Patrick Main has been working with Peet’s Coffee for more than 30 years, and he has spent most of that time inventing coffee drinks.
Now he is the senior beverage innovator for the chain based in Emeryville, Calif., which operates around 250 coffeehouses in the United States.
It would easier for him to say what hasn’t changed about the American coffee scene than what has: When he started, the brew was already ubiquitous, but it was a commodity that came out of a can, not a specialty item with distinctive terroirs and back stories.
In this edition of the Extra Serving podcast, Main discusses how our perception of coffee has evolved, and also his own research & development process. He reminisces about the first frozen beverage that he created in the 1990s, and shares details about the development of the fior di Sicilia orange flavor that is at the heart of his holiday coffee offerings for the past couple of years.
He also explains the importance of remembering the operational realities of his business:
Ensuring that the thousands of baristas who work for the company can maintain consistency.
“I don’t want to reinvent what the barista does every time I change a flavor,” he said.
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