The answer invariably, if you live in the US, to that question is Alfred Peet. Peet is the guy who mentored the Starbucks founders (who later left Starbucks to Howard Schultz and bought Peet’s company). If it wasn’t for Mr. Alfred Peet, we would all likely be drinking freeze dried shite or Duncan Doughnuts coloured water.
I wasn’t much of a coffee drinker until girlfriend and now wife started working at Misha’s in Old Town Alexandria. I always thought coffee smelled good, but tasted like crap. Well that all changed when I actually got a taste of good coffee. Misha was a follower of Peet and his coffee was amazing and is what got me hooked on caffeine. I still make it a point to stop by when I’m DC to load up on beans and get a cup of drip. I wasn’t aware of Peet’s until moving to the West Coast, after being spoiled by Misha’s I had no idea where to find a good cup of coffee in Southern California. One day I waundered into a Peet’s in San Diego and discovered where it all began. It actually began in Berkeley back in 1966, but today there are Peet’s stores up and down the West Coast.
When I moved to Seattle I assumed that good drip coffee fell out of the sky like rain and I could find a good local house for my daily cup. I was flabbergasted that it was nearly impossible to find good drip here. I tried a ton of places and they all dissappointed, but Peet’s has never faltered. They’ve only got a few stores here, but they’re worth seeking out.
Thanks Mr. Peet, you and your quest to bring the best beans to the US from around the world makes my day every morning, whether it be in my coffee maker, or stopping by to get a cup of drip down in Fremont or Green Lake.
Alfred Peet Died 29 August 2007 in Ashland, Oregon. He was 87.