culture in her blog, For the Love of the South, says she now likes to pair sticky buns with chicory café au lait, which she says is “just a fancy way of saying half smoky, chicory coffee and half steamed milk sweetened with raw cane sugar.”

    Wilson, who has a cookbook on Southern food due out in March, shared her favorite recipe with us for National Sticky Bun Day, which takes place every Feb. 21. She says the key to these pillows of sticky goodness is the yeast dough, which requires a little patience while it rises but imparts a texture and flavor that’s worth the wait. Wilson adds pecans to add a touch of complexity that also serves as a counterpoint to all that sweetness.

    “These sticky buns are heavenly,” she says. “The dough is soft, sweet and buttery. The addition of the crunchy pecans adds a lovely contrast. It’s well worth the time and effort the moment these sticky buns cross your lips.”

    To complete your special-occasion treat, pair these sticky buns with Community® Coffee & Chicory blend, our version of the Southern favorite that combines rich, roasted Arabica coffee beans with high-quality chicory for a bolder, sweeter flavor than coffee alone. We recommend trying it café-au-lait-style with steamed milk for a traditional flavor.

    Pecan Sticky Buns


    1/3 cup whole milk
    5 tablespoons sugar, divided
    1 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
    2 large eggs
    2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 stick butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter

    Heat milk in a heatproof measuring cup for a few minutes, until a thermometer reads 110 degrees. Stir in the yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Whisk to blend. Let stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy. Whisk in the eggs.

    Combine the remaining sugar, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Add the milk mixture and the butter, one piece at a time until it’s fully incorporated. Mix on medium speed for one minute and on medium-high for five minutes.

    Brush a medium-sized bowl with melted butter, then place the dough into the bowl. Brush the remaining butter over the top of the dough. Chill for two hours, then let the dough rise in a warm area for 45 minutes.


    1 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
    1 stick butter
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
    1/3 cup honey
    1/4 teaspoon salt 

    Spread the pecans in a dry pan on low heat. Toast just until fragrant, then set aside.

    Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, cream, honey and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for a few minutes. Pour one cup of the glaze into a 9-by-9-by-2-inch pan, being sure to coat all sides. Place 1/2 cup of pecans over the glaze in the pan. Set aside.


    1 stick butter, room temperature
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    Dough, see recipe above
    1 egg

    Beat the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt until creamy and blended. Set aside.

    Punch down the risen dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the butter mixture onto the dough, leaving an inch on all sides. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of pecans over the butter mixture. Roll up the dough from the side closest to you. Pinch the ends together once rolled completely.

    Cut into eight even slices. Place the dough, cut-side down, onto the prepared dish. Whisk the egg and a little water to create an egg wash, then brush it over the top of the dough. Place into a 350-degree oven; after 20 minutes turn the pan and bake for another 20 minutes. Spoon remaining glaze over the buns with the rest of the pecans.