Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Roaster of the Week: Peet's Celebrates Women in Coffee

Mar. 7, 2018
Our roaster of the week this week is Peet's Coffee!

Some call him the "godfather" of specialty coffee - Alfred Peet certainly holds a very special place in the history of coffee. He founded Peet's Coffee in 1966 in Berkely, CA.

Today, Peet's is ahead of the rest with a massive Celebrate Women in Coffee promotion of the United Nation's International Women's Day 2018 on March 8, 2018.  Peet's is offering a Sisterhood Flight Collection of three types of roasted beans from three countries: Rwanda, Colombia and Nicaragua. Their website lists the locations across seven states and Washington D.C. where the special collection of coffee can be purchased, and they give a step-by-step recommendation of how to throw a tasting party with your sisters!

There is another part of this promotion that we at Artisan Coffee love even more than all that goodness - Peet's has named the International Womens Coffee Alliance (IWCA) and their Research Alliance as the beneficiary to receive 10% of all proceeds! Well done, Peet's. The Research Alliance is a volunteer group that brings together researchers who accelerate credible research results on gender issues in coffee that are otherwise side-tracked or ignored. So please, dear blog readers, go out and buy some! If it's not possible in your area, keep reading... there's another great option to support female coffee producers!
Women of the Rwanda Ejo Heza coop holding coffee cherry.
To their credit, Peet's is supporting women in coffee in ways that are less well advertised, too. We hope it is "cool" on this special International Women's Day to share that the buying team at Peet's chose Rwanda Ejo Heza women-grown coffee to go into their great-tasting "Uzuri Blend." Uzuri means "beauty" in Swahili. The Uzuri has a long-standing tradition in the company, as it represents many projects supporting coffee producers that Peet's has supported in East Africa for years. Starting this year, the blend includes the hard-won and delicious results of the Ejo-Heza sub-cooperative, which Artisan Coffee Imports was able to offer Peet's.

A Visit to Peet's HQ

Artisan's president, Ruth Ann Church, was able to visit the Emeryville headquarters of Peet's and witness first-hand how the "Berkley-esque", mid-60s roots of the company still permeate the offices, mixing well with modern renovations and updates. They're waving the flag of diversity in many ways, incorporating a love of Americana by naming the open-conferences areas with names of famous regions and labeling the rows of office cubes with well-known streets in San Francisco, like Vine, Fourth and Solano. I was impressed with their large, newly-opened demonstration cafe, fully equipped and ready to help customers immerse into the Peet's Coffee experience!

Map of the Bay Area in the lobby. (Not Europe!) Sean Coutts, Green Coffee Buyer, shows Peet's location.

Ruth Ann in the customer experience area.
Passageway painted to feel like a coffee farm.

Diversity always.

Sign posts in "cube city" keep the culture fun and help you find your co-worker!
Next visit, Ruth Ann hopes to tour the roasting facility. It is a completely separate building!