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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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