According to today’s SF Chronicle, Alfred Peet — founder of Peet’s Coffee & Tea, consultant to the birth of Starbucks, and chief influencer and educator to many in today’s modern coffee trade — passed away in his home in Ashland, OR today at the age of 87: Founder of Peet’s Coffee dies at 87.

Mr. Peet started his namesake coffee chain in Berkeley in 1966. He ultimately retired from his post in 1983. A more detailed biography on Alfred Peet can be found in the L.A. Times: Alfred Peet, 87; coffee brewer’s Berkeley shop spawned a nationwide caffeine craze – Los Angeles Times. (And since the Times likes to aggressively expire links to old content: Salt Lake Tribune – For Peet’s Sake, Drink Good Coffee.)

UPDATE: Sept. 5, 2007
Today Berkeley’s The Daily Californian published a decent bio piece on Alfred Peet: Peet’s Founder Brewed City’s First ‘European-Style’ Coffee – The Daily Californian.