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Coffee Genesis — 15 Comments

  1. Although this post is about coffee, I hasten to point out that Peet’s recently bought Marin County, CA based Mighty Leaf Tea and no longer uses the Peet’s tea brand or containers. Most of the more common of Peet’s teas were kept under the ML label. Also, our local Peet’s stores in Berkeley and environs have recently been redecorated; not everyone likes the change because each store had its own character. Now they are more homogeneous. I’ve never been a coffee drinker but I love Peet’s Masala Chai. Also, they are the only coffee shop I know where you can actually get single serve hard boiled eggs which is a nice addition to the pastries.

  2. Interesting. It’s been a while since I have been in a Peet’s; last time was in Lexington MA (where I used to buy coffee when I got my hair cut). The hard-boiled eggs are a great idea, harking back to bars in the 20s and 30s.

    I read that the original Peet’s now houses a museum of the evolution of the specialty coffee movement in the US. Would love to see that. We hope to get out to Berkeley within the next few months.

  3. All this description makes me wish I was a coffee drinker. I’m one of those people who loves the smell but not the taste. I grew up in a tea family and remain a confirmed tea drinker. Coffee shops have come a long way, but buying tea out remains abysmal. No matter the quality of the tea, it’s never brewed with boiling water!

  4. Funny, isn’t it. Americans just don’t get into the ceremony of tea, taking care with every step. But baristas certainly do that with coffee!

  5. Thanks Dan, the book looks good. Amazon seems willing to show more of it via the “Look Inside” feature than I am used to.

  6. Is there still that good coffee place in Linden Hills, just down the road from Sebastian Joe’s?

    Always love reading your musings, Keith!

  7. My husband is a bit of a coffee snob and his favorites are Kopplin’s, Quixotic (across from the highland theater) and Spyhouse (on Braodway, Minneapolis). Also Dogwood Coffee on Lake Street is excellent. I am a tea snob and love The Tea Source on Cleveland and Pinehurst. Please try all of them.

  8. Yes ma’am! In fact we’re just back from Kopplin’s. I had a latte and Katharyn a con panna, and they were gorgeous as well as delicious. A ham & cheese croissant with sesame and poppy seeds. Knowledgeable barrista. I love that they have three shelves of vinyl LPs behind the counter and a turntable. I think that was the source of the music in the background. Only problem was, it’s such a cold day to be out anywhere — it has gotten all the way up to -5ºF. The gently moving air from Kopplin’s ceiling fans got to be too much.

  9. As to the museum part of the original Peet’s — yes, they took over the storefront on Vine next door and have a display. That Peet’s is the only one that does not have a cold case and, therefore, no salads, yogurt, or hard-boiled eggs.

  10. Good post. My biggest complaint about Northern Midwestern coffee is that when you buy it already brewed at the store, it is invariably too weak. I am sure the beans are good, and maybe great. But the flavor is literally watered-down by what I can only assume is a legacy of weak coffee drinking among the region.

  11. Hey peterme, thanks for stopping by. My wife agrees with you (she grew up in Minneapolis) — she has found the coffee here generally weaker than what we drank in Groton, MA. That was Peet’s, which is roasted dark. It was the gift Peet brought to the US. George Howell found he didn’t favor the dark roast and roasted his coffee medium at The Coffee Connection; he still does as Howell’s. Dunn Bros goes for the dark.

  12. ≈ Great post, our coffee histories overlap, as mine started in Harvard Square and blossomed in Berkeley. Howell’s medium roast seemed stronger and darker than most of what I could find in Berkeley with the exception of Peet’s.

    In time, I discovered Thanksgiving Coffee, which was roasted by another colleague of Peet’s who also managed to invent the organic, free-trade market. It never became as prominent of many of the businesses mentioned here, and indeed it was dealt a setback in the Bay Area when the Peet’s/Starbucks non-compete period ended. Still roasting strong, though.

  13. Hey Jym, glad to see your avatar here. Interesting about Thanksgiving Coffee; now I have some more research to do. I wasn’t aware of the brand. Will look for it when I’m next in the Bay Area.

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