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His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

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  • His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

    The lives of many California coffee drinkers, this one included, were changed for the better by this man.

    From latimes.com...

    Alfred Peet, a Dutch immigrant who grew a coffee empire in California starting with his first tiny shop, Peet's Coffee & Tea, in Berkeley, has died. He was 87.

    Peet died Wednesday at his home in Ashland, Ore., the company announced without specifying the cause.

    "What made Peet's so strong was that Alfred Peet had so much knowledge about coffee and tea," Jerry Baldwin, a Starbucks founder and member of Peet's board of directors, told The Times on Friday.

    Peet learned the coffee trade by helping his father in the family's small coffee roasting business in his hometown of Alkmaar, Holland. After World War II, he moved to London, where he joined Lipton tea and apprenticed in the tea business.

    He worked in that industry in Indonesia, then still a Dutch colony, and moved to San Francisco in 1955.

    "I came to the richest country in the world, so why are they drinking the lousiest coffee?" Peet asked himself soon after he arrived in California.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/obituari...,2344494.story

    My wife Kathleen has helped to truly educate my coffee taste buds since I first met her. In the days before they opened up stores down here and later made their product available at the supermarket, she used to get their beans by mail order from Berkeley.

    When asked to recount his life's happenings, Peet once said "The coffee tells my story."

    I raise my cup of Major Dickason's this morning in his honor.
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • #2
    Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

    I read this as well and felt a bit tinge of sadness---I'm a Peet's lover as well. And a total coffeenut. I didn't post it for I wasn't sure if there were others who could appreciate it.

    Thanks for posting--we are now fellow coffee addicts.

    Peace!
    Roo
    Last edited by RooBear; 09-04-2007, 07:12 PM.
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

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    • #3
      Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

      I work for Starbucks and i was saddened by this news , Starbucks and Peets have a very close history. When Starbucks first opened we sold Peets coffee in our stores , and to this day Starbucks and Peets follow almost the same Coffee Quality and coffee roasting philosophies

      in fact we used to have a verbal contract with Peets coffee where if Peets opened a store in any given area , Starbucks would not open a store within 5 miles of that Peets store ,

      of course that all went away when Peets was purchased by a much bigger corporation ,

      Peets is brilliant coffee , i try it whenever i have the chance

      My Maleficent tattoo


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      • #4
        Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

        Originally posted by Roo719 View Post
        I read this as well and felt a bit tinge of sadness---I'm a Peet's lover as well. And a total coffeenut. I didn't post it for I wasn't sure if there were others who could appreciate it.

        Thanks for posting--we are not fellow coffee addicts.

        Peace!
        Roo
        I didn't figure that this would be a "mass appeal" thread for the simple reason that people think when it comes to coffee that's not ground in a can, there's Starbucks, maybe Coffee Bean a distant second, and not much else.

        As the article mentions, Peet's growth even just here in California has been ony recently.

        But -

        1) Through my wife I have developed a love for my coffee and can't believe I ever settled for that "Juan Valdez" muck sitting for three hours on the radio station coffee pot...

        2) That both at-home and in-store Peet's coffee beats Starbucks by a mile (they don't burn it)

        3) Starbucks fans might still be interested in the influence of this man

        I will say that Starbucks does a better job with bar drinks (lattes and such) for the most part.

        So Roo, here's a mug of 'house blend' raised in your honor.
        God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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        • #5
          Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

          From their official website...

          www.peets.com

          He indeed was a pioneer.
          God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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          • #6
            Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

            We finally just got a Peet's semi-near us, I'm so happy. Peet's coffee is one of my favorite things about the Bay Area. I raise my mug (of decaf, because it's getting late) to Mr. Peet!
            A signature should go here.

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            • #7
              Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

              :bow:Mr. Peet. It's great coffee. Thanks to their rapid expansion into Orange County I now have 3 really close locations to choose from

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              • #8
                Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

                Peet's is the nectar of the saints!
                He's from Holland area of Alkmaar. I visited there a few years back and actually saw the bidding of the huge carts of Gouda cheese. Interesting man.
                1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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                • #9
                  Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

                  I've been drinking coffee steadily since I was 3 and I played the "oh I drink whatever" thing for awhile... but now I am such a coffee snob and this makes me sad. When I lived in Newport for awhile it was a cup of Peets (and Radio Barry is right their bar drinks weren't... they didn't have a variety, so that kinda' was bad.) and a Sprinkles cupcake. Wow I sound like a snob. On special occasions we get Peets and brew it up at the house. Right now we're digging Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

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                  • #10
                    Re: His Coffee Told His Story: Alfred Peet Dies at 87

                    A legend dies.

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