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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Celebrating Mardi Gras with Community Coffee

We're less than a week away from Mardi Gras, people! Fat Tuesday, and the biggest New Orleans festival, kicks off next week. Mardi Gras has it's roots in old traditions from Medieval Europe (most notably Rome and Venice), taking the best modern ideas to turn it into the celebration it is today. If you plan to visit during this festive time, or to throw your own raucous party, there are a few things you should know. Community Coffee has your top 10 must-knows.

10. How to spell “krewe” and “flambeaux” and “Mardi Gras” and, well, you get the point. 
9.  Technically, Carnivale is a season, and Mardi Gras is a day. But we tend to generalize and refer to the weeks of parades leading up to Fat Tuesday as Mardi Gras. 
8. The Mardi Gras colors are purple, green and gold. Remember to coordinate your outfit appropriately. 
7. The Captain of the Krewe is more important than the King. But the King gets all the glory, while the Captain does all the work. 
6. If you miss a doubloon thrown from a float, never reach down to pick it up. Always put your foot on it. If you go with your hand, you're either too late or you'll get your fingers stepped on. 
5. If you bite into a plastic baby in a King Cake, that's a good thing. 
4. Any beads shorter than two feet long are unacceptable unless they are made of glass -- the bigger and longer the beads, the better. 
3. Once any beads have touched the ground, they are sullied and should not be picked up unless under the rarest of circumstances. 
2. The vast majority of people in the Quarter during Carnivale are from out of town. 

1. The Number 1 thing you must know about Mardi Gras season is that Community© Mardi Gras King Cake coffee hits the shelves. We suggest you celebrate with the “king” of all flavored coffees, our delicious Mardi Gras King Cake coffee with light vanilla and cinnamon flavoring.
Now you know how to blend in with the locals and avoid Mardi Gras faux pas, let's talk about this coffee! You can get it ground in bags, whole bean and also in k-cups for your single-cup coffee maker. Community sells it's regular flavors all year long in the Southeastern U.S. and online. Choose from Dark Roast, Café Special, House Blend, Columbia Altura, Brazil Santos Bourbon, Louisiana Blend, Breakfast Blend and other specialty flavors.

I love my coffee and I have at least one cup a day, sometimes more, because in the winter here it's nice to have something to warm you up from the inside out. There are a lot of coffees out there that just don't cut it. You've probably had some of them. I like it rich and dark, but not too bitter. I was excited to try Community's exclusive King Cake flavor, because I'm headed to New Orleans in the fall this year to experience the more mellow side of the city. There's no way I'm leaving the city without enjoying a great cup of coffee with a big plate of beignets.

I received k-cups for King Cake, Café Special and Breakfast Blend, giving me a good variety of flavors for all my moods throughout the week and day. Here's my take on each blend:

Café Special
I'm a fan of a dark roast and sometimes a medium/dark roast doesn't have the bold flavor one wants first thing in the morning to start their day, but this has matched some of the darker roasts I've bought and loved, including a really good French roast. If a full-bodied and deep coffee is on your list, Café Special can really get you going no matter when you're enjoying a cup. 

Breakfast Blend
Many lighter coffees I've had don't have a great flavor and can be watery, but Community has really gotten it right. If I want something a little lighter and less in your face in the morning (or right before bed, because I'm one of those people who can still sleep when full of caffeine), Breakfast Blend keeps all the flavor, but the lighter roast is delightfully mild and pleasant. It's perfect if you are one of those black coffee drinkers, which I'm not normally, but found I didn't mind sipping this without adding anything to lighten or sweeten it up.

King Cake
This lighter roast has subtly-sweet undertones. It's sugar-free, but the vanilla and cinnamon flavors really shine through, giving it a taste that works with anything you want to have it with, whether it's a leisurely breakfast, an after dinner treat or a quick pick-me-up in the middle of the day. Louisiana natives say that this blend reminds them of home and it's the perfect accompaniment to that traditional king cake. If you're having your own Mardi Gras party, make sure you have some on-hand for your guests to enjoy, because it's unlike any coffee you may be able to find in your normal store and isn't floofy (yes, I made that word up) like a lot of those other flavored coffees out there. It's really smooth, with no aftertaste and feels a bit like a darker roast than it is. 

It's not sold year-round, so if you love it, you might want to stock up. Remember, coffee stays fresher longer if you keep it in the freezer, so you have a safe place to stash some extra bags you buy. 

I have issues with heartburn and certain coffees can instantly give me pain, which is the worst. Community Coffees are smooth and my body doesn't object to drinking it anytime of day or if I have several cups at a time. This makes me even happier to sit down with a cup and more excited for my trip, because a good cup of coffee can be difficult to find, especially in the U.S. You can bet a bag of Community Coffee is going to make its way into my shopping cart when I hit the grocery store for morning provisions on my trip.

Now, you know I like to back companies that do good things and Community does that. Your purchases are going to help schools, farmers and military men and women. The family-owned company knows how to give back and also that there are more people involved in coffee-making than those you see. Community participates in Cash for Schools, getting necessary books, supplies and equipment to those in need. They also support our military troops by getting them a little taste of home. When you purchase a military match set, the same coffee will be sent overseas for those brave men and women defending our country. 

Being a farmer is hard work and Community Coffee recognizes that and wants to give credit where credit is due by making sure that the farmers that provide their awesome beans get what they deserve. Money earned is kept within the communities, so they can keep doing what they're doing and thrive while doing it. I love that!

If you want to try Community Coffee for yourself, head to your nearest grocery store (if you live in Southeastern U.S. markets such as Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Lafayette, New Orleans and surrounding areas, Houma, Memphis, Birmingham, Jackson, Mobile, Houston, Shreveport, Tyler, Monroe, Little Rock, Austin and Dallas) or go online right now to find a roast that works for you. Ending today, you can get a 12 oz bag for free with the purchase of three bags with the code FEBFREE.

And if you want to connect with Community, you can totally do it! 

Have you ever had Community Coffee or gone to Mardi Gras? What is your favorite thing about either?

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