As I mentioned the other day, it’s Free Coffee Week at McDonald’s in New England. To celebrate this and to learn more about how coffee goes from bean to cup, I took a trip up to the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters plant in Waterbury, Vermont to meet with the people that make all of the magic happen.
The Green Mountain Coffee Roasters plant is nestled up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, hence the name. This is where they roast and package Newman’s Own Organics Coffee which is served in the McDonald’s restaurants.
Myself and three other bloggers toured the plant to learn how coffee is processed and packaged. It was so fascinating to hear about how much work goes into producing coffee. Did you know that every single coffee bean is handpicked? Think about that the next time you are sipping your cuppa Joe.
Did you also know that the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters plant processes 700,000 to one million pounds of coffee in one week at their Waterbury plant? Isn’t that incredible?
We learned all kinds of things during our tour. How coffee is roasted. How it’s decaffeinated. And all about packaging. As a coffee drinker, I found this entirely fascinating.
But there was something else I noticed while on the tour. This company is invested in their employees. From the bulletin boards asking for employee input, to employee lockers decorated with pictures of family and friends, there is a real sense of community at this plant. You can tell that people are happy to work at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Lots of smiles all around.
But I digress….
The reason we were there was to talk coffee with Nell Newman, the founder of Newman’s Own Organics. Nell and the folks of McDonald’s were there to chat about the special blend of Newman’s Own Organics Coffee that is served in the New England based restaurants.
Apparently New Englanders are picky about their coffee and have a different blend than the rest of the nation. A milder blend that has no bitter after notes and goes down smoothly. Yup, my kind of coffee.
We also talked about how it’s free this week at the New England locations. And that was something we could all toast to.
It was a fun and informative chat. Nell knows her coffee and the McDonald’s folks knew their stuff too. It was a lively exchange which in part was due to the multiple cups of coffee we were tossing back. We were all a little wired!
After the coffee chat, we had time to wander around the area a bit. It was a glorious fall day. I couldn’t resist snapping a couple of pictures.
The leaves are already changing in Vermont. Judging by the cool air, it will only be a couple of weeks before the leaves are in their full glory.
The trip back to Boston was great fun as we had poor Nell stuffed in the back of our car. I’m not sure she was prepared for the chattiness of three bloggers and two wonderful pr ladies. She was very gracious but seemed very appreciative to be let out at the end of the ride.
Can’t say I blame her.
All in all, it was a fun and very educational trip. I better appreciate my coffee now that I know how much work goes into the whole process and I truly appreciate how much dedication Nell has for her brand, Newman’s Own Organics. A brand that believes in giving back, be it to the charities they support or through their support of fair trade practices.
And that is something I will raise my coffee mug to.
McDonald’s paid for my room and travel to Vermont, but they did not pay me to write this post. All opinions are my own.