Friday Flashback – Peet’s
I painted the first sign for the store using the old logo (see above) on butcher paper to hang in the window. He didn’t really think a sign was necessary – “build it and they will come.” He was right.
There were four or five stools at a counter. The emphasis was on retail sales of coffee beans, tea, coffee makers, grinders, and spices. Yes, spices. The original logo read “Peet’s Coffee, Tea, & Spices.”
We loved his hot curry powder – the hot, not the medium or mild. One evening Kay was preparing dinner for us all and Alfred started adding things to the pot. He put in three or four tablespoons of hot curry powder. I was sure I would not be able to eat the meal, but to be polite I took a small portion. It was so good! I’d been raised on grocery store curry powder and you dared not use too much of that. But Alfred’s blend could be used in large quantities. I am pretty sure he learned to make it when he was in Indonesia on a tea plantation.
This little container has the very last bit of his hot curry. The stores discontinued spices when they expanded. I am saving (hoarding) the powder, perhaps for my last supper. I’ve tried all sorts of expensive supposedly authentic curry mixes, but they just are not the same. If anyone knows where to find Peet’s recipe I will be so happy.
Of course we used a Chemex coffee pot back then. We used lots of Chemex pots over the years because they broke easily. We also bought a Chemex hand blown water kettle. I think it is a marvelous looking thing. I dare not use it because I don’t want to break it.
One year we set up a mini factory and made tea sampler boxes. The small boxes were made to look like the large lead-lined and sealed tea boxes which importers sent filled with loose tea.
Green coffee beans came in large sacks to Alfred’s back-of-the-store roasting room. Some of the sacks were made of rough fabric but a few were made of heavy-weave cotton. We are still using one of the cotton coffee sacks as a laundry bag.