This morning marks the grand opening of Peet’s Coffee & Tea on 17th Street, downtown Washington, DC. I’ve been excited about this addition to the city ever since I saw its sign go up on the corner. Peet’s is locally described as the “West Coast Starbucks.” Given that Starbucks also started on the West Coast, I think people mean Peet’s was formerly a West Coast chain while Starbucks dominated the East Coast — that is, until now.
Well, I think Starbucks has some competition! I tried a vanilla latte this morning, and it…is delicious. The vanilla flavor isn’t as strong as Starbucks’ and the coffee notes came through nicely, adding to the flavor. Peets’ vanilla latte has a very smooth taste.
The baristas made a point to ask everyone in line (within my earshot) what kind of milk they preferred, which is something that not every coffee shop does. Listing all of the types of cow’s milk and soy and almond, the options were plentiful. Starbucks does not offer almond milk, so that sets Peet’s apart.
The design of the shop on 17th is very open, with beautiful pictures of coffee beans and an overall simple/clean design. There is a beautiful display of beans behind a glass pane at the shop, which I really loved. It’s nice to see products not wrapped up in plastic and commercialized. Seeing food artistically displayed can make the customer feel closer to the product itself. Coffee comes from beans, after all, and seeing them displayed is a poignant touch.
First taste and impression of the new Peet’s: extremely positive. It’s great to have a new flavor in town.
Was this a cupsoul?
The coffee tasted great, but I didn’t sit in the coffee shop because I was on my way to work.
Would I put St. Elmo’s business card in the time cupsoul?
Probably. I need to sit in the shop to get a sense of the ambiance.