Peet’s

For Peet’s sake. We have a new coffee franchise in Columbus. California-born Peet’s Coffee and Tea took over three former Caribou Coffee locations in the Columbus area, and we decided that today would be the day that we finally went to the store to try it out.

The first thing that you notice when you walk in the store is the modern, stripped interior. The exposed ductwork and the bright lighting is like looking behind the dressed-up coffee curtain. You can smell the coffee beans roasting in the back corner, almost. In reality, there’s a family of four talking about life or politics or religion over a myriad selection of tasty drinks. There is the sense that with the freshness of roasted coffee wading between the redbrick interior, one should also hear the buzz of roaster.

At Peet’s, the drink selection is extensive, but no matter the drink, the coffee rings true. The baristas are skilled, preparing drinks with expert care, using a surgeon’s precision in stroking that most crucial part of the coffee experience: mouth feel. Believe us, taste is important, but it’s often masked by imitation vanilla or carmel. We love those confectionary beverages (Campfire Cooler, anyone?) as much as the next person, but the mistake made at big-ticket franchises like Starbucks is assuming only the flavor matters, missing the creamy experience of well-frothed milk. Even skim can meet this need if done right. Peet’s, for one, does it right.

Peet’s is a good spot for the adventurous who want something different (maple lattes!!!!) and those who like the friendly confines of a certain drink order. Not to mention that refreshing feeling when you’re able to order in the terms of small, medium and large when choosing an operative size of beverage — and not get the evil eye from the Barista.

One of us (and if you know us, you can guess who it was) ordered a cheese danish to accompany our daily caffeine ritual. It was fresh, flaky, and it tasted like it had never been frozen. However, it lacked the fresh-from-the-oven heat that make pastries the most enjoyable breakfast treat.

Overall, though, we’ll be going back to Peet’s. It was a delicious cup of coffee (and we can even recommend that maple latte), the atmosphere was pleasant, and the Baristas know their craft. All the elements of a nice Sunday morning spent with good company.

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