Peets Coffee has really quite a buzz for itself over the years. With a pedigree similar to Folgers Coffee, and a founder who came from the home of yet another well-known coffee brand, Douwe Egberts, you could say it was almost inevitable that Peet's Coffee would become an institution!
Peets Coffee & Tea is one of the newer coffee roasters and retailers that was created in 1966 in Berkeley, California. Alfred Peet, the founder, opened a single store that you can still see at 2124 Vine Street in Berkeley, just a stone's throw form the University of California, Berkeley.
Alfred lived in the Netherlands as a child and grew up in the coffee business. When he immigrated to America in 1955 he began roasting coffee just as he was taught to and soon people were lining up at his door for coffee the likes of which they'd never tasted before.
Alfred Peet was shocked at the quality of coffee that Americans drank; it was such poor quality that he could hardly wait to roast his first batch of beans and show America what real coffee was like.
His roasting style was to make small batches with superior quality beans and roast them darker than most people were used to. The result was a rich, complex coffee that was enthusiastically embraced by the community.
In fact, Peets coffee was the inspiration for his three friends that founded Starbucks and indeed, Starbucks bought beans from Alfred Peet. That first year of business in 1971 began to make Starbucks a household name, mainly because of the beans provided by Peet.
Peet's was sold in 1979 but Alfred stayed on till 1983 as a coffee buyer. The next year Jerry Baldwin, one of Starbuck's founders, teamed up with Peet's former partner and some other investors to buy Peet's.
Peet's did so well that Baldwin and the others sold Starbucks to concentrate on expanding Peet's Coffee; both companies have a non-competition agreement in the Bay Area.
The difference in the two companies was and is distinct—Peet's tends to focus more on coffee and tea while Starbucks emphasizes their coffee bars.
Although Peet's is based in California and has few stores outside that area, you can always find their coffee both at your local supermarket and more high-end stores.
In fact, Peets coffee has a loyal following that have dubbed themselves Peetniks. It's said that once you try the coffee you'll be devoted for life. While I wouldn't go that far, the company produces some very, very tasty coffee as evidenced by its sales of $500 million in 2010.
Peet's often has limited offerings of special coffees, such as Burundi, a bold East African coffee with a bright caramel texture. They produce a large variety of blends such as Arabian Mocha-Java, a full-bodied coffee with chocolate overtones and complex flavors.
They have French roast, their darkest roast with smoky overtones to its bold taste. There is the House Blend of Latin American coffees, Major Dickason's Blend and Sumatra coffee, a rich and earthy coffee with an earthy sweetness.
They have coffees from the Pacific, the Americas, Africa and Arabia. They also carry Kona coffee and their 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain, which they are frequently sold out of. Their French roast and Italian roast coffee taste better than most and Peetniks swear that their espresso is beyond compare.
Peetniks are offered automatic shipment of their favorite coffees and half off shipping costs. They can also take advantage of frequent offers Peet's makes available exclusively for Peetniks.
So if you have a hankering for a little bit of quality coffee that won't break the bank, why not try Peet's Ground & Whole Coffee Beans. And don't forget to give us some feedback, too!
Wherever you are, remember "Only Great Beans Make Great Coffee"!
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