The Coffee Visionary: The Life & Legacy of Alfred Peet

 - by Jasper Houtman

When Alfred Peet opened Peet’s Coffee, Tea & Spices in Berkeley, California, in 1966, and started selling small batches of on-site, hand-roasted coffee beans, the renowned roastmaster had no way of knowing that he was brewing a coffee revolution and defining the coffee culture we know and love today. At a time when most Americans drank coffee percolated from canned grounds, Peet, the son of a coffee roaster from a small town in the Netherlands, laid the foundation for specialty coffee in the United States.

Part biography of Alfred Peet, part history of the coffee industry, The Coffee Visionary provides a look behind the curtain at this unique, captivating beverage. Through the use of interviews and archival photographs, Houtman sheds light on Peet’s life and legacy, as well as the history behind the iconic West Coast coffee brand that bears his name. The book weaves together elements of business, family history, the coffee industry, and more. Peet’s attention to detail as he roasted, cupped, and served his coffee is beautifully captured in Houtman’s book, and as Alfred Peet would say, “The coffee tells my story.”