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Thanks, Alfred

[Photo Credit: Coffee at Chez Panisse from _e.t via Flickr]

Some people were probably unaware he was still alive, or perhaps that he ever existed at all, but the man whose passion for well-made coffee transformed our cultural and culinary landscape died last week at his home in Ashland, OR. From the obituary in The New York Times no less a personage than Alice Waters eulogized Alfred Peet:

Everybody was drinking coffee that came out of a can,” said Ms. Waters, who credits Mr. Peet with introducing her to quality coffee. “But Alfred was a purist rooted in the European tradition. He taught us a new way to look at food, wine and coffee — paying attention to the preparation, the ritual, and understanding how the beans and ingredients were grown.”He did go on to train the original owners of Starbuck's. Peet's first shop (1966) is still open, around the corner from Chez Panisse (1971) and the Cheese Board Collective (1967) and as much a part of Berkeley's history as the Free Speech Movement (1964.)
· Alfred H. Peet, 87, Leader of a Coffee Revolution [NY Times]
· Peet's Coffee & Tea [Wikipedia]
· Cheeseboard Collective [Cheeseboard Collective]
· About Chez Panisse [Chez Panisse]