Peet’s Coffee is now being served in Bookworm’s Café at the University of Connecticut.
“We wanted to do something a little bit different,” Director of UConn Dining Services, Dennis Pierce, said. “(We have the) obligation of having a variety for students.”
“I thought it was good, I drink coffee all the time so anything with caffeine is good for me,” Avery Butler, a senior history major, said about Peet’s.
Pierce said Dining Services had been toying with the idea of increasing the coffee options for students for about a year when Peet’s approached them about carrying its products in one of the cafes.
“I always knew it (Peet’s) had a following, but I didn’t realize how well-recognized it was,” Pierce said of the popularity of the Peet’s brand.
Pierce said this popularity was a large factor in the decision to begin carrying the product, which debuted on Monday.
Peet’s is a Rainforest Alliance certified brand of coffee and tea, based in California, and emphasizes a philosophy of social responsibility.
“We always ask those kinds of sustainability questions,” Pierce said, “The coffee in our other shops is Rainforest (Alliance) Certified so we always pay attention to that.”
The coffee in all other Uniquely Caffeinated Cafes is still Omar’s, a Newington-based roaster.
Butler also said she felt the blend tasted stronger than the old coffee.
“I would analogize it (Peet’s) to the character of coffee shop (coffee),” Pierce said. “They have a specific flavor profile, it has a much bolder flavor.”
Joann Puzio, a senior allied health major said she did not notice a significance difference in the taste of the coffee.
“I honestly don’t taste a difference from the old one,” Puzio said.
Puzio said she will likely buy coffee less often because Peet’s is more expensive than Omar’s.
A medium Peet’s Cup of the Day costs $2.30, compared to $1.90 at any of the other UC cafes, and a single shot of espresso costs $2.00 at Bookworms or $1.50 anywhere else.
Pierce said students had expressed a desire to have a more of a Starbucks-like coffee menu, which Peet’s provides in the form of a variety of specialty drinks such as a Dirty Chai Tea and Italian Soda.
“(We have) an array of coffee,” Pierce said, “It’s not just a cup of coffee.”
Pierce said there are currently no plans to expand Peet’s to other UC cafes, even if it proves to be more popular than the old coffee.
“When you go to a dining unit, Buckley is significantly different than Whitney or South. If Buckley were extremely popular, would we duplicate everything in another dining unit? Probably not,” Pierce said.
Pierce said he looks forward to seeing how students respond to the change, which was made, uncharacteristically, over the summer, without notifying students beforehand.
“I’m very interested to see its success, to see how students respond,” Pierce said. “We had the opportunity to do this this summer and rather than wait, it was ‘let’s just do this because we think it’s going to be very successful.’”