French Chic & Slim
News and Opinion from Anne Barone to Keep You Chic & Slim
|| 3 April 2016
50th Anniversary Coffee & Me
Fifty years ago I graduated from college and went to Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. In the spring of that year 1966, Alfred Peet had arrived in the USA from his native Netherlands and established a coffee house in San Francisco. He wanted to introduce Americans to the European coffee tradition.
These days I drink more tea than coffee, but my favorite coffees (and many of my favorite teas) are Peet’s. Because of the Africa connection, I was delighted that Peet’s Coffee & Tea chose as its 50th Anniversary Coffee an African-grown organic coffee Congo Kivu.
Peet’s 50th anniversary is officially April 1. When Peet’s announced it’s first preview roast of this anniversary coffee to be held March 4th, I immediately ordered a pound as a 50th anniversary African treat for myself. I have been enjoying Congo Kivu for several weeks.
Peet’s calls Congo Kivu a dark roast, but the aroma of the roasted beans seems lighter than those of a usual dark roast. As for the description that Congo Kivu has a taste of fruit compote and an aroma of rose petals, that isn’t my experience. Congo Kivu tastes and smells like very good coffee. But surprisingly I found the claim that it had "notes" of graham cracker sweetness to be accurate. And pleasing. The graham crackery sweetness is especially noticeable with I drink this coffee as café crème — with a splash of cream in the coffee. The graham cracker flavor is there even though I add no sweetening of any kind to the cup.
I enjoy Congo Kivu alone as a mid-morning pickup. It is also a wonderful breakfast coffee as you see it pictured in the photo above with a tartine, a chunk of baguette eaten with butter and jam. In this case, it is actually a chunk of bâtard, a fatter, shorter version of a French baguette.
I like to brew Congo Kivu in my French press pot. And since it is an African coffee and I am celebrating the 50th anniversary of the beginning of my wonderful three-year West African adventure, I have decorated the tray with some of my African textiles. The table runner, place mat and napkin were all woven in Benin (called Dahomey when I lived there). The symbols are traditional ones found on the Abomey tapestries. The spidery gadget at the left is an African fly whisk. But I am happy to say that here in Provence-sur-la-Prairie with screens on the windows, I have more decorative use for an African fly whisk than for its intended purpose.
Peet’s says of its organic Congo Kivu Anniversary Coffee which supports the Edible Schoolyard Project:
We’re celebrating our 50th Anniversary with a great cup that gives back to our community. At root, Peet’s Coffee, Chez Panisse—all the “Gourmet Ghetto” stalwarts—are pioneers of quality. Alfred Peet brought craft coffees to these shores, while Alice Waters has been known to put a single pear on a plate, albeit one of exquisite color, aroma, texture and flavor. In fact, Alice Waters credits Alfred Peet with introducing her to quality coffee. “He taught us a new way to look at coffee... paying attention to the preparation, the ritual, and understanding how the beans and ingredients were grown."
Peet's Congo Kivu is a Limited Edition coffee. You can learn more about Congo Kivu on Peet’s website.
Happy Anniversary to Peet's Coffee, a "pioneer of quality."
image: Peet's Congo Kivu Coffee served on tray decorated with West African textiles woven in 1960s
be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone
for your convenience, an index with links to all the previous Nouvelles.