America’s best coffee chains not named Starbucks (or Dunkin' Donuts)

These shops may be small in comparison, but they're big on flavor and appeal.

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Peet's coffee Peet's coffee (Photo: Rob Crandall /

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Peet's Coffee

Founded in 1966, Peet's started out as a local Bay Area mini-chain known for its focus on quality at a time when Americans didn't know much about gourmet coffee. But it was good enough to inspire a devoted following – referred to as "Peetniks," a cross between Peet's and Beatniks. At the turn of the century a group of investors snatched it up and succeeded in expanding its reach across the country. There are now nearly 200 Peet's locations in total.

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