Sal Bonavita, Coffee & Tea Consultant


In the 1970’s he was Founder and CEO of Coffee Imports, an international importer of whole bean gourmet coffee and specialty tea, espresso coffee making equipment and coffee and tea accessories.

Coffee Imports introduced specialty whole bean coffee and tea as a boutique shop concept to major American retailers, including Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, JC Penney, and over 3000 independent specialty shops.

During this time Sal invented and developed several coffee making equipment and accessories, including one of the first stove top espresso/cappuccino machines.

In 1979 Sal purchased Peet’s Coffee and Tea from it’s founder, Alfred Peet, who was Sal’s inspiration and mentor during the five years that Sal owned and operated Peet’s.

Sal at Guatemalan organic coffee farm

Tasting with Alfred Peet at

Bonavita Coffee & Tea

Sal Bonavita became an aficionado out of the love of coffee, tea and quality, a discerning instinct and an excitement about catching a wave that was just forming in the distance.

Alfred Peet mentored Sal in a European tradition of focus and love of quality by daily tasting, roasting, brewing, buying and training in all other aspects of the specialty coffee and tea business.

During this five-year period Sal started Peet’s expansion by opening additional retail stores and developing Peet’s mail order and wholesale businesses.  In 1984 Sal sold Peet’s due to a family illness.

In 1990 Sal began consulting and co-founded two companies, Wolf Coffee in Sonoma County and Bonavita Coffee & Tea in Marin.  He is currently an industry consultant.