• How Sunset Acres Elementary School Became a Top Earner in the 2016 Cash for Schools Program

    by John Knotz | Sep 27, 2016

    Sunset Acres Elementary School in Shreveport was among the top 10 earners in the 2016 Community Cash for Schools® program, earning $2,735.

    This is more than double what they’ve earned in previous years — thanks to a partnership with Springs of Grace Baptist Church, says Stacey Jamison, who was Sunset Acres’ principal. The church collected and donated most of the Community Coffee brand proofs of purchase to the school.

    “We have a great partnership,” Jamison says of the school’s relationship with the church. “The church organized with us, and all the members of the church, the congregation and their families support us in whatever the endeavor is. They actively participate.”

    The church put up signs, made announcements in the church bulletin and kept interest alive in collecting proofs of purchase for the school, Jamison says. “They don’t want any recognition, and they’re always there to help,” she says.

    Sunset Acres Elementary serves high-risk, low-income neighborhoods, with about 400 students in grades 4 through 6. The money earned from these types of programs is used for supplies and equipment that many students wouldn’t otherwise have access to, Jamison says.

    The money was allocated in May, so it will be spent during the coming academic year.

    Jamison says she appreciated the way Community Coffee presented the news of the school’s earnings, with a reception held at Community Coffee’s headquarters in May.

    sunsetacresimg_editThree to four students from each grade, along with the school’s king and queen, were chosen to take the four-hour trip to Baton Rouge, where they met the owners of Community Coffee and representatives from other participating schools.

    “Many of the students have never left the city, so going to Baton Rouge was huge opportunity,” Jamison says. “We made it an all-around learning experience.”

    They visited the state Capitol and the governor’s mansion, and had meals at IHOP and Golden Corral, offering the kids experiences they would not otherwise have had, she says. The students were then able to share their experiences with the entire school at an assembly when they returned.

    “The kids were really excited,” Jamison says. “It showed them that if you work for it, you can achieve great things.”

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  • Coffee ‘n’ Black Bean Soup – in 30 Minutes!

    by John Knotz | Sep 15, 2016

    One of my favorite memories from living in New Orleans is learning to make traditional red beans and rice from a local who had been serving up this favorite dish – to throngs of people – her entire life. We soaked, drained, combined, stirred, seasoned, mashed, and tasted … what a learning opportunity for a Midwestern native!

    And though I often still make beans the way she taught me, time – or lack thereof – can be an issue. So, canned beans are a wonderful option. Their texture is spot on. And just like starting with dried beans, they are a nutrition powerhouse, providing protein, fiber, potassium, folate, iron and zinc.

    This hearty soup is designed to be a satiating meatless meal option with layers of flavor developed from sweet, smoky and hot peppers, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, broth and coffee. You won’t necessarily taste the brewed coffee, but its roasted, earthy notes heighten and complement the other flavors. (Check out Don’t Just Sip … Eat Your Coffee! for more on cooking and baking with coffee.)

    Feel free to add a ham bone, ham or chicken if you want. Or, serve with steamed rice to turn the beans into a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. And definitely consider topping your bowl with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, avocado, cilantro or one of the other options listed. This soup has a mild-to-medium heat level which can be adjusted by adding more or less of the chipotle, serrano or jalapeno peppers.       

    Oh, and I almost forgot what some will consider most important. If you have all of your ingredients gathered, (and depending on how fast you are with a knife, maybe have chopped the vegetables ahead) this soup comes together in just 30 minutes. Gotta love that!

     

    Easy Coffee ‘n’ Black Bean Soup

     

    Soup:

    1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 large onion, diced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1 yellow bell pepper, diced
    3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
    1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, finely minced (optional)
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon cumin
    3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
    1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
    2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    1 cup brewed Community Coffee
    Salt to taste

     

    Optional (but great!)Toppings:

    Avocado, sliced or diced
    Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
    Pickled jalapenos
    Fresh cilantro, chopped
    Fresh lime juice
    Steamed rice

    In large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and red and yellow peppers. Sauté, stirring frequently, until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic, chipotle peppers, serrano pepper (if using), chili powder and cumin; cook and stir about 1 minute. Mix in beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth and coffee. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, about 15 minutes.

    Using an immersion or hand blender, puree half of the beans. Season with salt to taste. Serve with desired toppings. 

    Makes about 8 (1 ½-cup) servings

     

    Notes:

    • Dice and mince vegetables in advance to speed preparation.
    • The beans are undrained in this recipe. Why? The starchy liquid adds creamy body to the soup.
    • It’s well documented that most Americans consume more sodium than recommended each day. To reduce sodium in the soup from canned beans and tomatoes, choose lower sodium or no added salt options and season accordingly.
    • Make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable instead of chicken broth.
    • Using a blender to puree a portion of the soup creates a creamy consistency (along with some whole bean texture) and beautifully combines flavors. If you don’t have a hand or immersion blender, remove a cup or more of beans, completely mash, then add back to the soup and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes until thickened.   

     

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


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  • Honoring the Past: How Acadians Came to Louisiana and Made a Lasting Impact

    by John Knotz | Sep 02, 2016

    Family, perseverance, hard work. Many aspects of Louisiana’s celebrated culture can be traced back to the Acadians, a group of immigrants who settled in our region more than 230 years ago. Their influence is felt in everything from the food we eat to the names of our towns and parishes. Community Coffee Company wouldn’t be the company it is today without the support of the Acadian community; our Private Reserve® Evangeline Blend™ coffee is a tribute to its rich history.

    Acadians Arrive in North America

    The group of people who eventually became known as “Cajuns” immigrated from rural areas of western France. In the early 1600s they sailed to coastal Canada and established a French colony called Acadia, where they prospered as farmers and fishermen in the salty marshlands.

    Over the next 100 years, control of the land bounced between Great Britain and France several times. The settlers avoided the conflict for a while, refusing to take sides in favor of a peaceful existence. But when the British seized permanent control of the region, Acadians refused to swear allegiance to the crown and church. Eventually they were deported from Acadia during the Expulsion of 1755. A century later, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s fictional account of the brutal takeover immortalized a woman named Evangeline and the search for her lost love, Gabriel.

    The Trek to Louisiana

    The displaced Acadians were sent to locations including Europe, New England, Central America and the Caribbean, but many were unhappy in their new homes and eventually made their way to Louisiana. By the early 1800s thousands of Acadians had settled in the territory, which was then controlled by Spain. The Mississippi River Delta had many similarities to their previous home in Nova Scotia, and the settlers once again thrived as farmers, trappers and ranchers in Louisiana’s swamps, bayous and prairies.

    Honoring the Acadian Culture

    When Community Coffee Company first began, the Acadian community strongly supported our company, mission, and growth. One of our very first blends was the Evangeline Blend™, which we created to honor the Acadian culture. We blend 100% specialty-grade Arabica beans and dark roast them to create a deep, semisweet flavor.

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  • Build A Game Plan For Your School

    by John Knotz | Aug 25, 2016

    It’s that time of year again and two things are about to kick off. That’s right, football season and our Community Cash for Schools® program. Entering its 28th year, local schools have earned over $6.7 million by clipping and returning proofs of purchase back to Community Coffee Company. The program supports and cultivates future generations by allowing educators to direct funds to programs and projects that best serve our youth. So how can your team score big this year and earn funds to support your school?

    Get in the Game.
    Playing is easy. Individuals at your school collect proof of purchase—the label that appears on all Community® brand packages including coffee and tea. Your school receives 10 cents for each one you return. The program is open to public and private schools from Pre-K to 12th grade, and runs from August 18, 2016 through January 31, 2017. Last year, 820 schools participated earning approximately $368,000 with 94 schools earning $1,000 or more.

    Develop a Game Plan.
    Strategy is a must, so decide what your school needs funded and set your goals. Most schools seek funds to support technology improvements such as computers or white boards, while others upgrade textbooks or playground equipment. Some schools have really thought outside the box supporting music programs, and even a chicken coop to help teach kids about biology and the poultry business. Most schools are more successful when they determine what it needs and set a specific monetary goal to reach.

    Execute Your Playbook
    Next, it’s time to put your plan into action. Make sure you communicate your participation in the Community Cash for Schools® program to your team—including teachers, staff, students and parents. Invite them to reach out to friends, neighbors and family members to collect proofs of purchase. Use in-school communication to remind students and families to keep up with their clippings at home in a special drawer, zip lock bag or folder. Community Coffee Company even has sample artwork and communication ideas on our website.

    Call an Audible.
    Want to boost your ability to score more points? Visit local offices, churches and other businesses to ask if they would donate their Community® proofs of purchase to your school. Commercial customer coffee proofs of purchase (for restaurants, hotels, offices, etc.) are located on the corrugate case for our Community® commercial products.

    Everybody Wins!
    One of the best things about the Community Cash for Schools® program is that everybody wins. You turn in proofs of purchase and earn money to fund much-needed projects and equipment at your school, and Community Coffee Company gets to support education and self-betterment right here where we live and work.

    For more information on the Community Cash for Schools® program, go to CommunityCoffee.com/CashforSchools and enroll online or call 800-884-5282. Here’s to a great season!

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  • Capturing the Distinct Flavor of Louisiana

    by John Knotz | Aug 09, 2016

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

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

    Food is a Way of Life

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

    Local Community is Important

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

    Traditions Run Deep

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

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  • Smooth and Mellow with Royal Ancestry: Brazil Santos Bourbon Private Reserve

    by John Knotz | Aug 04, 2016

    The history of the beans from which our Brazil Santos Bourbon coffee is derived is complex. Its path to South America involved a key role for King Louis XIV, the Sun King of France’s House of Bourbon.

    The Sun King Makes His Mark on Coffee

    Louis was crowned as a young boy in 1643, and he reigned for 72 years as France bloomed in a golden age. In the early 18th century he received a gift of coffee plants, and the French eventually established coffee seedlings on Bourbon Island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar. These mutated to what became known as the Bourbon variety of coffee plant and eventually entered South America.

    Bourbon’s Migration to the Americas

    Bourbon coffee plants apparently made their way to Brazil around 1720, possibly thanks to French colonists joining the Minas Gerais region’s gold and diamond rush. Gold production continued for decades but eventually collapsed. Coffee, however, proved more sustainable.

    By the 1840s, Brazil was the world’s largest supplier of coffee, accounting for 40% of production worldwide. That doubled by the 1920s, when the country nearly monopolized the international market; however, the market share subsequently dropped as other countries increased production.

    Royal Lineage

    Much of the coffee today can be traced back to King Louis XIV’s original plants. Today, there are Red Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon and Orange Bourbon varieties; Yellow and Orange Bourbon get their names from spontaneous natural mutations that cause their cherries to ripen to their respective colors.

    Community® Brazil Santos Bourbon is a single-origin coffee grown on select farms in the southern part of Minas Gerais, and it is known for its smooth, mellow flavor. While Bourbon’s sweet notes and gentle brightness make it popular among coffee growers and coffee drinkers, production of Yellow Bourbon is becoming increasingly rare in the Minas Gerais region. It represents just 30% of production, so savor each cup of this Private Reserve® coffee.

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  • Making great coffee and making a difference

    by John Knotz | Jul 28, 2016

    At Community Coffee Company, taking care of people is a cornerstone of our philosophy. And it’s our belief that no matter what we do, we can do more. Our historical social responsibility programs have supported the local communities where our high-quality Arabica coffee is grown for generations.

    The objective of our latest project is to create a program that partners to directly support the coffee growers and their families. ECOM Foundation, a 501c3 organization, provided that platform. Creating spaces and opportunities for education and the dissemination of knowledge are key factors to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods at origin. In partnership with our customer Southwest Airlines and through the ECOM Foundation, we were able to support the construction of two new school buildings, outfitted with electrical generators, computer equipment and classroom furnishings. The building project improved availability and quality of education resources and services to the isolated coffee farming communities of Union Buenavista and Tierra y Libertad located in Chiapas, Mexico.

    The problem

    The towns of Union Beunavista and Tierra y Libertad are situated on unpaved mountainous roads 2-3 hours from the closest town, creating obstacles for teachers and students to reach educational programs, especially during the rainfall season when mudslides and damaged roadways are prevalent. Additionally, the local communities had limited and low-quality educational resources, with infrequent teacher interaction, no adult education or training resources for community members and no opportunity for university education.

    The solution

    To support these communities whose economy is based on coffee farming, Community Coffee Company in partnership with Southwest worked with the ECOM Foundation, to fund the construction and maintenance of two satellite schools. These schools provide a space for grade school education plus further learning for coffee farmers and the entire local communities through health, practical skills training and much more. Further, the program established an alliance with Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) for the curriculum to be delivered online via satellite Internet.

    A member of the community is employed as School Director to act as liaison between ITESM and students and manage the center operations. Further, a committee of local community members are responsible for maintenance and school activities to generate greater community buy-in and involvement.

    ChiapasBlogImageBenefiting more than 2,400 people

    An integral part of the program involves the specialized curriculum. Coffee farmers are provided advanced agricultural training to improve their productivity and reinforce the long-term stability of their communities’ livelihood. The local youth are provided access to a world-class education. Youth ages 12-18 will have the opportunity to gain technological and academic skills, inventive-thinking behaviors, and values and discipline to better prepare them for success in the global marketplace. Other community members may receive on-going training on the use of computers, email and Internet. Finally, the entire community will have the opportunity to access university education without relocating. 

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  • Cancer Experts Give Coffee Positive Rating

    by John Knotz | Jul 21, 2016

    If it seems like good news for coffee lovers keeps appearing in the headlines, you’re right! And the latest comes from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization. They just finished evaluating the carcinogenicity of drinking coffee and a few other beverages; here’s what they said …

    The Good News!
    Based on an extensive review of more than 1,000 human and animal studies, there is no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer according to the IARC. Coffee was given a “3” on a 1 to 4 scale of classifications, where “1” indicates substances that are carcinogenic to humans and “3” states that substances are not classifiable as carcinogenic. This is an improved score from when it was evaluated in 1991 as possibly carcinogenic, and it’s a rare occurrence when IACR positively reclassifies the food, chemicals and occupational exposures it evaluates. Tea and caffeine also have a “3” classification. And it’s interesting that only one substance (of the 900 studied) in nylon called caprolactam has received a “4” – probably not carcinogenic to humans – rating.

    There’s More …
    Additionally, IARC stated that their research review found coffee drinkers had reduced risk of liver and uterine lining cancers, along with no increased risk of pancreas, female breast and prostate cancers. And although IACR does not look at the benefits of the substances it studies, this evaluation adds to the abundance of already-existing research producing positive health messages associated with moderate coffee consumption, including:

    • Lower risk of death from all causes (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurologic diseases, suicide)
    • Decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, liver and other cancers, neurologic diseases and cardiovascular disease
    • Improved memory, alertness and concentration

    Read more here for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s positive coffee and health news.

    Mate and Very Hot Beverage Warning
    In the same report, scientists called out a warning about beverages served at very hot temperatures (>149F), classifying them as probably carcinogenic (2A rating). Mate, an infusion made from dried leaves of the ilex paraguariensis tree, is traditionally served in South America and in other parts of the world at a very hot temperature, often with a metal straw. It is associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer in studies. According to the National Coffee Association, coffee in America typically is safely served at a temperature averaging about 140F. Some flavor experts recommend serving coffee between 120F and 140F for optimal taste.

    The Bottom Line
    There has been criticism of IARC’s classification system of studied substances because it does not address the likelihood of actually developing cancer (cancer risk) from the substances in each category. At any rate, the IACR gave a positive nod to coffee and health by calling out its association to reduced risk of several cancers and by upgrading its classification based on findings from an extensive body of research. All of this supports drinking moderate amounts of coffee as part of a healthy lifestyle. Cheers to that next cuppa joe!






    www.thelancet.com/oncology  Published online June15, 2016  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30239-X

    International Agency for Research on Cancer. Volume 116: coffee, mate and very hot beverages. IARC Working Group. Lyon, France; 24-31 May, 2016. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risks Hum (in press).

    http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2016/pdfs/pr244_E.pdf

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


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  • The Origin of Espresso

    by John Knotz | Jul 11, 2016

    Espresso was born out of the need for speed. In the late 1800s, coffee was wildly popular among Europeans. As café culture spread across the continent, baristas sought a faster way to brew individual cups for customers, and inventors began toying with the idea of using steam to speed up the process.

    Under Pressure

    An Italian named Angelo Moriondo is generally credited with developing the machine that would lead to modern espresso-makers. In the 1880s, he submitted a patent for a device that used steam and boiling water to brew large batches of coffee, but the machine was never produced commercially and no physical examples of it survived.

    Two other Italians later built upon Moriondo’s idea to develop a machine that brewed a single cup of coffee in seconds. In 1906, Luigi Bezzera and Desiderio Pavoni introduced their invention at a World’s Fair in Milan, calling the resulting beverage “caffe espresso.” It was the first time single cups of coffee were made expressly for individuals. Pavoni named their machine “Ideal”; it saw some success regionally after the fair but was never widely received.

    It wasn’t until after World War II that a lever-driven machine was developed. This iteration of the espresso machine eliminated the need for massive boilers and standardized the size of the drink. The spring lever also increased the pressure used during the brewing process to create a foam on top that eventually became known as “coffee cream.” Later, in the 1960s, a motorized-pump machine was introduced by Carlo Ernesto Valente; it provided nine bars of atmospheric pressure to brew espresso.


    The French Press Method

    You don’t need a big, expensive machine to enjoy the rich, caramelized flavor of our Private Reserve® Espresso roast. It’s perfect as an everyday coffee, brewed in a standard drip coffee maker. Or, for a special preparation, try using the pour-over method or brew with a French press.

    Here’s how to capture the robust flavor of this roast using a French press:

    1. Gather your supplies. You will need a French press, coarse ground coffee, fresh water, a tea kettle and a timer. 
    2. Heat enough water for the amount of coffee you want to make to between 195°F and 205°F.
    3. Add two level tablespoons of coffee for each six ounces of water. After this, pour the hot water to the band (fill line) of the French press.
    4. Place the plunger on top of the French press to keep the heat in, but do not press it down yet.
    5. Set the timer for four minutes; when the time is up, push the plunger down slowly. It is a good idea to hold the handle and the lid as you push down to stabilize the French press.
    6. Pour the coffee while holding the lid on the French press, and enjoy!

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  • Helping the Whole Person: Supporting Military Members and Veterans

    by John Knotz | Jun 30, 2016

    Did you know that North Carolina has 10 military bases, and that 775,000 veterans call the state home? Serving that large military population is a big job. Community Coffee Company has a long history of supporting military personnel, and we’re proud to partner with the USO of North Carolina, an organization that steps up with important programs and services to help military families.

    Life in the military isn’t easy. Deploying to active war zones for months at a time, spending long stretches away from family and witnessing traumatic events takes a toll on even the toughest person.

    image1

    Stan Williams knows how hard the road is for veterans. He served for more than 18 years as a jet engine mechanic in the Air Force, and deployed six times, including to Iraq and Afghanistan. During his Air Force career, the work started to weigh on him and bring up difficult psychological issues from his past, Williams says.

    He describes a day that changed everything for him: In June 2010, he was a first-responder to a military plane crash. “Three of my brothers burned to death that day, while I stood by helplessly and watched,” he said. “I did everything I could to save them, but failed.”



    After that day, Williams struggled with dark moments. He was depressed and desperate for someone to understand what he was going through and to reach out to help, he says.

    Finally, he says, “my faith, resilience and therapy got me on my road to recovery, and the USO of North Carolina played a part in that.”

    Now Williams is dedicated to helping others through the USO. As a resilience trainer, he teaches mental, social, physical and spiritual life skills to airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines, Defense Department civilians, veterans and their families.

    What does resilience mean in this context? Williams puts it this way: “Resilience is a form of applied positive psychology — coping skills that help ease the ill effects of everything from post-traumatic stress disorder to normal everyday stressors.”

    Williams shares his story with others who are struggling. “I tell people about my experience and my recovery, and they say, ‘Wow, I’m going through that too,’” he says. “A lot of people with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) don’t get help because they’re worried they’ll ruin their career. I ask them, ‘What’s more important, you or your career? You’re not going to wear your uniform forever.’”

    Through USO of NC programs like Warrior Reset, Williams and other resilience trainers let veterans and their families know that someone understands and cares. While the military offers mandatory resilience training and education, Williams says the USO is an invaluable addition. “We’re losing 22 veterans a day to suicide,” he says. “We need organizations like the USO stepping up and bringing people together, reaching out and saying, ‘We do care about you; we are your community.’ The USO helps with the whole person. That work saves lives.”

    The USO of NC has become an extension of Williams’ family, he says. “I consider them family because they help me so much,” he says. “They have been such a blessing for me and a vehicle for me to follow my passion around raising awareness about PTSD and helping veterans.”

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


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  • Fight Boredom – Take Action!

    by John Knotz | Jun 30, 2016
    If you’ve ever felt stuck in a rut or bored, relax. You’re not alone! In fact, someone even went so far as to have an entire month – July – dedicated to anti-boredom.

    What’s the Cause?
    Psychologists have studied what fuels feelings of boredom and found that awareness and attention are important factors. They say that at the heart of boredom is the desire to engage in a satisfying activity, which requires attention. And when a person is unable to do this, frustration and “boredom” set in. This feeling is not only unpleasant but has been correlated with overeating, drug abuse, gambling and low productivity and performance errors at work.


    Boosting Attention
    Though there’s not a great deal of research on coping with boredom, caffeine has been widely studied for its role in enhancing attention – an important element in preventing boredom. As little as one, 8-ounce cup of black coffee with about 100 mg of caffeine has been linked with increased alertness and concentration. The stimulating effects of caffeine begin 15-45 minutes after drinking caffeinated coffee and last about 4 hours. And caffeine’s positive effect on mood and memory has been documented, too.

    Keep in mind that more caffeine isn’t necessarily better. Individuals metabolize caffeine at different rates, and consuming caffeine too close to bedtime may affect sleep. Also, caffeinated energy drinks – often targeted at youth – may have high caffeine concentrations, along with other additives.


    Change It Up
    Realistically, boredom can’t always be avoided. And some experts even argue that it can encourage creative thinking. But if you feel inclined to make a few switches in your daily routine, check out these thought-starters …

    Exercise – If you’ve been doing the same thing – or not very much – for quite some time, your muscles and mind may be ready for a change. Grab a friend and try a new class, park or part of town to explore while skating, jogging, biking or walking. And just for fun, read Caffeinated Workouts…the Truth in the Buzz before you go to learn about how caffeine works during exercise and its potential benefits.

    Menu – Adding a few new foods to your current routine can add health and interest to your diet. Ask friends who like to cook if they would like to do a simple recipe exchange of their family favorites. And set an attainable goal. Just including 1 or 2 new dishes or foods from the grocery store each week will add variety. Here’s an easy way to enjoy a new, refreshing beverage when it’s hot outside: make cold-brew coffee at home

    Sleep – Most experts recommend 7 to 8 hours nightly for adults. If you’re not getting enough, try to get more. It could mean fewer colds, symptoms of depression and even consuming fewer calories.

    Free time – Add a new hobby, sport, reading genre, etc., to your repertoire. Or pursue something on your bucket list that’s been there for a long time. July is as good of a time as any to plan and make it happen!




    Einother S.J.L. & Giesbrecht T. (2013) Caffeine as an attention enhancer: reviewing existing assumptions. Psychopharmacology, 225(2):251-274.

    EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2011) Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to caffeine and increased fat oxidation leading to a reduction in body fat mass (ID 735, 1484), increased energy expenditure leading to a reduction in body weight (ID 1487), increased alertness (ID 736, 1101, 1187, 1485, 1491, 2063, 2103) and increased attention (ID 736, 1485, 1491, 2375) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/20061. EFSA Journal; 9(4):2054.

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

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  • Dessert-Inspired Coffee Takes the Cake

    by John Knotz | Jun 23, 2016
    Dinner is great and breakfast is fine, but we all know the best meal of the day is dessert! The smells, the sight and the sugar all pull you in (even when you know you
    shouldn’t) to somehow always leaving room for dessert.

    So what happens when you combine cake, pie, cookies, custard and coffee? Probably
    a weirdly delicious mess, but in this case you get a mouth-watering list of new
    recipes to try. Now, desserts aren’t just for eating…you can drink them, too! This list
    is quite the treat as we take classic desserts and turn them into delicious coffee
    treats. Try them all for yourself!


    Red Velvet Cake Latte

    Who doesn’t love a classic red velvet cake? Now you can have this sweet dessert in
    latte form! Enjoy the smoothness of red velvet with the extra boost of the latte as
    you sip, slurp and savor this delicious treat from PopSugar.com!


    Ingredients

    2 cups whole milk
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
    1/2 cup cold-brewed coffee
    Whipped cream, for garnish
    Red sugar sprinkles, for garnish

    Directions

    In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and
    mix in the chocolate chips and red food coloring until the chocolate is completely
    melted.

    Add 2 tablespoons of coffee to each mug. Divide warmed chocolate milk over coffee.
    Finish with whipped cream and red sprinkles.


    Oreo Cookie Frappuccino

    What is it about Oreos that make them milk’s favorite cookie? Is it the chocolatey
    goodness? The creamy and addictive center? One thing is for sure…Oreo is now
    coffee’s favorite cookie, too! Combine this classic cookie snack with a cool and
    creamy frap to make one of this summer’s most irresistible drinks by Thrifty DIY
    Diva
    !

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup cold brewed coffee
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 Oreo cookies
    Whipped cream

    Directions

    In a blender, add the coffee, milk, vanilla and Oreo cookies and blend for 1 minute.

    Poor into a coffee mug or a Mason jar, and top with whipped cream and a crushed Oreo if you wish.
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  • USO-NC Gives Veterans a Support Network

    by John Knotz | Jun 16, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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  • National Tea Day

    by John Knotz | Jun 10, 2016

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


    Steeped in History

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

    Cheers to Good Health

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

    Versa-Tea-lity

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

    A New Look for Community® Tea

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


    Sources:
    http://www.teausa.com/

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

    12 13. Arab L, Liu W, Elashoff D. Green and Black Tea Consumption and Risk of Stroke. A Meta-Analysis. Stroke. 2009;40(5):1786-92.

    13 Hakim IA, Alsaif MA, Alduwaihy M, Al-Rubeaan K, Al-Nuaim AR, Al-Attas OS. Tea consumption and the prevalence of coronary heart disease in Saudi adults: results from a Saudi national study. Prev Med 2003;36(1):64-70.

    14 Geleijnse JM, Launer LJ, Van der Kuip DA, HofmanA, Witteman JC. Inverse association of tea and flavonoid intakes with incident myocardial infarction: the Rotterdam Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2002 May;75(5):880-6.

    1Peters U, Poole C, Arab L. Does tea affect cardiovascular disease? A meta-analysis. Am J Epidemiol 2001;154(6):495-503.

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

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

    25 Hursel RViechtbauer WWesterterp-Plantenga MS.The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Sep;33(9):956-61. Epub 2009 Jul 14.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.nationalicedteaday.com/




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  • Father's Day Gift Ideas

    by John Knotz | Jun 09, 2016

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

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

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


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  • Homemade Balsamic Coffee Vinaigrette

    by John Knotz | May 19, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

     

    CoffeeVinaigretteBalsamic Coffee Vinaigrette

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

     

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

    Makes about 7 (2-tablespoon) servings

    Notes:

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

     

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


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  • 4.2 MILLION CUPS OF COMMUNITY® COFFEE SHIPPED TO SUPPORT OUR TROOPS

    by John Knotz | May 12, 2016

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



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

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

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

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

    IMG_3971 (1)

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

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  • Coastal Restoration Concerns Everyone

    by Jordan Feeney | May 03, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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  • Capturing the Distinct Flavor of Louisiana

    by John Knotz | Apr 29, 2016

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

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

    Food is a Way of Life

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

    Local Community is Important

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

    Traditions Run Deep

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

     


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  • Healthy Perks: Coffee Fixes Everything

    by Jordan Feeney | Apr 28, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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