January 15, 2012

Was Gonna Buy From Peet's But...

Peet's Ethiopian Super Natural is out again this year. My experience is this is the most unique, flavorful coffee I have ever tasted. Last year there was a hint of blueberry, other years lemon.

A captivating cup from the birthplace of coffee. Only the finest coffee cherries, picked ripe and naturally sun-dried. Complex with abundant fruit flavor and generous floral aroma.

But they don't have it in stores, only available online. OK. I'll order online.

But it's $20.95 a pound. OK. Worth it.

But then they try to add an $8 charge for shipping!. Forget it. I'll miss it, but this is outrageous. Peet's loses a long-time customer and future orders.

But the CEO's pay was cut to "only" $1.8 million this year. His "unexercised options" are valued at $9,529,744.00.

Also "O'Dea also could receive $13.5 million should a change in ownership of Peet's transpire."

Peet's used to give samples of different coffees and teas. Those samples are what helped me appreciate many of the coffees and teas I drink today. But samples are not profits this quarter. Yes, samples and reasonable shipping charges boost business later, but that's not this quarter that needs his millions, and we've got a CEO, so forget it.

$8 to ship a pound of coffee? Gotta pay that CEO somehow.

July 28, 2011

Coffee Stock Market News

There is a ton of news about the coffee business and the stock market. "Dunkin' Brands" -- see if you can guess which coffee and donut company they own -- went public yesterday and their stock went up 46% from the opening price. (FYI this means the investment bank cheated the company by mispricing their stock.)

Next, Green Mountain Coffee jumped 20% to go over $100 a share after a great earnings report. Share prices have more than tripled in a year. This is about deals with Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts for coffee in K-Cup portion packs that are used in Keurig single cup coffee makers for home and office. This is the latest tulip that Wall Street is bubbling up.

Peet's stock has been soaring. Motley Fool has an earnings report preview.

And Starbucks reports later today. The Street says,

Analysts are calling for Starbucks to have earned $258.8 million, or 34 cents per share, on revenue of $2.85 billion in its fiscal third quarter. In the year-earlier period , Starbucks earned $207.9 million, or an adjusted 29 cents per share, on revenue of $2.61 billion. If Starbucks meets expectations it would be a 24.5% profit increase year over year.

None of which has anything to do with the taste of the coffee.

December 31, 2009

Half Price At Peet's

Peet's is selling their Holiday Samplers at half price. You get a half pound of each of Holiday Blend, Major Dickason's Blend, Arabian Mocha-Java and Garuda Blend for $14.95 in the red metal holiday container. That's about $7.25 per pound! I picked up one of these at the local shop. You can order it online.

August 10, 2009

Peet's Peaberries

Peet's Coffee & Tea has two peaberries available for special orders only.

I just ordered mine so I don't have to worry about running out, so I feel safe letting you know about it.

I ordered the Tanzania Peaberry last year, and immediately after it arrived I ordered two more pounds! Here is Peet's description of this year's:

Bright and sweet, with the concentrated flavors of the finest peaberry crops and the fragrant blackberry notes characteristic of the region.
Last year's Tanzanian Peaberry was my favorite Peet's coffee ever, except for their Kona, which I can't afford lately.

The India Peaberry is also spectacular - at least it was last year. Peet's describes it this way:

Rich and sweet, with warm, baking spice notes (think ginger and cinnamon), a caramel touch, balanced with hints of dark woods and the bold zing of top peaberry.

They are offering the two together in a Peaberry Collection with free shipping.

I'll let you know if it is as good as last year's after it arrives.

July 14, 2009

Free Iced Drinks At Peet's

Just got an email from Peet's:

Cool off with a refreshing iced beverage when you buy one for a friend.

Bring this coupon to a participating Peet's location today throught Friday, July 17th, to receive a free iced beverage with the purchase of and iced beverage.

It excludes licensed locations like airports and supermarkets.

Click here to get and print the coupon.

The fine print: Purchase one iced beverage and receive a second iced beverage of equal or lesser value FREE. Qualifying beverages exclude juice, kids drinks and bottled beverages. Valid at Peet's retail locations only. Excludes airport, supermarket, BART and other licensed locations. May not be combined with other offers. No cash value. Offer expires July 17, 2009.

April 3, 2009

Searching for the Perfect Latte – at home.

Just got laid off? Can’t find a job? Have less money in this nationwide downturn? Join thousands of others as we try and find ways to cut down expenditure and stretch out our ever decreasing incomes.

One of the first of life’s little luxuries to go for our house hold, would be the trips to our local coffee houses. When I had a job I used to pick up a Starbucks latte on the way to work most mornings, then weekends would find me at the local Peets. Sometimes twice in one day!

Now faced with the prospect of making my own drinks I realize there is was more to it than I thought. I have a cheap old Melita espresso machine so I’m all set to make the perfect latte – or so I thought!

Things to take into consideration are; flavor, body, foam.

I experimented to find that perfect Peet’s flavor, and even after two months, I still do not have it. I decided it was all to do with the coffee and I dabbled with Major Dickison’s (normally my favorite) ground as fine as I could get it, with half decaf. It did not hit the spot. I discovered that Peet’s sells an espresso roast which tastes better than the Major D. This is good, but still doesn’t compare to the flavor of one of their coffee house lattes.

A big element of a perfect latte is the milk product. I use soymilk and experimented my way through several brands. Trader Joe's non-sweetened is too – well – not sweet. So I tried vanilla soy which turned out to be – well – too vaniller-y. Yuk! This was sweeter than Starbuck’s! So I tried mixing it – some vanilla some Trader Joe’s. No. This was not it at all. I even went to Peet’s and asked them their secret. They told me they had special "steamer soy for coffee house use only". Well that was no help at all. I have since settled on Pearl un-sweetened which I get from Whole Foods. This particular brand tastes pretty good and makes the best, silkiest thick foam ever – yum.

I still have not found the way to make the latte of my taste bud’s dreams, but I have a way of making one that I like. If I go to Peet’s coffee house and buy one, it is now a delightful treat that I appreciate all the more. Sorry to Peet’s that I can’t spend more in your stores, but I do appreciate your products.

March 18, 2009

Aftermath Of Menlo Park Peet's Fire

Almanac : Fire: Peet's and Calla may be shut for months,

There were coffee and scones this morning at Peet's Coffee & Tea at the corner of University Drive and Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park, but money did not change hands. The refreshments were free, following a devastating fire yesterday, but while the empty tables and chairs inside beckoned, you had to find a seat outside.

. . . As to when the building comes back on line for regular use, it depends largely on when the owner obtains building permits to do the necessary repairs and how quickly the repairs are done...

... It's possible that Peet's could be up and running before the other activities, he said, because the water damage was slight compared with what happened to the boutique next door.

Photos here.

March 17, 2009

Menlo Park CA Peets Fire

I JUST heard that the Menlo Park Peet's is on fire. This was the second Peet's to open. I found this: 3-Alarm Fire Burns In Downtown Menlo Park -,

A fire burning in downtown Menlo Park Tuesday morning went to three alarms, a fire dispatcher said.

The blaze was reported at 7:04 a.m. at 1050 University Drive.

The building where the fire was burning contains several businesses, including a Peet's Coffee & Tea and the Calla boutique.

There is video at the news website so click the link.

January 19, 2009

Indonesia Flores from Peet's

I just received this from Peet's -- A special roasting of Indonesia Flores, with only two roasting days. You can see more and order online.

I have taken advantage of these special online-only offers, and they have been wonderful. They ship immediately in a special package that keeps the beans fresh. Here is their email message:

Indonesia Flores

Nice ripe fruitiness and earthy finish. A memorable coffee from one of the least known coffee islands of Indonesia.

We are only offering Indonesia Flores on two roast dates - Jan 21st and Jan 28th.

The island of Flores, 200 miles east of Bali, lies in a vast archipelago of some 18,000 islands stretching from Sumatra, Indonesia to the eastern sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea.

A blessing to Flores' rugged terrain is its numerous volcanoes, the ashes of which create soils for coffee to thrive in. In this remote origin, coffee has traditionally been natural processed – which is to say, dried whole in its "cherry" – and sold into anonymous supply chains for relatively small amounts.

That all changed in 2005 when the Indonesian Coffee & Cocoa Research Institute set out to work with small farmer groups to improve coffee quality and shorten the marketing chain from farmer to supplier. Farmers were taught the lengthy value-added way to process their coffee with the semi-washed method, both transforming the cup quality and returning them a greater piece of the value supply chain.

To start, only two farmer groups participated in this project but by 2007 the price incentive motivated four more to join. In our supplier’s words: coffee quality improvement for smallholding farmers is not only a question of technology, but also social and economic awareness.

We love seeing these examples of quality delivering farmers a better return. We also particularly enjoy introducing you to new coffee origins which deliver such quality beans. The cup has nice ripe fruitiness and that slightly funky, earthen aftertaste of the most interesting Indonesian coffees. If you like these full-bodied, full flavored coffees, try this newly styled cup from one of the least known coffee islands of Indonesia. After a few sips, we think you'll find Flores very memorable.

We are only offering Indonesia Flores on two roast dates - Jan 21st and Jan 28th.

August 11, 2008

Peet's Tanzania Peaberry

Peet's Coffee & Tea is offering a special August 13 roasting of its amazing Tanzania Peaberry, with a reduced shipping charge.

A few weeks ago I bought a pound of this. It is one of the best coffees I have tasted, and I immediately ordered two more pounds. So this is a very special opportunity and I encourage readers to try it.

It is shipped immediately after roasting. The coffee arrives in a shipping box, inside of which is a special sealed foil bag. So you don't have to worry about the distance it might have to travel to reach you -- the bag will keep it fresh.

The first pot you make is the best, of course, because it is the absolute freshest, but also because it is the first experience of this coffee. It's a bit like a Kona, rich and creamy, with no bitterness. I use a French Press pot. I recommend ordering whole beans because you can grind them when you brew the pot, keeping the freshness.

And while we're talking about Peet's, I see that they are offering their Panama Esmeralda Geisha! This is an amazing, distinctive coffee with an almost blueberry hint in it. It is rare, so it is somewhat expensive -- $24.95 for a half pound. I absolutely love this coffee but I'll let you know it is a very special, distinctive coffee that some will love and others might find a bit too different.

April 3, 2008

Wireless At Peet's?!

The Menlo Park, California Peet's Coffee and Tea store now has wireless. Officially! You connect to the wireless router named "Peet's." Your browser window will then open to a Peet's sign-in page, asking for a code. You get a code from the register, enter it into the browser, and you get two free hours of wireless.

Wireless at Peet's! I no longer have to buy a Peet's and then go sit outside a Starbucks to use the wireless. Finally!

Do any readers have any news about any other Peet's locations with wireless?

November 12, 2007

Peet's New Roastery

From Peet's:

Located in Alameda, CA, just six miles from our home office in Emeryville, CA, the opening of our new roastery facility marks an important milestone for Peet's, as we meet the growing demand for our coffees and teas.

The unique specifications of the building, equipment, and layout were all custom-designed by Peet's to support our distinctive approach to hand-roasting coffee, to order, in small batches and delivering it fresh within 24 hours of roasting.

In addition, our new roasting facility is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified featuring recycled materials, water-efficient landscaping and plumbing, low-energy lighting and heating, and will use "green" electrical power.

We invite you to learn more by viewing the new online tour of our artisan roastery: view tour

Here it is: Peet's Coffee & Tea - Artisan Roastery Tour

October 13, 2007

Peet's Watering Down Coffee?

I have more frequently been having disappointing experiences at Peet's lately. Coffee has on occasion seemed watered down. This morning in Redwood City it was very thin.

In the past there was an occasional problem where they would forget to turn a switch on a machine, and the decaf coffee could be made half-strength. This is because at a certain time of day they start using half as much coffee, because they sell fewer cups. So they put half as much ground coffee in the machine and change a switch that causes half as much water to be used. But if they forget to throw that switch the result is the same amount of water used on half as much coffee! The result is of course half-strength coffee. Sort of like a brown water -- or a Starbucks.

But this is not what has been happening lately. I have good reason to believe that - at least at Redwood City - the manager has started using more water and less coffee ON PURPOSE! So is the corporate management starting to reduce the quality of Peet's coffee, or is this just a local phenomenon in one store?

If the coffee is going to be weak I can go to Starbucks - and at least get wireless.

September 4, 2007

Peets Panama Esmeralda

Peets has some Panama Esmeralda available for $25 per half-pound. I tasted it the other day and this is an amazing coffee, complex, knocks you out. I bought a half pound and made a pot and it was as good at home as in the store. You can order online.

September 1, 2007

R. I. P. Alfred Peet

"I came to the richest country in the world, so why are they drinking the lousiest coffee?"

Alfred Peet, founder of Peet's Coffee & Tea, died Wednesday at 87.

Peet's: Alfred H. Peet, 1920-2007 (with comments and pictures),

When Alfred Peet opened his shop in Berkeley in April, 1966 he started a coffee revolution. Nobody had ever seen top-quality coffee like this roasted in this unique style in America.
Washington Post, Alfred Peet; Put Buzz In Gourmet Coffee,
Alfred Peet, 87, a Dutch tea trader who started the gourmet coffee craze in the United States with his rich, darkly roasted, high-altitude beans and taught the trade to the founders of Starbucks and sold them their first year's supply, died Aug. 29 at his home in Ashland, Ore.

His company, Peet's Coffee & Tea, from which he retired in 1983, announced his death. The cause was not reported.

... Coffee aficionados swear by Peet's, asserting that it is superior to mass-merchandised products. In 1971, when the three founders of Starbucks decided to open a gourmet coffee store in Seattle's Pike Place Market, they sought Mr. Peet. He insisted that they go to his store to learn about coffee before he would sell them a single bean...

... Peet's is bean-sized compared to Starbucks, but it has played a significant role in the development of the U.S. coffee culture.

San Francisco Chronicle: Coffee pioneer Alfred Peet dies,
With his emphasis on specialty coffees and unique brewing techniques, Peet, the son of a Dutch roaster, put specialty coffee on the map - and in the process influenced the founders of Starbucks.

"Up until the time he started, in 1966, basic American coffee was swill," said Jim Reynolds, roastmaster emeritus at Peet's. "His father had been a small coffee roaster in Holland before World War II, he was aware of good quality coffee, but nobody in the States was buying it," Reynolds said. "He realized Berkeley was a place where good food and good quality coffee would work."

... "I like to think that he taught America how to drink dark-roasted coffee," said Narsai David, the food and wine editor of KCBS in San Francisco, who, when he opened his Narsai's Restaurant on Colusa Circle in 1972, was Peet's first commercial account.

... In 1971, the first Starbucks store opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market, with coffee roasted by Peet's. The company's co-founders, Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker, learned about roasting from Peet.

Peet sold his business in 1979 but stayed on as a coffee buyer until 1983. In 1984, Starbucks co-owner Baldwin and Reynolds, the roastmaster, with a group of investors bought Peet's four Bay Area locations. In 1987, Baldwin and Peet's owners sold the Starbucks chain to focus on Peet's, and Baldwin and Howard Schultz, Starbucks' new owner, entered into a no-compete agreement in the Bay Area. In 2001, Peet's became a public company.

Alfred Peet was born in Alkmaar, Holland, on March 10, 1920. He helped his father by cleaning his coffee-roasting machinery and doing other odd jobs. When Germany invaded the Netherlands, he was pressed into working for the Third Reich in Frankfurt. When the war ended, Peet joined Lipton, the tea company, and for a time worked in the tea business in the then-Dutch colony of Indonesia.

He immigrated to San Francisco in 1955 and took a job with coffee importer E.A. Johnson & Co. He favored high-altitude coffee from Costa Rica, Guatemala and East Africa that his father used to buy, and although there was no market for it in the area, he decided to create one.

Seattle Times, Coffee master Alfred Peet, 87, inspired Starbucks,

Continue reading "R. I. P. Alfred Peet" »

June 11, 2007

Mika Dawson R.I.P.

R.I.P. Michael Dawson

Palo Alto Peet's barista Michael Dawson died of a heart attack during his morning shift May 30.

Everybody knew him. Everybody misses him.

December 7, 2006

Working At a Starbucks -- Parum pa pum pum

I'm working at a Starbucks (because Peet's doesn't have wireless). For about an hour they were playing classical Christmas music, but they just put on "parum pa pum pum again." I can not STAN parum pa pum pum.
Rum pa pum pum
Rum pa pum pum

Sheesh. Gotta go. It's beginning to look a lot like working at home for the next three weeks.

August 17, 2006

Peet's Just Will Not Get Wireless - So Starbucks Gets My Money

Here I am at a Starbucks, when what I'm really craving this morning is a Peet's. But I have to work, and Peet's just will not get wireless!

So I'm having a Starbucks half Sumatran, half-decaf Sumatran. It's OK. It's not a Peet's. Usually when I have to work I get a Starbucks Americano with extra room, beause thast is a strong drink, and I miss my Peet's less. But Peet's just won't get wireless, so I give my money to Starbucks. Go figure.

February 24, 2006

Blog Stuff

I'm in one of my typical blogging postures - parked outside a Starbucks, with a fresh Peet's coffee. Peet's doesn't offer wireless but I can get it here in the Starbucks parking lot. It has been a busy time at the pesky day job, and the cold is still going on, both of which have been keeping me from blogging much here, and I'm looking for people interested in sharing this blog. Let me know if you love coffee, tea, dark chocolate and are intereted.

Meanwhile I tried a special Ghiradelli dark chocolate the other day -- that I can't find on their website! I'm pretty sure it was a 72% cocoa bar, that I got at a local specialty shop. It was very, very good.

So, darn it, I'm ging to have to go back to the same place and buy another bar to taste so I can write about it here! The trouble I go to!

February 7, 2006

Russian Caravan

I was in a Peet's today to get a large decaf, and they had just put out a pot of their Russian Caravan tea. I tried a taste and wasn't ready for what happened. I'm not a big tea drinker, but I had an immediate, strong, positive reaction. This is a bold-tasting tea. It has a smoky flavor, a depth, the over-used word "dark," but smooth and not bitter at all, and for some reason I had an almost emotional reaction. I actually felt for a second like I was in a tent on the steppes hundreds of years ago, a fire heating us, surrounded by Cossacks and Mongolians, haggling over furs.

I am not a tea buyer I'm a coffee drinker. But I bought a tin of this, and will be enjoying it on occasion.

Here is the Peet's description of Russian Caravan,

Well-rounded blend of China blacks, with a full, smooth, slightly smoky flavor.

This tea is not of Russian origin, but is a blend in the tradition of the 19th century Russian tea trade. Horse and camel caravans would spend sixteen months making the roundtrip journey to eastern China and back, arriving in the Russian capital laden with chests of tea. The tea quite likely aged a bit during its long journey, and “Russian Caravan” tea probably improved with the opening of the trans-Siberian railroad. Peet’s Russian Caravan is our own blend of China black teas with a full, smooth, and smoky flavor.

February 2, 2006

Quick Notes

My local Peet's finally has some Peaberry Especial. I'll sample it tomorrow morning and write up a review. Meanwhile, my British wife solves the decaf tea problem by drinking Celestial Seasonings Caffeine-Free Tea. She loves it.

February 1, 2006


From Anne -

I gave up caffeine about a year ago, after I had anxiety problems and ended up in the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. The state of the world has most to do with it, but I've found that caffeine was a significant component. I miss good black tea the most.

Because of my tea addiction, which had a ritual component to it (my husband's family is English), I've spent a lot of time and money trying to find truly good decaffeinated black tea. I have failed. Admittedly, the tea I used to drink was sort of the espresso of tea: an Irish blend called Lyons Gold. It made a very assertive, malty, brisk cup of tea. Non tea-drinkers who came to our house and were offered a cuppa would be served Lyons steeped perhaps 3 minutes (we always went for 5), with milk and no sugar unless they requested it. We made quite a few converts. "Oh, so THIS is what tea is supposed to be like!" Restaurants who bring you a metal pot of hot water and a separate tea bag are committing a crime against good tea-brewing practices. But that's another story.

Continue reading "Caffeine-no-more" »

January 18, 2006

Starbucks or Peet's

Ah yes, the premier question of our time. Starbucks or Peet's? Let's start the discussion right at the start of the blog itself. Let no one say that the Smelling the Coffee blog avoids the tough national controversies! In the future we'll have Starbucks and Peet's proponents writing here, and lots and lots of stories about the great independent coffee shops and roasters around the country.

I'm sitting in a Starbucks writing this, drinking a half-caf (but watery) Americano. Not to fault Starbucks Americanos, though, because I order them for a reason -- that they're almost as good as a regular old Peet's coffee (to me), for when I just have to sit at a table and get work done. You see, Peet's doesn't have wireless Internet service for computers! Can you even imagine that? And Peet's doesn't even begin to understand coffee-shop atmosphere. So for work, it's Starbucks.

Continue reading "Starbucks or Peet's" »


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