Peet's Coffee & Tea @ Palo Alto, CA - Gastronomic Ruminations
Being the caffeine addict that I am, I was thrilled to be getting a caffeine fix at Peet's Coffee & Tea after hearing glowing reviews from quite a few people during the first few days of my visit in Palo Alto.
The general feedback was that Peet's served stronger coffee than Starbucks. Strong sounded really good especially to a jetlagged coffee addict, so when we passed the Mountain View outlet whilst running errands, I had to stop and get my fix.
Small Latte @ USD 2.95
Unfortunately, the Barista seemed to be having a bad day so my first impression of Peet's was pretty bad because my coffee tasted over-extracted and was really pretty bitter. It certainly woke me up at first sip. After having done a freelance story quite recently on Home Baristas, I was a little more curious about the machines that are used. Peet's was using La Marzocco, which I recall having seen in quite a few places in Singapore. Not that I know much about machines as I use a humble, idiot-proof Nespresso but I remember being told that it's a good and reliable brand.
Salted Caramel Chocolates @ USD 1.75
Thankfully I had Salted Caramel Chocolates to kill the bitterness...somewhat. The thing about salt is that it enhances flavours, for better or worse. Whilst I enjoyed the saltiness and sweetness of the chocolate and caramel, the bitterness of the coffee was intensified to a small degree. I was beginning to regret not adding sugar to my coffee but figured that since I was already consuming quite a bit of sugar in the chocolates so I should refrain from piling on more calories.
After having been quite spoilt by the increasing choices of specialty coffee at indie cafes in Singapore, my palate was getting jaded. Though a visit to the Menlo Park outlet yielded better coffee, I realised that my preference in store bought coffee has changed and that chain coffee didn't quite hit the sweet spot for me anymore.
Peet's Coffee & Tea is available at various locations in the US. Refer to their website for details: www.peets.com