Alfred Peet

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Alfred Peet
Alfred Peet.jpg
Peet in the late 1960s at the original Peet's location
Born (1920-03-10)March 10, 1920
Alkmaar, Netherlands
Died August 29, 2007(2007-08-29) (aged 87)
Ashland, Oregon, U.S.
Occupation Founder of Peet's Coffee & Tea

Alfred H. Peet (March 10, 1920 – August 29, 2007) was a Dutch-American entrepreneur and the founder of Peet's Coffee & Tea in Berkeley, California, in 1966. He is most famous for introducing custom coffee roasting to the United States.

Peet was born in Alkmaar, Netherlands, where his father ran a small coffee roastery before World War II.[1] After the war, Peet left London, where he had apprenticed with a coffee and tea company, and worked as a tea taster in the Dutch East Indies and New Zealand before immigrating to San Francisco, California in 1955, where he worked in the coffee importing industry.[2][3]

After becoming dismayed at the poor quality of coffee in the United States (according to Peet, the reason that the quality of coffee was so bad in the USA is that people were still drinking World War II style "rationed" coffee [4]), he opened his own coffee store in Berkeley, California, in 1966, and soon opened new stores in Oakland, Mill Valley and Menlo Park.

Peet taught his style of roasting beans to Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker, who took the technique to Seattle and founded Starbucks in 1971. Peet is widely credited with starting the specialty coffee revolution in the US. Among coffee historians, Peet is labeled as "the Dutchman who taught America how to drink coffee."[5]

Peet sold the business in 1979 to Sal Bonavita and remained a mentor and teacher to Sal for the next five years.[6]

An interview with Alfred Peet is included in the documentary "Coffee Culture USA" released in 2008.

After retiring from the coffee business, Peet moved in 2001 to Ashland, Oregon, where he died on August 29, 2007 at age 87.[7][8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Coffee pioneer Peet dies". Central Valley Business Times. 31 August 2007. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  2. ^ Murphy, Pat (August 31, 2007). "The passing of Al Peet—the founder of Peet's Coffee". San Francisco Sentinel. Archived from the original on 2 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  3. ^ Stiles, Greg (2003-06-01). "Peet now calls Medford his home". Mail-Tribune. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  4. ^ http://nos.nl/artikel/64234-nederlander-leerde-amerika-koffie-drinken.html
  5. ^ "Nederlander leerde Amerika koffie drinken". Nederlandse Omroep Stichting. 4 September 2007. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  6. ^ George Raine (2007-09-01). "Coffee pioneer Alfred Peet dies". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  7. ^ Marshall, Carolyn (2007-09-03). "Alfred H. Peet, 87, Dies; Leader of a Coffee Revolution". The New York Times. 
  8. ^ "Founder of Peet's Coffee dies at home in Ashland". The Oregonian. 2007-08-31. Archived from the original on 17 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Marshall, Carolyn; Kim Severson (2007-09-03). The New York Times. p. 5.  Missing or empty |title= (help)