Thursday, November 5, 2009

Oldie - But A Goodie! Happy Belated Anniversary, Peerless!

When I read in today's San Francisco Chronicle that Peerless Coffee celebrated its 85th anniversary last month, I got a little nostalgic.

I started thinking about my first. The first time I learned about gourmet coffee. Peerless was my first. I won't tell you how many years ago that was, but it was before I needed needed reading glasses ;0

It was a ritual of sorts - trekking from my house to the Peerless Coffee Retail Outlet in Oakland. I remember that I went in every two weeks.

My friend, Stephanie, and I would compare notes about which was the best blend - Mocha Java or French Roast. We were young, hip, spending money before we got it - hey, wait a minute - I'm still doing that. Whatever.

But, it was not just the coffee, but the experience of walking into the store near Jack London Square, sampling a cup of whatever they were offering that day, checking out the latest in coffee pots and pumps and presses and the warm friendly smile of the bald gentleman with glasses behind the counter. He has long since gone on to brewing coffee in that big coffee shop in the sky, but, I can still see his face as I write this. Peerless wasn't just a coffee shop - it was a coffee culture.

Anyway, in the years since I first started drinking gourmet coffee, I think I've tried everything near and far, looking for just the "perfect cup." Of course, nothing is ever perfect, is it? And there's always going to be something newer, something hipper, something more expensive.

When I finished reading today's article by Janny Hu, I realized that sometimes what we're looking for is right under our nose.

Oh, and did I mention that they sell hot roasted peanuts too?

"Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot, and never brought to mind?"*

I don't think so.

Peerless Coffee
260 Oak Street
Oakland, CA 94607
Customer Service: 1-800-310-KONA
Fax 510-763-5026

*Robert Burns penned the poem "Auld Lang Syne" in 1788

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