He Taught Starbucks How to Make Coffee

Alfred Peet, America's coffee king, dies at 87
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2007 2:45 PM CDT
   (Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc.)
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(Newser) – The Dutchman who gave America an early jolt of caffeine culture died Friday at his home in Oregon, the Los Angeles Times reports. Before there was Starbucks, Alfred Peet opened Peet’s Coffee & Tea in 1966, distinguishing his coffee with high-quality beans and pioneering a roasting system that Starbucks would later adopt with the entrepreneur's help.

Peet picked up the coffee trade in Holland by working at his family’s roasting plant before World War II. After jobs in London and Indonesia, he moved to Berkeley and opened a small shop that became home to students and ’60s radicals. It also attracted the future founders of Starbucks, who would end up buying it. Peet, whose cause of death was not released, was 87.