Peet’s Coffee Mug

Peet’s Coffee Mug

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This tall, ceramic coffee mug is distinguished by its decorative elements—a monkey with arms raised, a dog, and a six-point star—a logo used by Peet’s Coffee & Tea Company. The logo is shown in a dark plum color with the word Peet’s appearing in black on the mug’s white background. Peet’s has borrowed designs from ceramic stamps made in coffee growing regions of the world, and the monkey dog star pattern is from Central America. Although no longer the primary logo used by the company, the motif remains popular with loyal customers.
The rise of coffee shops like Peet’s was part of the “good food” movement in America that began in the 1960s. In terms of coffee, the movement was a reaction against the instant and pre-ground coffee that had become the bland standard in the United States.
Alfred Peet, who was born into a coffee roasting family in Holland and moved to the United States after World War II, founded Peet’s Coffee & Tea on April 1, 1966. Peet, who worked as a coffee importer for large American coffee companies, was shocked at the poor quality of American coffee. After being laid off in 1965, Peet started his own business dedicated to creating high-quality, small-batch, dark roast coffee. The first Peet’s store, located at the corner of Vine and Walnut Streets in Berkeley, California, became a gathering place for coffee lovers, who were known as “Peetniks.” By 1969 foodies and artisanal producers, inspired to create fresh, high-quality American food, had settled into the neighborhood around Peet’s. Three Peetniks went on to establish Starbucks in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971, where they used Peet’s beans for their first year of production. Freshly brewed, dark roast Arabica bean coffee is widely available at coffee shops and in markets throughout the United States, and the trend is shifting towards small shops focused on cultivating coffee connoisseurs.
Object Name
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall: 4 3/4 in x 5 in x 3 1/2 in; 12.065 cm x 12.7 cm x 8.89 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Howard Morrison
See more items in
Work and Industry: Food Technology
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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