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Jul 2, 2012 03:02 PM

Peet's Major Dickason's 2 lbs for $17.50 @ Costco

At Costco SF yesterday. In case you've been moaning about the Peet's price increases. I think they're selling this for $15/lb in the stores.

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  1. Not much more expensive at Peet's and the coffee is fresher. World coffee prices are declining and should be reflected at Peet's.

    5 Replies
    1. re: SunsetKid

      Hmm, by my math it's 71% more per lb at Peet's . . .

      1. re: rubadubgdub

        I've bought this twice now at Costco. Never again. Barely drinkable.

        Funky, cheap coffee taste.

        Not at all like the Major Dickason purchased from the store.

        1. re: maria lorraine

          Tasted the same to me. You bought the Peet's-labeled bag?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Yes. Had that cheap Robusta bean flavor, even though in the past Peet's only used Arabica. It was no bargain.

            The coffee trade mags say more and more arabica-only companies have started adding robusta to blends, and I wonder if Peets has as well.

    2. Do the bags indicate roasting date?

      37 Replies
      1. re: dordogne

        There is a sell by date of Sep 2012. It simply says it's within 90d of roasting. Vacuum bag. I'm using it to make cold process iced coffee in big batches.

        1. re: rubadubgdub

          How about no more than 2 weeks from roasting?Do your self a favor and buy online. You can buy 5 lbs of Redbird shipped free of charge on the day it was roasted for about 51 bucks. freeze in mason jars and you have a coffee bean that makes any Peets seem like crud.

          1. re: poser

            mega corporate peets coffee is crap...used to be its crap.

            1. re: Mission

              Say what you will but I've made fine iced coffee with Peet's, yes, recently. Granted I've used stuff from the store, but I'll be curious to see if the prebagged stuff stands up. If so, it will be a great value.

              1. re: rubadubgdub

                Reporting back that the prebagged stuff is not as good as the freshly roasted beans you can buy at Peet's but it's good enough. It's working well for iced coffee in a concentrated brew (.5 lb:1.5Q water cold brewed, then liberally doused with milk and a few ice cubes=excellent pick me up).

                1. re: rubadubgdub

                  Freshness varies at Peet's. They fill the bins from big sealed bags (20 lbs.?), so less popular varieties at shops that sell less whole beans may sit around for too long.

                  1. re: rubadubgdub

                    Thanks for the update. Are you cold-brewing by mixing the coffee/water, letting it sit for ~12 hours, then double-straining? My ratio to make a little over a liter is 1 1/3 cups coffee to 6 cups water, so not sure how this compares to yours. Also, how coarsely are you grinding? I'll see if it's available at my nearest Costco (Novato) and report back. Thanks again.

                    1. re: TerriL

                      I'm grinding to French press coarseness. It allows me to filter just once through a mesh strainer. When I'm toward the end I just pour carefully and any fine residue remains in the bottle. I just rechecked my measurements and it's .5 lb (I use a scale, but it's probably 1.5-2c?) to 1.25Q (5c) water. I cold brew by letting the sludge sit on the counter covered up to 24h before straining. It does make a concentrate but I prefer this bc it takes less space and I can always dilute with water, ice, or milk.

                      1. re: rubadubgdub

                        They had it at Novato Costco yesterday, $17.50 / 2 lbs.

                        Rubadubgrub: thanks again for describing your method for making iced coffee. We've now made it several times with great results.

            2. re: rubadubgdub

              "Best By" dates are useless (IMHO, of course).

              1. re: zin1953

                Dates can be useful or not depending on various factors, but since Peet's guarantees that the Costco beans are no more than 90 days from roasting, the pull date minus 90 days should be the roast date.

                For me, the question to be determined by experiment is whether I notice a difference between beans a week from roasting and two months from roasting.

                Vacuum-sealing is in my experience a very effective means of preserving coffee. I used to buy ground Italian coffee in vacuum-sealed bricks and the shelf life was pretty long. Unfortunately they stopped importing the good brands.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Suffice it to say I disagree, and let's leave it at that. Personally the fact that the beans are "not more than 90 days from roasting" is a signal to stay away . . .

                  1. re: zin1953

                    Having different taste is not a disagreement. I like full French Roast. Full City+ or anything lighter tastes nasty to me for drip coffee.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Ah, that explains it -- at least as far as the difference in roast levels is concerned. I never make drip . . .

                      Then again, my reply about disagreeing with you, Robert, wasn't about roast levels. The reason for my reply -- and the point of my saying, "the fact that the beans are "not more than 90 days from roasting" is a signal to stay away" -- is the "Best By ____" date. It's nonsense, as far as I'm concerned.


                      1. re: zin1953

                        I don't understand your point. The pull date on the Costco Peet's bag tells me when it was roasted. I can determine experimentally when the beans become noticeably less fresh.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Robert, I am sorry I appear so dense . . . it seems rather obvious to me, but --

                          How do you KNOW that (e.g.) that bag of Peet's with a "Best By 12/12/12" date translates to the beans within having been roasted on September 12th? (It may very well be on their website, but I haven't been able to find it.)

                          How do you know that (e.g.) that bag of Starbuck's or Kirkland's or Don Pablo's or __________ or __________ or . . . means that it was roasted 60/90/120 days before that date?

                          In other words, Robert: not every roaster uses the same number of days; not every roaster goes "x" number of days out (post-roast) and thinks their coffee is still fine -- I've had people tell me that SIX MONTHS is just fine. Not every individual has access to the internet, and even so, not every roaster puts that information on their website.

                          So if a bag says, "Roasted On mm/dd/yyyy" the consumer KNOWS something factual and concrete, and there is no guesswork involved about when it was roasted, or how long *this* particular roasting company (as opposed to *that* one) thinks their coffee remains fresh once it is roasted and packaged . . .

                          And let's not get started on buying coffee out of bulk bins . . .

                          1. re: zin1953

                            "Each bag is labeled with a 'best by' date that is exactly 90 days past the roast date ..."


                            An expiration date seems like a better way to make sure the bags get off the shelf as per the guarantee than a roasted-on date.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              As I said earlier, Robert, we differ on this. I wouldn't touch a bag that was roasted 10+ days ago and sitting at ambient temperature.

                              You can repeat your statement of "exactly 90 days" as often as you wish, but that doesn't help the public at large if a) they don't know that, and/or b) they don't have access to the internet and Peet's website, and/or c) they are dealing with any other brand of coffee besides Peet's -- which may use a 45, 60, 90, 120, or 180 day "pull date."


                              1. re: zin1953

                                This topic is about Major Dickason's at Costco. You don't need access to the Internet to read "Freshness pledge: Peet's coffee is within 90 days of roasting. Sell by: <date stamp>" on the side of the bag.

                                I don't pay extra for things I can't taste, even if other people can.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  No one is asking you to satisfy other people's taste buds, Robert, any more than -- I presume -- you aren't asking that of others.

                            2. re: zin1953

                              And let's not get started on buying coffee out of bulk bins . . .
                              amen to that.

                  2. re: zin1953

                    The roast date may not matter since the Costco coffee labeled Peet's Major Dickason tastes markedly different from the coffee labeled Major Dickason purchased in a Peet's store. The Peets store MD tastes robust and dark, the Costco MD has a canned Folger's aftertaste and tastes like robusta (even though it may not be).The two MDs are not the same even though they are labeled the same. I don't know the explanation, but I have a good coffee palate, and the two -- the Costco vs. the Peets -- are very different in flavor.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      Yeah, I don't taste that. I think it's unlikely that Peet's would be diluting their billion-dollar brand that way. Next time I can find a bag at Costco I'll do a blind comparison.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                        I agree from a brand perspective makes no sense for them to have an entirely different product by the same name when they could easily call it by another name and still sell plenty. That said, there is a big price difference per pound, and I'm curious to know how they achieve and pass on the savings.Perception of freshness (it's in a bag, it's a bin, etc.) is a known influencer not always borne out by taste. So I'd love to hear about the side by side taste test results.

                        1. re: rubadubgdub

                          Something is very different between the two, no question. I do have a good palate for this.

                          What I'm guessing, and it's only a guess, is that the roast for Costco is different. or that -- again, not sure -- Costco is roasting their beans for them. Costco's roasters don't get to the temps other retails roasters do -- I know this for a fact, as I've chatted quite a few times with the persons who do the coffee roasting in a few of the Costco stores.

                          1. re: maria lorraine

                            Hmm, San Francisco has no coffee roasting on site which is where I've bought all my Peet's. Given the volumes that they're doing I don't see how they could keep up nor why Peet's would give them this control. The point of selling your product at Costco is volume. They buy in bulk and expect the producer to give them a serious discount, usually with hardly any margin. This works well when your company goal is growth and, from the recent news of the Peet's buyout, it seems like they're in alignment. My own less than scientific taste memory recalls a difference between the instore vs. Costco beans but then again I bought different beans, used different grinders, etc. But I'm still enjoying the Costco beans for iced coffee, it gives a smooth and concentrated drink.

                            1. re: rubadubgdub

                              I will say that one reason I buy at the Peet's stores is to have them grind the beans. I've found it very hard to replicate their results unless you're willing to spend $$ on your grinder.

                              1. re: rubadubgdub

                                My $90 burr grinder does a good job for drip coffee. It's apparently not precise enough at fine grinds to please espresso geeks.

                                1. re: rubadubgdub

                                  Just out of curiosity, how much is "$$"? I've made great drip coffee with grinders in the "two-digit" price range.

                                  Robert is correct, however, in that a "regular" burr grinder will *generally* not grind fine enough for espresso, but preparations from drip through press pot, siphon through percolators are served perfectly well with most burr grinders. That said, even an inexpensive burr grinder will yield a marked improvement over a whirly-blade "chopper."

                                  But once ground, I've found coffee goes stale rather quickly . . . I've found no way around that.

                                2. re: rubadubgdub

                                  <<The point of selling your product at Costco is volume. They buy in bulk and expect the producer to give them a serious discount, usually with hardly any margin. This works well when your company goal is growth and, from the recent news of the Peet's buyout, it seems like they're in alignment. >>

                                  I think you're on to something here.

                                  With the need for increased volume, QC has probably gone down.

                                  The increased needs for beans means expanding beyond the usual retail bean sources and controlling the roast on ever greater quantities. With a recent buyout, no doubt the new owners are cutting costs wherever they can. The bean sourcing may have suffered (diminished in quality) and the roasting controls (time and temperature) may not be as tightly monitored. The bean sourcing and roasting parameters for the Peets retail stores may be an entirely different operation from large-volume warehouse stores (often is, in situations like this).

                                  In any case, the Peet's from Peet's is not like the Peet's from Costco.

                                  1. re: maria lorraine

                                    All of Peet's coffee comes from the Alameda roasting facility.

                                    I don't think Peet's quality *control* has gone down. So long as I buy from a high-volume shop where the beans haven't been sitting in the bin for long, I find them very consistent. But to my taste the quality gradually declined in the late 90s while the price went up significantly.

                                    The company hasn't been bought out yet, they're in negotiations with a private equity group, JAB. If deal has is approved by the shareholders there are unlikely to be any changes, which is to say, the company will continue growing rapidly.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Sorry, I disagree, on several fronts, but don't want to argue.

                                3. re: maria lorraine

                                  Where does Costco roast beans on site? The bags at Richmond and SF are all labeled with the names of the big companies.

                                  Peet's has spent millions building out a distribution system to supply grocery and club stores directly.


                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Many Costco locations around the country have in-house roasting. I have no idea where they source their greens from.

                                    Having not visited every single Costco location in the San Francisco Bay Area, I cannot be more specific than this.

                                    1. re: zin1953

                                      I've never seen in-house roasting at any of the Costcos around here.

                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                        Well, as I said Robert, I haven't checked out every single one. I *do* know, however, that several Costco AND Whole Foods locations do roast coffee on-site . . . perhaps just not here in the Bay Area . . . .


                                        Whole Foods:

                                        (To mention but a few.)

                                        1. re: zin1953

                                          Maybe it's not cost-effective in the Bay Area with all the local roasters competing for their business. The SF Bay private label beans they sell here are from Rogers in Lincoln (exurb of Sacramento).

                    2. Wow, that's a good deal, thanks for the tip. $8.75 / lb. at Costco vs. $14.95 at Peet's. If the date on the bag is 90 days from the roasting date it was roasted last week.

                      1. I think Major Dickason's is one of the best "branded" coffee blends I have had. Even when it is not in optimum condition it is pretty darn good.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Tripeler

                          I used to think that Peets Major Dickason's was a fine coffee...till I bought some pre packed at a Safeway on a road trip.
                          It was really funky and average.

                          I would suspect that the two pound bags at Costco would probably be a little better.

                          However, I have given up on Peets as a premium coffee choice in the Bay Area.

                          1. re: Mission

                            I've purchased Major Dickason's only in Peet's locations and I have always had good luck with it. Still, it is normally too expensive for me so I usually buy coffee elsewhere which is not as good, but around half the price.

                            1. re: Mission

                              when peet's got acquired last month they advertised that their direct-to-store model was the company's biggest source of growth and the main area where they out-compete starbucks.

                              the reason they can charge less in this model is because they don't have to pay the cost to build out retail stores.

                              they have reps come into stores 1-3 times per week to pull out old inventory. so there may be some lag in freshness but probably not more than a week in cases where they directly service the store. they also use distributors -- in those cases quality may vary.

                              1. re: calumin

                                The bags are dated so you can see how old they are.

                          2. Are they still carrying this? None at Richmond today.

                            3 Replies