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March 3, 2008

Mac Air Notebook

I'm working in a Starbucks -- instead of Peets because Peet's won't get wireless.

There's a guy in here with a new Mac Air. Oh, that thing is beautiful!

I told him if he charged people a dollar to touch it he could probably pay for it in a week.

November 27, 2007

Oh No! Christmas Music!

Oh no. I just parked myself in a Starbucks to work for a while. I forgot that it's Christmas music time. Oh no. Oh no. And I already bought my half-caf Americano (extra roomy). Oh no.

Param-pa-pum-pum.

I try to avoid Starbucks this time of year. Sure it's nice to stop in,but Christmas music all the time... The poor baristas, having to listen to this all day. Why don't they form a union?

Peet's WHY oh WHY can't you get wireless?

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 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" »

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!

January 27, 2006

Today's Starbucks vs Peet's Post

Winds of Change said the following yesterday,

I grind beans and make coffee for TG in the morning (Peet's French Roast). And Starbucks makes rocking hot cocoa - I order a "nonfat, no-whip, no vanilla" - try it, you'll like it.
So now hot cocoa is in the mix. Peet's for beans, Starbucks for hot cocoa. Dude, what about consistency. Shouldn't it be Starbucks OR Peet's? Whatever hapened to plain, old-fashioned Patriotism, anyway?

Alas, I am the same. Though I try never to let myself be more than aobut 300 years from a Peet's I prefer Starbucks for a latte. What is that all about? (I get soy latte's.) And my wife used to ONLY drink Starbucks lattes, "went off it" and only wanted Peet's latte's. And there was one guy and only one guy at the Peet's on Middlefield at Charleston in Palo Alto who made the foam just the right waym, so she had to get her Peet's latte there.


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