• Supporting Coastal Restoration

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 29, 2019

    Coastal erosion has been washing away the Louisiana coast for decades, impacting the unique communities and ecosystems that help make our home state such a special place to live and work. A diverse and dedicated group of people has been pushing back against those forces in an effort to preserve the state’s fragile coastline.

    The nonprofit Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL) has been at the forefront of the effort to restore and save Louisiana’s coastal areas for three decades. The organization is driving bold, science-based action to rebuild coastal Louisiana through outreach, restoration and advocacy.

    CRCL_GroupAs a Louisiana company with strong coastal roots, Community Coffee is proud to be a longtime supporter of CRCL and its important mission. We recently partnered with the organization for a promotion featuring Community® Amber Sunrise Blend to raise funds to support coastal restoration in Louisiana. For every dollar redeemed on specially marked packages, we provided a matching donation to land-preservation efforts along the Gulf Coast. Nearly 10,000 coupons were redeemed through the program.

    “Community Coffee has been a tremendous CRCL partner for a long time,” says CRCL Executive Director Kimberly Davis Reyher. “Their commitment to our coast and to Louisiana as a whole is inspiring.”

    The organization’s vital work continues to make a difference. Here are three innovative ways the CRCL is helping to protect the fragile Louisiana coastline.

    Restoring Coastal Trees

    CRCL has now planted more than 30,000 trees, hitting the milestone during projects in the Lower Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes in southeast Louisiana as part of aed-IMG_4862 long-running effort to restore trees damaged by hurricanes over the past two decades.

    Volunteers plant trees to help reduce impacts from storm surge and flooding, improve water quality and create habitat for fish and wildlife. Coastal forests in Louisiana offer protection from hurricanes and safeguard communities all along Louisiana’s coast.

    CRCL spokesman Jimmy Frederick says recent large-scale restoration projects have introduced additional freshwater into many coastal areas, allowing the organization to plant trees in spots where they would previously have been damaged by saltwater intrusion from the Gulf of Mexico.

    “The salinity around the swamp in that area has come down, so we can now once again plant cypress trees and black gum and maples and hardwoods that are really important to holding the soil but also breaking up storm surge,” he says. “It also knocks the wind down and really makes a difference for the communities to the north of those forests.”

    Frederick says the organization has been monitoring the trees for six years, and has observed an 80 percent survival rate. “It’s really making a difference,” he says.

    Oyster Shell Recycling

    ed-IMG_5268One of CRCL’s most innovative and successful initiatives, its Oyster Shell Recycling Program, collects used oyster shells from New Orleans-area restaurants to build and restore reefs that help protect Louisiana’s eroding coast line.

    “Instead of going to landfills, they are going back into the water where they belong,” Frederick says. “On top of that they’re helping to slow erosion by breaking up wave action and also acting as a little bit of a speed bump for storms.” In addition, the shells provide habitat for a new generation of oysters to thrive.

    The program has recycled more than a million pounds of oyster shells since it began in 2014. The first project built was a half-mile-long living shoreline installed in Biloxi Marsh, east of New Orleans, in November 2016. Frederick says the program is preparing to create an oyster reef on land owned by the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe in Terrebonne Parish.

    State of the Coast Conference

    In addition to CRCL’s work in the field, every two years it hosts State of the Coast, the largest conference of coastal professionals and decision-makers. The next event is set for May 30 to June 1.

    The conference includes a smaller event called Restoration on the Half Shell for Louisiana residents who want to learn more about the issue of coastal restoration.

    CRCL offers the half-day program in partnership with the The Water Institute of the Gulf and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The program is intended for concerned citizens who are familiar with the problems facing our coast. “It’s for the person who wants to learn more about what Louisiana’s issues are with coastal restoration, how we are going to correct those problems and where the funding is going to come from,” Frederick says.

  • 100 Years, 100 Reasons: Heroes

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 29, 2019

    You don’t have to wear a cape or save the world to be a hero. Heroism comes in all shapes and sizes, whether it’s being a parent, teaching, volunteering your time, or simply brightening someone’s day.

    When Community Coffee Company was founded 100 years ago, we succeeded because of the support of our friends and neighbors. These communities inspired our giving programs and continue to motivate us today. Community’s employees, customers, and neighbors are our heroes, and we want to celebrate you.

    Supporting Heroes

    Community Coffee Company is a longtime supporter of the nonprofit Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), and for 30 years, our Community® Cash for Schools has supported schools in educating the future heroes of communities across the region.

    When natural disasters occur, we support disaster relief efforts and provide free coffee to shelters, first responders and those affected.

    Those in the military put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. While they may be miles and miles away from home, we hope to give them a sense of comfort with a cup of coffee through our Military Match program. Since 2008, the program has sent over 7 million cups of coffee to our heroes abroad.

    We also support veterans and their families through a variety of ways, including Folds of Honor, the USO of North Carolina, and Bastion.

    Heroes In Our Community

    To continue celebrating our 100 Year Anniversary, we want to hear stories about heroes in your community. Check out the stories below, and let us know how Community has helped you or a hero in your life on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #100Years100Reasons.

    “My Marine son is my hero. He's fourth generation military. When all the kids in this little town went to work in industry, Jason decided he wanted to be a Marine. He was overseas when his father passed but both my boys still made sure I was okay. He has inspired some of the kids here to go into the service. He's my hero in camo.” – Shelby C.

     “A giant THANK YOU for this amazing gift! I am beyond thankful to you and to my sorority sister and former Army Sister in Arms, Julie O., who ordered these. I can't believe how many of my teammates have never had Community® coffee, so my new mission is to introduce them to this amazing coffee. And I’m so glad the King Cake was in there too because it's my absolute favorite!” –Camille L., after receiving a shipment from our Military Match program

    “I don't enjoy drinking the coffee at the fire station, so I bring Community® coffee to work and like to leave it in the fridge to keep it fresher. To ensure that it doesn't get confiscated by other crews who may be jealous that I'm drinking real coffee, I had the idea to build a lock box and had my Dad weld a completely custom cage to keep it in. Love Community Coffee Company!”  - Chris S.

    “The first thing I did every morning at the hospital was put on a pot of Community® coffee. Then the night shift Respiratory Therapists started spoiling me and started making a fresh pot of coffee for me every morning! I sure miss those sweet, sweet ladies and that freshly brewed Community® coffee every morning!”—Cindy M.

     “Being deployed to Afghanistan is hard enough being away from family. At least a little part of home can provide some comfort. Thanks for the mug and coffee. The only type I drink!” – David F., after receiving a shipment from our Military Match program

    “I answered a phone call from a Community Coffee customer and was inspired with his story. He and his wife were from up North and were relocated to the BASF plant in Geismar. He was surprised that everyone was drinking Community® coffee. He said, ‘Okay, what is this? It’s probably terrible stuff.’ He said that from the moment he tried it, he was hooked. And because he admires the foundation of the company, I briefly shared my personal story in regards to how much of a blessing everyone and this company has been. He was in awe. He then shared with me that he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at 47 and had 38 rounds of chemo, plus surgery…He’s now 68 and has been in remission for 19 years. A few years after his diagnosis, his wife was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer and went through the process and has also been in remission for several years.” – Weslie R., Community Coffee Company employee



    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Meet the Flavor Faceoff Champion: Chantilly Cream

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 25, 2019

    During our search for a new limited-edition coffee flavor, we put the power in your hands! During early 2019, we held a Flavor Faceoff that started with eight unique and delicious coffee blends: Spiced Apple Caramel, Chantilly Cream, Horchata, Gingerbread Latte, Maple Brown Sugar, Hot Cinnamon Latte, Maple Pecan Cinnamon Roll and Pistachio Coffee Cake. Each round, two flavors went head-to-head and our customers voted for their favorite on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In the end, Chantilly Cream reigned supreme as the winner!

    What is Chantilly Cream?

    Chantilly cream is a smooth and satiny sweetened whipped cream. To make this delicious topping, you only need three ingredients: whole fresh cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract.

    This cream is used around the world to complement a variety of desserts and treats, including fresh fruit, pastries, pies, coffee, waffles and more.

    The History of Chantilly Cream

    The recipe for Chantilly cream dates back to recipe books more than 350 years old! However, the name for this classic whipped cream is commonly attributed to the story of French Chef François Vatel who worked in Château de Chantilly. During a large event, the chef had to make up for a shortage of cream and "created" Chantilly cream.

    The Flavor Faceoff Winner

    Now that you know all about Chantilly cream, be sure to keep an eye for this new flavor, which will hit shelves later this year! And if your favorite flavor didn’t make it to the final round, or if you have an idea for a tasty new coffee blend, please tell us! Follow us on social media and send over your ideas! We love hearing from our customers and learning how we can make your coffee experience even better.


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • 100 Years, 100 Reasons: Masters of Their Craft

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 18, 2019

    Craftsmanship. It’s what takes a product from good to great. From producing coffee to making mugs, Community Coffee Company celebrates craftsmanship across all industries.

    Craftsmanship in Coffee
    Community Coffee Company’s coffee buyers and experts are true masters of their craft. Not only do they have decades of experience as tasters, but they also have the expertise of four generations behind them. Our coffee experts are not just company, local or regional experts—they’re global specialists with relationships that span the industry and the world.

    Our experts test, taste, rate and discuss Community® coffee on every step of its journey. Every week, we sit around the cupping table to grade and discuss choice blends in the last stage of quality assurance. All of our coffee beans go through a rigorous scoring system for body, balance, flavor and aroma. Only then can they be considered specialty-grade and fit to bear the Community® name.

    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 that make our ground and whole bean coffee bold and rich, bright and surprising or smooth and subtle.

    Experts in Farming 
    Many of the coffee farmers we work with have grown coffee for decades and take great care to provide the best coffee beans possible. In Chiapas, Mexico, the coffee beans are grown, nurtured and harvested by fourth-generation coffee producers at Finca Monte Grande. The Finca Monte Grande Moises family constantly monitors temperature, moisture and shade levels and harvest their coffee berries only by hand.

    In the department of Huila, Colombia, a region famous for its high quality and specialty coffees, our farmers use innovative techniques and new technology to remain at the top of their craft. On our recent visit to this region, we watched our farmers utilize innovative equipment such as brix meters to measure the concentration of sugars in the coffee cherries to ensure they are harvested at the peak of ripeness. They are also experimenting with different colored mesh covers on their drying beds to see which ones provide the optimal amount of solar heat for even drying.

    Ceramic Artistry
    In honor of our centennial anniversary, we recently teamed up with local ceramic artist Jaime Miller to create limited edition Centennial Mugs. Each mug was individually handmade and skillfully crafted by Jaime in her studio, nestled behind a bungalow in the Garden District in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. From platters to bowls to vases, Jaime has been crafting pottery for almost a decade. Her work can be found throughout southeast Louisiana in specialty gift stores, taverns, arts markets and festivals.

    To continue celebrating our 100 Year Anniversary, we want to hear stories about the masters of craftsmanship in your community. Check out the stories below, and let us know how Community has fueled craftsmanship in your life on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #100Years100Reasons.

    “Since I'm juggling two jobs, being a mama and running my business, coffee is an absolute MUST every day, and Community® coffee has not only become a part of my morning routine, but also my nightly routine (and also sometimes afternoon!)”—Lauren V.

    “I was flying on Southwest®. Once I found out they were serving Community® coffee, I asked for two cups (yes, two) and sketched a community of my own (a row of houses) in my sketch book.”—Parker S.

    “I discovered Community® coffee while in Louisiana. I went in a truck stop to get coffee. Thinking it was just regular coffee, I got a cup and went back to my truck. Boy was I wrong. I tasted it and was like WOW! I sent my wife in for another cup because I drank almost half of it before pulling out to deliver my load. So whenever I was in Louisiana, I made sure to get a cup. Then I started purchasing Community® coffee to make in my truck. I've been stuck since day one!” –Marquis T.

    “My first thought when I wake up is always COFFEE… and my go-to is Community® coffee. Caffeine is essential to my morning routine: upon waking up I start heating up my kettle, ground fresh coffee beans, and enjoy the aroma as they soak in my French press. Then I find a cozy corner to sit in, while I start taking on my inbox for the day.”—Rachel H.



    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Celebrate Pi Day The Right Way with Cold Brew Coffee Pie

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 11, 2019

    Are you planning to celebrate National Pi Day this year? Founded in 1988 by physicist Larry Shaw, Pi Day is celebrated annually on March 14 in honor of the mathematical sign “pi.” Shaw chose this day because the date in numerical form (3.14) represents the first three digits of pi.

    The first Pi Day celebration took place at 1:59 pm—the pi numbers that follow 3.14—on the floor of a science museum in San Francisco. It featured a circular parade and the eating of fruit pies. Though the tasty festivities quickly caught on, it wasn’t until 2009 that Pi Day became an official national holiday when the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation.

    While the first Pi Day celebration was over 30 years ago, ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes (287-212 BC) discovered the number more than 2,000 years earlier. Today, people celebrate Pi Day worldwide to reward their sweet-tooth and increase interest in math and science.

    Looking for an easy way to celebrate this delectable holiday? Check out the quick and indulgent recipe below by Kristy Norrell for Cold Brew Coffee pie. With a smooth, semi-sweet flavor, our Private Reserve® Colombia Toledo-Labateca coffee is the perfect choice for brewing your own batch of cold brew for this delicious dessert. Need a refresher on making cold brew coffee? Visit our blog post here for brew instructions, tips and more!

    COLD BREW COFFEE PIE

    Ingredients:

    • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
    • 3/4 cup cold brew coffee
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
    • 1 prepared Oreo cookie crust
    • Whipped cream, for garnish
    • Dark chocolate covered espresso beans, for garnish

    Preparation:

    1. In a large bowl, whisk together the instant pudding mix, coffee, and milk. Whisk until well combined and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Fold in the Cool Whip completely.
    2. Pour mixture into prepared pie crust and smooth out the top. Freeze for at least 6 hours, up to overnight.
    3. Just before serving, pipe on whipped cream and garnish with espresso beans. Cut into wedges and serve. Enjoy!


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • SPRING CLEAN YOUR COFFEE MAKER

    by Amy Cimo | Mar 04, 2019

    Did you know that the average American drinks 2.1 cups of coffee a day? That’s over 700 cups of coffee a year! Though making coffee is an important part of many people’s daily routines, it’s easy to forget that our coffee makers need a little TLC sometimes, too. With spring around the corner, now is the perfect time to spring clean your coffee maker with the tips below.

    WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP IT CLEAN

    Your next smooth, rich cup of Community® coffee isn’t the only thing that sits in your coffee maker. If you don’t routinely clean your coffee maker, you are giving bacteria the opportunity to grow and spread throughout your machine.

    Studies indicate that coffee reservoirs are an excellent environment for bacteria and growth, according to Healthy and Natural World. If you see a slimy substance in the machine, that means there is probably bacteria growing.

    Built-in water filters and hot water are not enough to kill the bacteria that is present. You need to thoroughly clean your machine to get rid of germs.

    Keeping your coffee appliances in tip-top shape is the best way to ensure a long and happy life for your coffee makers, and to ensure the flavor and taste profile of your coffee is not altered, too.

    HOW TO CLEAN AND DESCALE BASED ON YOUR MACHINE

    Not every machine can or should be cleaned the same way. Most machines need to be routinely cleaned, but sometimes life gets in the way and buildup can happen.

    Check out the breakdown below to find the best cleaning method for your coffee maker.

    Drip Coffee Maker

    You should clean all removable parts of a drip coffee maker after every use. Despite washing after each use, hard water minerals will eventually accumulate and cause a longer brew cycle.

    According to Good House Keeping, you need to remove this mineral buildup—or descale—the machine every month. This will ensure that the machine will not clog. To descale your drip coffee maker, fill the water reservoir with equal parts of white vinegar and water. Place a filter into the machine’s empty basket and turn on the machine to brew as if you were making a normal pot of coffee.

    After the solution is brewed halfway, stop the machine and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then, finish the brew cycle. Once the brew cycle is finished, dump the pot of vinegar and water, put in a new filter, and brew a pot of clean water. Repeat this entire process again and your machine will be clean!

    Keurig®/Nespresso®

    Clean your Keurig or Nespresso machine daily by removing the detachable parts and washing them. We recommend using cleaning capsules to descale and clean the nonremovable parts. A Nespresso® machine should be cleaned once a week with a cleaning capsule, while a Keurig® machine should be descaled with a cleaning capsule once every six months. Keurig® and Nespresso® recommend using their own descaling kits for the respective machines.

    French Press

    A French press should be dissembled and washed with soap and water after every use. For a deeper clean, create a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water. Gently scrub the interior and exterior of the container and individual parts of the press with the solution. This will remove hard water build up. Then, rinse the parts and put the machine back together.



    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Kick Off Mardi Gras Season with This Delicious King Cake Recipe

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 25, 2019

    When New Orleans comes to mind, people tend to think of the French Quarter, the unique cemeteries, and, of course, Mardi Gras. New Orleans hosts one of the most famous festivals in the world—in fact, the typical attendance for the celebration is about 1.4 million people!

    WHAT IS MARDI GRAS?

    Mardi Gras is a Christian holiday and cultural phenomenon that dates back thousands of years. The holiday is also called Fat Tuesday, Carnival, or Carnaval. Mardi Gras is celebrated in countries around the world on the day before the religious season of Lent begins.

    MARDI GRAS NEW ORLEANS STYLE

    The first American Mardi Gras was a small celebration by French explorers who landed near present-day NOLA on March 3, 1699.

    Over the following years, New Orleans and the surrounding French settlements began to recognize the holiday with street parties, masked balls, and extravagant dinners. However, this ended when the Spanish, who took control of the area, outlawed the festivities. This prohibition was enforced until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812. Twenty-five years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place.

    3 MARDI GRAS TRADITIONS

    While there are many different ways to celebrate Mardi Gras, New Orleans celebrates with some unique traditions like bead throwing, Zulu coconuts, and King Cake.

    The custom of throwing beads to those watching the floats is believed to have started in the late 19th century, when a carnival king threw fake strands of gems and rings to people in the crowds. The beads were originally made of glass and came in the Mardi Gras colors. Each color has a unique meaning. Purple stands for justice, green for faith and gold for power. The beads were originally thrown to people in the crowd who showed those traits. It was thought that those who caught them would have good luck for the year.

    Another NOLA tradition is the Zulu coconut. In 1910, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club could not afford to buy Mardi Gras beads. So, a few people went to the French Market and bought a sack of coconuts to throw instead, according to Zulu historian Emeritus Clarence Becknell. Originally, the club threw natural coconuts without any decorations. The Zulu coconut has evolved to be decorated with paint and glitter.

    King Cake dates back to the Middle Ages and is one of Mardi Gras’ most popular foods. People generally begin to eat King Cake on January 6 to celebrate the day the Three Kings brought gifts to baby Jesus.

    The original King Cake was simpler than it is today. Before, it was only a simple ring of dough. Today, the most popular form of King Cake is a braided Danish pastry with cinnamon and Mardi Gras-colored icing. Baking a baby into the cake didn’t begin until the 1940s. According to tradition, whoever gets the baby in his or her slice of cake needs to buy the next cake or host the next party.

    Want to make your own King Cake to celebrate Mardi Gras? Check out the recipe below by Jo from AllRecipes, and for an extra sweet treat, pair it with cup of our smooth Mardi Gras King Cake coffee! Made with 100% select Arabica coffee beans, this flavored medium roast offers a traditional taste of carnival season with a smooth, balanced blend of cinnamon and vanilla.

    KING CAKE RECIPE

    Ingredients:

    PASTRY:

    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
    • 2/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

    FILLING:

    • 1 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 1/2 cup melted butter

    FROSTING:

    • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1 tablespoon water

    Directions:

    1. Scald milk, remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup of butter. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water with 1 tablespoon of the white sugar. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
    2. When yeast mixture is bubbling, add the cooled milk mixture. Whisk in the eggs. Stir in the remaining white sugar, salt and nutmeg. Beat the flour into the milk/egg mixture 1 cup at a time. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
    3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2 hours. When risen, punch down and divide dough in half.
    4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
    5. To Make Filling: Combine the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour 1/2 cup melted butter over the cinnamon mixture and mix until crumbly.
    6. Roll dough halves out into large rectangles (approximately 10x16 inches or so). Sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough and roll up each half tightly like a jelly roll, beginning at the wide side. Bring the ends of each roll together to form 2 oval shaped rings. Place each ring on a prepared cookie sheet. With scissors make cuts 1/3 of the way through the rings at 1 inch intervals. Let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
    7. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Push the doll into the bottom of the cake. Frost while warm with the confectioners' sugar blended with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

    Cook's Note:

    • Make sure to buy a new small plastic baby so you can get the full effect from this cake! Sprinkle with purple, green and gold sugar, or decorate with whole pecans and candied cherries. Note: Be sure to tell everyone to inspect their piece of cake before they begin eating it. To be extra careful, use a plastic toy baby that is too large to swallow, or hide an orange wedge or 3-4 pecan halves inside the cake (avoid items that may hurt someone's teeth) and then simply place the honorable toy baby outside on the top of the cake for all to see and adore!


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • 100 Years, 100 Reasons: Family

    by Wayne Losavio | Feb 20, 2019
    Family means everything to us. Since our start in 1919, Community Coffee Company has been family owned and family operated. Many of our employees have a deep family connection to the company and can tell stories about the days their parents and grandparents came to work at Community Coffee Company. We still work with many of the same family-run farms we’ve worked with for generations, and generations of coffee drinkers have trusted us to serve them only the best.

    Community Coffee Company was built by generations of the Saurage family—a family extremely passionate about creating a coffee experience that leaves a lasting impression. In return, our coffee has extended far beyond the Saurage family name and become central to a multitude of memorable moments over the past century.

    To help kick off our 100 Year Anniversary, we’re celebrating the reasons Community Coffee Company is important to your family. Check out the stories below, and let us know how Community has become a part of your family on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #100Years100Reasons.

    "I'm very proud of my children…You know why I know that they love it? I think that I may have put a little bit of coffee milk in their bottles when they were growing up. They have been drinking coffee since they were infants. And now that they're coffee drinkers, they're tasting coffee every week to make sure that what goes into our blend is the right coffee." –Donna Saurage  

    “I treasure the memories of sitting around the kitchen table at my mother's home with my mother, grandmother and sister drinking a cup of Community coffee and catching up with each other. My mother and grandmother are gone now. I plan to continue this tradition in the future with my twin granddaughters.” –Sheryl E.

    “My mom and dad used to make Community coffee every morning in an old aluminum drip pot…She then sent me off to college with a percolator coffee pot and a few bags of Community coffee for a lot of late night studying. Now married and 2 kids later, my wife and I make a pot every morning in a Bunn coffee brewer and we both have a few more cups each afternoon.”  –Jeremy L.

     “I live in Philadelphia, and when my nephew was born 15 years ago my mom wanted to fly down to see him. I offered to go with her even though flying terrifies me. I loved it there! After 3 days of drinking coffee at different times and places I wondered why the coffee, even though it seemed dark to me, was always smooth and tasty. My sister-in-law (she's a Louisiana local) told me it was Community coffee and took me to a little market to buy some for home.” –Frances S.

    “My husband and I were first introduced to Community coffee when we were on vacation and it ended up being the best vacation ever because we found a coffee that we could both agree on (which has not happened in over 20 years of marriage). You definitely brought us closer together now that our morning ritual is spent with each other and you. Thank you.”— Chantell M.

    “I grew up on a farm next to my grandparents in the rolling hills of North Louisiana near Toledo Bend. The first scent of every day was coffee...Community coffee. I've loved it all my life. A pot first thing...a new pot every time anyone showed up...I was thrilled to be old enough to bring each guest (cousin, aunt, the preacher) a cup just the way they liked it. My daddy always took his with 2 spoons of sugar.” –Beverly L.

    “I started drinking Community coffee milk at my Grandmother’s when I was around 3. She would get up early, 3:30/4am, make it in a drip pot and then I would help her roll out the biscuits. My dad was in the Air Force, so when he couldn’t be at his mom’s in Louisiana, Community coffee would be imported in to our home, wherever that was at the time. Community coffee drinker then, now and forever. Some of my fondest memories involve that coffee!”—Patti H.

    “We are from Iowa but several years ago were traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We have a friend that is a waiter at one of our favorite restaurants in Des Moines. Since he was born and raised in New Orleans, we asked what he would like us to bring back from his home city. Without even having to think about it or missing a beat he said ‘I would just love some Community coffee.’ Of course we brought several bags back for him and we have not drank any other coffee ourselves since that day.” –Pat W. 

    “My momma's shift as an RN started at 6:15am, 30 minutes away from our home. We were bundled up in our pajamas and dropped off at Grandma’s House where we dressed for school. The only thing she had that was hot at that hour was Granddaddy’s coffee (with chicory), so we got that with lots of milk and sugar. I eventually weaned myself off of the sugar…but I must still have my coffee, chicory, and milk every day.” –Denise C.

    "Most coffees we buy are from families. They're very involved with the product itself, and what makes a great cup of coffee. It is a family to family business—to find the best coffees, we have to rely on personal relationships, knowing who to go to to find the coffees that will suit us the best; for them to know us well enough to know what our expectations are. That way we reliably and consistently get the finest coffees in the world." — Matt Saurage 


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • All About Espresso

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 18, 2019

    From coffee shops to ready-to-drink beverages, espresso is taking the world by storm. According to a recent report from the National Coffee Association, 24% of Americans surveyed had consumed an espresso-based beverage within the past day!

    But what is espresso? And what’s the difference between espresso and coffee?

    WHAT IS ESPRESSO?

    Espresso is the purest distillation of the coffee bean. It doesn’t refer to a bean or blend, but actually the preparation method.

    With an Italian origin, espresso was created because cafes needed a faster way to serve coffee to customers. Before espresso, it could take up to five minutes to make one cup. But espresso, the Italian word for “fast”, takes only 45 seconds! Espresso is traditionally brewed in machines that generate up to 15 atmospheres of pressure to force pressurized hot water over coffee grounds to create a concentrated, deep, full-bodied coffee.

    THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ESPRESSO AND DRIP COFFEE

    The main difference between espresso and drip coffee is the brewing time and the fineness of the coffee beans.

    In espresso, there are many variables that go into each shot: water temperature, water pressure and how smooth the grind is. The finer the grounds are, the slower the espresso comes out. On the other hand, drip coffee is made with a coarser coffee. The water filters through the ground beans and falls into the pot. This takes more time than espresso and the water is in longer contact with the coffee.

    Though many think otherwise, drip coffee typically has more caffeine than a shot of espresso. An 8-ounce cup of coffee can have between 70 and 140 mg of caffeine, while a 1.5-ounce espresso shot averages 60 to 80 mg.

    MAKE ESPRESSO WITHOUT THE HASSLE

    Despite all the science behind an espresso shot, you don’t need a clunky, expensive machine to enjoy espresso. Try our Private Reserve® Espresso capsules for a high-quality, deliciously smooth espresso from the comfort of home. Expertly crafted with 100% specialty grade Arabica coffee beans, each unique blend captures a story of Community Coffee Company’s rich 100-year history and has been specially formulated to enjoy as espresso. With a rich, caramelized flavor, the Signature Espresso is roasted extra dark to create a full-bodied taste—perfect for enjoying straight or in your favorite drink. The Heritage Blend embodies the distinct flavors of Community Coffee Company’s heritage and develops a bold flavor that is both balanced and full-bodied, while the Founder’s Blend, created by fourth-generation owner Matt Saurage and inspired by Community’s founder, offers ultra-rich flavor with a subtle intensity.

    To enjoy, just place the pod in your Nespresso® OriginalLine brewer, close the lid and press the button to brew!



    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • A Special Coffee-and-Dessert Pairing for Valentine‚Äôs Day

    by John Knotz | Feb 13, 2019

    If you or your customers are looking to move beyond flowers and chocolates to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a more decadent and personal way this year, a special-occasion coffee and homemade dessert is an excellent way to show you care.

    For inspiration, we turned to Bonnie Breaux, executive chef at popular Breaux Bridge eatery Café Sydnie Mae, which serves traditional seafood offerings with an upscale Cajun flair in a building that was once home to the vaunted Café Des Amis.

    Café Sydnie Mae, located just a few hundred feet from picturesque Bayou Teche, regularly features a classic creme brulee made with extra-rich Louisiana duck eggs and topped with caramelized raw sugar and raspberries for a punch of sweetness and Valentine’s color.

    The sugar on this crowd-pleasing treat can be caramelized under the broiler or with a kitchen torch. The dessert, which is surprisingly simple, can be made ahead of time and caramelized just before serving. Chicken eggs will work fine if you don’t have access to duck eggs.

    The satisfying contrast between the creamy custard layer and hard caramelized sugar pairs nicely with our Café Special® coffee, a semi-sweet, full-bodied medium-dark roast blend that’s perfect with creamy desserts like coconut custard, bananas Foster or cheesecake.

    Café Sydnie Mae’s creme brulee is just one example of the elevated comfort food at the heart of the warm and inviting eatery, which owners Chip and Lucy Durand opened last year and named in tribute to Chip's mother, the late Sydnie Mae Durand, a state lawmaker.

    “People come here when they want to have a really great conversation and company,” Breaux says. “We focus on family and people visiting with each other. A lot of people say ‘This reminds me of my grandmother.’ I want to bring that memory back to people.”

    The restaurant also proudly serves Community Coffee, which Breaux — who previously served Community at a Cajun-Creole restaurant in Tampa, Florida, where she was executive chef — says was never in doubt when they were planning the menu. “We always had Community in my home, so it was definitely our choice when we had to decide what to serve here,” she says.

    Louisiana Duck Egg Creme Brulee

    Ingredients
    2 cups heavy cream
    10 Tbsp sugar (including 6 Tbsp of raw sugar)
    4 egg yolks
    1 tsp vanilla
    Raspberries
    6 custard cups

    Directions
    Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

    Heat heavy cream and 4 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan — about 6 minutes.

    Beat egg yolks and vanilla until smooth and light.

    Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the egg yolks, beating continuously with a mixer at medium-low speed, until well blended. Strain the mixture through a fine strainer and then divide it among 6 custard cups.

    Arrange the custard cups in a baking pan on the middle shelf of preheated oven. Fill the pan with boiling water until it comes halfway up the sides of the cups.

    Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until the custard is set but still jiggles in the center. Allow the custard cups to cool to room temperature without removing them from the water bath. Once cool, cover them in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.

    When ready to serve, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar evenly over the top of each dessert. Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast and melt the sugar topping until it’s brown and bubbly, about 30 seconds. Let the sugar topping cool, then top with fresh raspberries before serving.

  • 100 Years, 100 Reasons: Heroes

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 11, 2019

    You don’t have to wear a cape or save the world to be a hero. Heroism comes in all shapes and sizes, whether it’s being a parent, teaching, volunteering your time, or simply brightening someone’s day.

    When Community Coffee Company was founded 100 years ago, we succeeded because of the support of our friends and neighbors. These communities inspired our giving programs and continue to motivate us today. Community’s employees, customers, and neighbors are our heroes, and we want to celebrate you.

    Supporting Heroes

    Community Coffee Company is a longtime supporter of the nonprofit Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), and for 30 years, our Community® Cash for Schools has supported schools in educating the future heroes of communities across the region.

    When natural disasters occur, we support disaster relief efforts and provide free coffee to shelters, first responders and those affected.

    Those in the military put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. While they may be miles and miles away from home, we hope to give them a sense of comfort with a cup of coffee through our Military Match program. Since 2008, the program has sent over 7 million cups of coffee to our heroes abroad.

    We also support veterans and their families through a variety of ways, including Folds of Honor, the USO of North Carolina, and Bastion.

    Heroes In Our Community

    To continue celebrating our 100 Year Anniversary, we want to hear stories about heroes in your community. Check out the stories below, and let us know how Community has helped you or a hero in your life on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #100Years100Reasons.

    “My Marine son is my hero. He's fourth generation military. When all the kids in this little town went to work in industry, Jason decided he wanted to be a Marine. He was overseas when his father passed but both my boys still made sure I was okay. He has inspired some of the kids here to go into the service. He's my hero in camo.” – Shelby C.

     “A giant THANK YOU for this amazing gift! I am beyond thankful to you and to my sorority sister and former Army Sister in Arms, Julie O., who ordered these. I can't believe how many of my teammates have never had Community® coffee, so my new mission is to introduce them to this amazing coffee. And I’m so glad the King Cake was in there too because it's my absolute favorite!” –Camille L., after receiving a shipment from our Military Match program

    “I don't enjoy drinking the coffee at the fire station, so I bring Community® coffee to work and like to leave it in the fridge to keep it fresher. To ensure that it doesn't get confiscated by other crews who may be jealous that I'm drinking real coffee, I had the idea to build a lock box and had my Dad weld a completely custom cage to keep it in. Love Community Coffee Company!”  - Chris S.

    “The first thing I did every morning at the hospital was put on a pot of Community® coffee. Then the night shift Respiratory Therapists started spoiling me and started making a fresh pot of coffee for me every morning! I sure miss those sweet, sweet ladies and that freshly brewed Community® coffee every morning!”—Cindy M.

     “Being deployed to Afghanistan is hard enough being away from family. At least a little part of home can provide some comfort. Thanks for the mug and coffee. The only type I drink!” – David F., after receiving a shipment from our Military Match program

    “I answered a phone call from a Community Coffee customer and was inspired with his story. He and his wife were from up North and were relocated to the BASF plant in Geismar. He was surprised that everyone was drinking Community® coffee. He said, ‘Okay, what is this? It’s probably terrible stuff.’ He said that from the moment he tried it, he was hooked. And because he admires the foundation of the company, I briefly shared my personal story in regards to how much of a blessing everyone and this company has been. He was in awe. He then shared with me that he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at 47 and had 38 rounds of chemo, plus surgery…He’s now 68 and has been in remission for 19 years. A few years after his diagnosis, his wife was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer and went through the process and has also been in remission for several years.” – Weslie R., Community Coffee Company employee



    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Brewing the Best Cup at Home

    by Amy Cimo | Feb 04, 2019

    Brewing a fresh cup of Community® coffee from the comfort of home is a great way to start any morning. Save time and money (and avoid those pesky drive-through lines!) while preparing your coffee just how you like it? Count us in!

    To make your coffee routine even more convenient, check out our tips below for brewing the best cup at home.

    1. Always use fresh coffee. Although buying in bulk may be efficient for other products, only purchase what you’d be comfortable with brewing over the course of one week.

    2. As far as storage goes, make sure your coffee is stored somewhere cool and dry, such as a pantry or cabinet. We do not recommend storing coffee in a freezer. The condensation formed will speed up oxidation and staling, so avoiding large temperature changes will ensure the freshest coffee. Once opened, be sure to store your coffee in an airtight container, such as our Fresh-O-Lator®, to maintain freshness longer.

     3. When it comes to brewing your coffee, be sure you’re using the proper grinding method. Each form of coffee requires a different grind that plays a crucial role in brewing the perfect cup. The longer the coffee is in contact with water, the coarser you will want the grind, so be sure to keep that in mind when choosing how to prepare it. Check out our blog post on coffee formats for more info.

    4. Finally, after you’ve finished enjoying your cup of freshly brewed coffee, be sure to thoroughly clean all of your equipment. To ensure that the cleaning of your pots, brew baskets, and spray heads doesn’t interfere with the taste of your coffee, try to avoid the use of strong scented soaps and rinse well. If you’ve got a tough stain on your hands, baking soda is a great cleaning alternative that will help break down the stain without leaving a soapy aftertaste.



    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Host a Winning Super Bowl Party

    by Amy Cimo | Jan 28, 2019
    Whether you’re in it for the halftime show or to root on your favorite football team, chances are you’ll be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday. With an average of 100 million viewers or more each year, the Super Bowl is consistently one of the most watched American television programs.

    If you’re planning to have a few friends and family over for the big game, check out our tips below to avoid a party fumble.

    Clean Your Television
    Dust and clean your television screen the morning of your party. “Everyone’s eyes are going to be glued to the screen, so the last thing you want is any dust or smudges blocking your view,” says Becca Napelbaum, cleaning expert at Handy. Older TV screens are usually made of glass, which can be cleaned with regular window cleaner. Newer LCD or plasma screens are more sensitive, so be sure to research the best method for your model.

    Prepare for Spills
    Though delicious, typical tailgating dishes like chips and dip or buffalo wings tend to be messy. To help with any spills, place plastic tablecloths over surfaces people will be eating around or food will be served on. Put out plenty of napkins for your guests to grab, and keep paper towels and cleaner handy just in case.

    Don’t Forget the Ice
    To prevent your guests from running back and forth to the fridge, place a few coolers around the area where guests will be gathering. Not only will this keep beverages nice and cold, but it’ll also help guests mingle. Don’t forget to keep lots of ice on hand!

    Make it a Potluck
    Instead of having to prepare a full spread yourself, invite guests to bring their favorite Super Bowl snacks. Make your prep even easier by making it a one-pot play—check out our delicious game-winning chili recipe here.


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Celebrate National Hot Tea Month with These Tips & Tricks

    by Amy Cimo | Jan 21, 2019

    Did you know that tea has been enjoyed for thousands of years? Though the origin of tea is long and complex, consumption of this delicious drink can be traced as far back as the Tang Dynasty. Today, hot tea continues to be one of the world's most popular beverages and is associated with a multitude of health benefits, including good heart health, weight loss, and immune system support.

    Celebrate National Hot Tea Month this January and elevate your tea by trying out some of our tips and tricks below!

    Use Quality Water
    The quality of water used while brewing plays a huge role in how our tea tastes. Tap or distilled water can sometimes leave your tea tasting dull, so opt to use filtered or bottled water instead.

    Watch Your Water Temperature
    Heating your water to the optimal temperature will ensure your tea is as flavorful as possible. If the water temperature is too low, the brewing process may not extract the tea’s full flavor. If the water temperature is too high, you risk burning the leaves, which can result in a bitter taste. For Black tea like our Porch Breeze™ Black Tea, it’s safe to bring your water to a boil. For all other teas (White, Green, Oolong etc.), your water should be under boiling.

    Time Your Steeping
    Different teas require different steeping times. Steeping your tea for too long can leave your tea tasting bitter, while not steeping it long enough can leave it flavorless or watered-down. For Green and White teas, the general steeping time is one to two minutes. Oolong and Black teas should be steeped for about two to three minutes, and herbal infusions should take about three to six minutes.

    Experiment with Additions 
    Though tea is tasty on its own, mixing it up with a few additions can boost your tea’s flavor even more. For a spicy kick, try infusing your tea with a stick of cinnamon or star anise. Add a dash of cayenne for heat, or a bit of coconut milk for a smooth, creamy texture. Fresh fruit or fresh herbs are also a great way to add more flavor to your cup. 

    Pay Attention to Storage
    Much like coffee, moisture, heat and light can comprise the flavor of your tea. To prolong the life and preserve the profile of your tea, store it in a dry, room-temperature area away from direct sunlight.


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • 100 Years, 100 Reasons: Family

    by Amy Cimo | Jan 14, 2019
    Family means everything to us. Since our start in 1919, Community Coffee Company has been family owned and family operated. Many of our employees have a deep family connection to the company and can tell stories about the days their parents and grandparents came to work at Community Coffee Company. We still work with many of the same family-run farms we’ve worked with for generations, and generations of coffee drinkers have trusted us to serve them only the best.

    Community Coffee Company was built by generations of the Saurage family—a family extremely passionate about creating a coffee experience that leaves a lasting impression. In return, our coffee has extended far beyond the Saurage family name and become central to a multitude of memorable moments over the past century.

    To help kick off our 100 Year Anniversary, we’re celebrating the reasons Community Coffee Company is important to your family. Check out the stories below, and let us know how Community has become a part of your family on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #100Years100Reasons.

    "I'm very proud of my children…You know why I know that they love it? I think that I may have put a little bit of coffee milk in their bottles when they were growing up. They have been drinking coffee since they were infants. And now that they're coffee drinkers, they're tasting coffee every week to make sure that what goes into our blend is the right coffee." –Donna Saurage  

    “I treasure the memories of sitting around the kitchen table at my mother's home with my mother, grandmother and sister drinking a cup of Community coffee and catching up with each other. My mother and grandmother are gone now. I plan to continue this tradition in the future with my twin granddaughters.” –Sheryl E.

    “My mom and dad used to make Community coffee every morning in an old aluminum drip pot…She then sent me off to college with a percolator coffee pot and a few bags of Community coffee for a lot of late night studying. Now married and 2 kids later, my wife and I make a pot every morning in a Bunn coffee brewer and we both have a few more cups each afternoon.”  –Jeremy L.

     “I live in Philadelphia, and when my nephew was born 15 years ago my mom wanted to fly down to see him. I offered to go with her even though flying terrifies me. I loved it there! After 3 days of drinking coffee at different times and places I wondered why the coffee, even though it seemed dark to me, was always smooth and tasty. My sister-in-law (she's a Louisiana local) told me it was Community coffee and took me to a little market to buy some for home.” –Frances S.

    “My husband and I were first introduced to Community coffee when we were on vacation and it ended up being the best vacation ever because we found a coffee that we could both agree on (which has not happened in over 20 years of marriage). You definitely brought us closer together now that our morning ritual is spent with each other and you. Thank you.”— Chantell M.

    “I grew up on a farm next to my grandparents in the rolling hills of North Louisiana near Toledo Bend. The first scent of every day was coffee...Community coffee. I've loved it all my life. A pot first thing...a new pot every time anyone showed up...I was thrilled to be old enough to bring each guest (cousin, aunt, the preacher) a cup just the way they liked it. My daddy always took his with 2 spoons of sugar.” –Beverly L.

    “I started drinking Community coffee milk at my Grandmother’s when I was around 3. She would get up early, 3:30/4am, make it in a drip pot and then I would help her roll out the biscuits. My dad was in the Air Force, so when he couldn’t be at his mom’s in Louisiana, Community coffee would be imported in to our home, wherever that was at the time. Community coffee drinker then, now and forever. Some of my fondest memories involve that coffee!”—Patti H.

    “We are from Iowa but several years ago were traveling to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. We have a friend that is a waiter at one of our favorite restaurants in Des Moines. Since he was born and raised in New Orleans, we asked what he would like us to bring back from his home city. Without even having to think about it or missing a beat he said ‘I would just love some Community coffee.’ Of course we brought several bags back for him and we have not drank any other coffee ourselves since that day.” –Pat W. 

    “My momma's shift as an RN started at 6:15am, 30 minutes away from our home. We were bundled up in our pajamas and dropped off at Grandma’s House where we dressed for school. The only thing she had that was hot at that hour was Granddaddy’s coffee (with chicory), so we got that with lots of milk and sugar. I eventually weaned myself off of the sugar…but I must still have my coffee, chicory, and milk every day.” –Denise C.

    "Most coffees we buy are from families. They're very involved with the product itself, and what makes a great cup of coffee. It is a family to family business—to find the best coffees, we have to rely on personal relationships, knowing who to go to to find the coffees that will suit us the best; for them to know us well enough to know what our expectations are. That way we reliably and consistently get the finest coffees in the world." — Matt Saurage 


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Visiting Origin: A Colombia Journey

    by Amy Cimo | Jan 07, 2019

    By: Myrna Rombado, Green Coffee Buyer, Community Coffee Company

    Imagine traveling around Colombia for nine days on the hunt for the best coffee beans in the region that can live up to the high quality standards necessary to become part of Community® coffees. This is exactly what the Community Coffee team did in October 2019. Nine days, 7 planes, 3 cities, 3 towns, and 12 farms later- our team’s heads are still buzzing from the coffee sweetened with panela and handmade arepas, and our hearts are full from our interactions with the hardest-working coffee farmers and their sweet families who opened their homes to us.

    colombiablog4Our team included Community Coffee’s green coffee buyers, Mark Howell, and myself, Myrna Rombado. We were also accompanied by videographers John Jackson and Robin Vucinovich to help document the trip and the different stages of coffee production from picking, de-pulping, fermentation, drying and more.

    It was in the department of Norte de Santander where our journey began. Our goal was to check in with the communities of Toledo & Labateca, two humble towns situated on opposing faces of a mountain separated by a valley. It is in these often-overlooked communities where Community Coffee discovered the great potential of their chocolatey, full-bodied and winey coffees dating back to the early 2000s.

    Once we arrived to Toledo, we were greeted by all of the students currently enrolled in the school bearing the name of Community Coffee Company’s 3rd generation owner, Henry Norman Saurage III, Hogar Juvenil Campesino Toledito. This school is a safe haven and opportunity at a better life for children of impoverished coffee farmers to receive access to education, nourishment, and community support that they otherwise would not have.

    The success stories of these students is inspiring- with the current director a formercolombiablog1 graduate of the school herself. She was able to attend university and came back to run the school that had given her and her family members an opportunity at education years ago. Over the next few days, we would continue to hear stories of appreciation, whether it was for the new computer monitors in the technology classroom, or raised solar drying beds for their coffee farms, or our coffee purchases that support their families. We had more than a business partnership- we were family now, for over 15 years and counting. Hearing first-hand the appreciation that these local farmers had for Community Coffee greatly inspired me and made me feel so proud to be part of an organization that gives back and makes such a tangible impact on real coffee-producing families.

    coombiablog2The amount of care and attention to detail required to produce the highest quality coffees in Colombia was incredible to see in person. In the department of Huila, one of the best performing areas in terms of high quality and specialty coffees, we saw farmers utilizing innovative equipment such as brix meters, which measure the concentration of sugars in the coffee cherries to ensure they are harvested at the peak of ripeness. We also saw them experimenting with different colored mesh covers on their drying beds to see which ones provide the optimal amount of solar heat for even drying. The innovation and variety of techniques were evident throughout the fermentation, washing and drying processes. I will never forget one farmer’s set-up to save him an arduous walk through the steeply inclined hills of his coffee farm. Instead of hauling extremely heavy bags of coffee from his farm to his home, he designed a delivery system powered by a motorcycle, a wooden pallet, and cable-system whereby bags of coffee are zip lined through the farm and into the farmer’s backyard.

    We left Colombia with our bags a little lighter (we had to spoil our farmers with somecolombiablog3 Community® coffee gear!) and our belts a little tighter, but our hearts full and our spirits inspired and in awe by the hard work and dedication these communities put into producing the finest coffees for our customers to enjoy. We cannot wait to go back and see what new developments are on the horizon for Colombian coffee.


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • 10 Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

    by Amy Cimo | Dec 31, 2018

    With 2019 less than a day away, now is the time many take to set goals for themselves in the coming year.

    Are you planning to make any New Year’s resolutions this year? If so, you’re not alone—about 40% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution each year, according to polling from the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Though many of us start with the best intentions—whether it be to exercise more, make new friends, or finally take that dream vacation—most of us end up failing somewhere along the way. In fact, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February!

    To help keep your 2019 resolutions on track, we’ve rounded up 10 tips for achieving some of the most common resolutions made each year.

    1. Save Money

    Almost 38% of Americans are planning to make this their top resolution in 2019. We all could save a little more money, especially after the toll holiday shopping can take on our wallets. To save on expenses, try cooking more at home. Adding a few healthy, low-cost meals to your routine (like soup or oatmeal) is a great way to keep daily costs in check. Don’t eat out much? Try to limit your spending on entertainment instead. Keep an eye out for free events in your community, like plays or concerts.

    2. Eat Healthier
    Eating healthier doesn’t mean you have to completely revamp your diet. Adding a fresh fruit or veggie to one meal a day can be an easy way to instantly add more nutrients to your regimen.

    3. Get More Exercise
    Fitting more exercise into your day can be tough, especially if fitness isn’t already a part of your daily life. Instead of setting a singular, lofty goal like exercising every day, focus on getting a small amount of exercise one or two days a week to help establish a routine. Feel like you’ve hit an exercise plateau? Try sipping a cup of Community® coffee an hour before you hit the gym—studies have shown that coffee can help improve athletic performance. Check out our blog post for more about the potential benefits of a caffeinated workout.

    4. Land a New Job
    Use the buddy system. Make your friends and family aware of your goal to find a new job, so they can motivate and support you, check in on your progress, and help hold you accountable. Friends and family are also a great first step in professional networking!

    5. Travel
    Taking time off of work and cost can be huge barriers to making your travel resolution a reality. If taking time off of work is a concern, focus on visiting new places that are within driving distance—traveling can be as simple as exploring a new restaurant in a nearby town. Signing up for cheap flight alerts like Skyscanner or Airfarewatchdog can make long-distance travel more affordable.

    6. Get More Sleep
    Since the blue light of phones, laptops and electronics can negatively affect sleep patterns, avoid screen time 30-60 minutes before bedtime. Going to sleep at the same time each night can also help establish a regular sleep schedule and regulate your body’s internal clock.

    7. Learn a New Language
    Learning a new language offers a multitude of personal and professional rewards, not to mention it can help keep your brain sharp as you age. As you begin to learn the basics, supplement your learnings by listening to the language conversationally, whether it’s in person or through radio and TV shows.

    8. Find Love
    Finding love is no easy task, but focusing on being present in the moment can create more opportunities for connection, says relationships researcher Justin Lavner, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology at the University of Georgia. If you find yourself in a social environment, try to eliminate distractions (like your phone) that can prevent you from immersing yourself in a conversation or engaging with those around you.

    9. Read More
    Start small. Avoid overwhelming yourself and set a goal that is easily attainable, like reading 10 minutes a day or finishing one book every month. Selecting books that genuinely interest you or subjects you know you enjoy can also make it harder to put them down.

    10. Feel Less Stressed
    Though there’s no way to completely limit the stresses of life, a few simple tricks can help you relax. Take a 5-minute break each day to focus on your breathing. Slowly breathe in through your nose, and try to breathe out of your mouth for 10 seconds. “Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,” psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. Setting aside a few minutes each day to meditate can also help ease anxiety.



    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Honoring Our Communities: A Year in Review

    by Amy Cimo | Dec 24, 2018
    In 1910, Norman “Cap” Saurage opened a small general store in the Dixie neighborhood of Baton Rouge. With a fresh pot of free coffee always available, the store became a gathering place for the community.

    By 1919, the coffee became so well-liked by the store’s customers that Cap started grinding and packaging the coffee himself. Cap decided to name the blend “Community Coffee” out of appreciation for his community of friends and the customers he served.

    Giving back and maintaining that commitment to community is more than important to us—it’s part of our DNA. In honor of the upcoming New Year, we thought we’d take a look back at how Community Coffee Company gave back to communities across the globe in 2018.

    Folds of Honor
    Through the online #CommunityCares campaign, Community Coffee Company and its amazing customers raised $20,000 for Folds of Honor. Community also donated an additional $5,000 in honor of Southwest Airlines® employees, providing a total of $25,000 to support educational scholarships for the children and spouses of fallen and disabled U.S. service members.

    Community Cash for Schools®

    This year, more than 800 schools throughout the Southeastern United States participated in the Community Cash for Schools® program and earned over $328,500 for their teachers and students. The top earning school, Sts. Leo-Seton Catholic School in Lafayette, LA, earned $6,800 alone! These funds are used for programs and initiatives that best serve students’ needs, like new playground equipment, textbooks, computers, whiteboards and school events. Check out our Community Cash for Schools® page to learn more.

    Hurricane and Flood Relief Efforts

    Together with The Salvation Army and the USO of North Carolina, we aided those affected by Hurricane Florence the best way we know how – with plenty of hot, fresh coffee. Community Coffee employees were on the ground days after the storm with the USO following the National Guard to support their rescue operations. We also supported recovery efforts related to the destruction left by Hurricane Michael in Florida. The Community Coffee trolley was in Tallahassee and Panama City, making sure that first responders, military personnel, and evacuees all had a hot cup of coffee to remind them that people care. Between Hurricane Florence and Michael, 46,000 cups of Community® coffee were served.

    Military Match
    With the close of 2018, Community Coffee Company shipped more than 6.1 million cups of Community® coffee to active-duty military personnel around the world through its Military Match program. The program, founded in 2004, puts an inventive twist on care packages and helps give troops a cup of home no matter where they are. When a customer orders four bags or boxes of Community® coffee from our Military Match program, we automatically double the order to any overseas or stateside military base address.

    Sustainability
    In an effort to further its commitment to sustainability, Community Coffee Company’s Coffee Service Division moved to new eco-friendly ThermoLite™ cups this year. In addition, Community transitioned to LED lighting in its offices, plants and facilities, which saved 2.8 million kilowatts of energy and reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 1,900 tons. Community also continued its support of sustainable sourcing and land preservation through a number of programs and partnerships, like its Toledo and Labateca program.

    USO of North Carolina
    For the past four years, Community Coffee has partnered with the USO of North Carolina to provide coffee for each of the USO of NC’s 10 locations and to fund critical programs and services for military families. This October, Community Coffee was the presenting sponsor of the USO of NC’s annual Salute to Freedom gala, which honors outstanding service members from each branch of the military. As a sponsor of this year’s USO of NC’s Holiday for Heroes event, Community also enabled 400 military families in Raleigh, NC to receive presents from Santa.


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • Coffee 101: The Aroma

    by Amy Cimo | Dec 17, 2018
    Nothing beats that inviting smell of freshly brewed coffee. But did you know that aroma plays a major role in the taste of your cup?

    Smell is very important to what we taste—it helps us taste complex flavors beyond the basic sensations we can directly perceive with our tongues (which are sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami). This is why your favorite foods can sometimes taste bland when you have a cold or stuffy nose.

    Roasted coffee has over 800 aromatic compounds, beating out every other kind of beverage. Even wine has only 200-300 aromatic compounds!

    The aroma of coffee is the release of these flavorful compounds into the air—which is why fresh coffee often has a stronger aroma than older coffee (and tastes better, too!) Generally, the aroma of a coffee gets stronger as the roast gets darker, because more of the compounds have been released and are detectable.

    TYPES OF AROMAS

    Aroma is one of the primary determinants of a coffee’s flavor. In fact, aroma is one of the main categories used by coffee tasters (or cuppers) to assess the quality of a coffee.

    Light roasts tend to produce fruity, herbaceous and floral aromas that contribute to their fruity, acidic taste. Medium roasts, like our American Classic or Breakfast Blend, give off a nuttier, chocolatey smell. Dark roasts, on the other hand, generally have a spicy, smoky or toasted aroma. Our Signature Blend Dark Roast and Private Reserve® Louisiana Blend® are great examples of this.

    SMELLING THE DIFFERENCE

    Oftentimes, the aromas of a coffee blend so well with its flavors that it can be hard to set them apart. But you don’t have to be a coffee connoisseur to identify a coffee’s aroma.

    The next time you brew your favorite Community® coffee blend, see if you can smell the difference. Give the air around your brewer a deep sniff. What do you smell? What does it remind you of? Is it strong? Take note of the aroma, and see if you notice anything different after you take your first sip of coffee. It’s as simple as that!


    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK
     
  • How to Host More Productive Business Meetings

    by Amy Cimo | Dec 10, 2018

    Meetings don’t exactly hold a glowing reputation in the minds of most modern office workers — and often for good reason. The average worker spends 21 percent of their time on the job in meetings, and they think a quarter of that time is being wasted, according a recent survey by Accountemps, an accounting and finance staffing agency with offices around the country.

    The reality is that office gatherings are often the most efficient way to communicate, collaborate and come to important decisions, so it’s not practical to do away with them entirely. But workplace gatherings don’t have to be a monotonous drain on employee morale. It just takes the right approach to make them work for your organization.

    We rounded up some expert tips to help you plan the most productive — and engaging — meetings possible.

    Be Clear About The Purpose

    Managers sometimes get in the habit of calling meetings whether they need to or not. In the Accountemps survey, 63 percent of attendees listed unnecessary meetings as a top issue. Creating a productive office gathering means first honestly examining whether it’s absolutely necessary to schedule it in the first place.

    “Before calling a meeting, ask yourself if the information can be shared via email,” says Josh Warborg, district president of Accountemps. Sometimes a phone call will do. However, if an issue can be settled quicker and more effectively with a group discussion, then schedule a meeting.

    Without a clear agenda, meetings can go on forever, or they may end without covering the essential points. “Have a very clear intention of the help you want from the group,” says Stacey Engle, executive vice president at Fierce Conversations, a leadership-development and training company. “I recommend preparation that outlines what the issue is, why it’s significant, the ideal outcome and what specific help is wanted from the group.”

    For maximum effectiveness, post the agenda in advance so everyone can prepare for the discussion, Warborg says. The Accountemps research backs up these suggestions: 47 percent of survey respondents said they can’t prepare for meetings because they don’t know about agenda items in advance, while 49 percent said agendas are ignored.

    Experiment With Your Meeting Structure and Style

    Once you determine that a meeting is indeed required, it’s time to decide who actually should join in on the discussion. Depending on your organization, there’s a good chance it doesn’t need to involve everyone. “Keep the list of attendees small — only invite the people who need to be there,” Warborg says. Even at online tech giant Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos reportedly imposes a rule of not planning a meeting in which two pizzas aren’t enough to feed everyone.

    Shorter, more inclusive meetings that make space for everyone to contribute productively will leave employees with a more positive feeling after the gathering — especially if you take care to ensure the content of the meeting is relevant to everyone involved.

    Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with the style of your meeting. If your team is struggling to engage in longer sit-down meetings, consider holding a shorter meeting without chairs in which participants stand up. There is some evidence that shows stand-up meetings encourage participants to work together, share ideas and produce higher-quality work versus sit-down meetings.

    Create an Inviting Meeting Environment

    Creating a collaborative atmosphere where divers ideas and opinions can be shared freely is key. The Accountemps survey shows that too many workers cite attendees interrupting each other as top drawback of office meetings. Whether it’s a decision-making meeting or a brainstorming session, make sure one opinion does not dominate so you can gather as many ideas as possible, Engle says. “Draw out the differing perspectives and don’t let one opinion dominate,” she says.

    Finally, it should go without saying, but organizations should take steps to provide comfortable physical space for meetings. That means a reasonable temperature and enough space for everyone to attend and contribute comfortably. For meetings that exceed 30 minutes, offering water, coffee or even light snacks is a great way to create an inviting atmosphere and encourage attendance. Offering a variety of options, including cold brew, can help make everyone feel welcome.

    There’s also a good chance including coffee in the meeting will lead to a more productive exchange of ideas. Research indicates that employees who drink coffee with peers before a group discussion are more likely to participate in the discussion and to have a positive view of both the discussion and their co-workers. The study also found that coffee drinkers were more alert during group discussions and provided better input. 

    DISCOVER MORE HERITAGE | QUALITY | CONNECTIONS | GIVING BACK