by Anneli Rufus
East Bay Peet's Coffee locations will host an open house tomorrow, offering free sample tastings of its new holiday-blend coffee and tea, along with home-brewing demonstrations and free gifts from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Every year for the past 26 years, Peet's has crafted a unique new Holiday Blend, using different combinations of coffees considered the best of the previous crop year. This year's blend derives mainly from Guatemala, comprising beans from three farms in different regions of that country.
One of these farms is Finca San Antonio Chaguite in Huehuetenango, a mountainous area near the Mexican border. Another is historic Finca Las Nubes, founded in 1840 in the wet, coastal San Marcos Region, which gets up to 200 inches of rainfall per year. Another is Finca Linda Vista, located in the caldera of the Tecuamburro volcano, whose high elevation, high humidity, and sulfuric soil create an especially rich flavor. To these three, Peet's adds Indo-Pacific beans "and one of the smoothest Aged Sumatras we've ever found," according to a promo, which touts this year's Holiday Blend as purveying a "classic Guatemala character, chocolate tones from milk to dark cacao, ephemeral aromas of vanilla and caramel, and bright but exceedingly fine palate acidity."
During tomorrow's open house in the newly decorated stores, attractive gift tins will be given away free with every purchase of $25 or more, as long as that purchase includes a pound of coffee or tea). Another Peet's holiday open house is scheduled for Saturday, December 11.