It's a sad day for two of my favorite vices. No, not this kind. The "they're not necessarily good for you but you like them anyways" kind.
First I heard that Alfred Peet, the founder of Peet's Coffee had died. Coffee is an acquired taste. Made properly, it has a powerful taste, whether a bit more sweet or a bit more bitter depending on the beans and the roast. I learned to drink it in a predecessor to today's fru fru coffee drinks, the mocha (basically 1/3 espresso, 2/3 steamed milk, plus chocolate; if you were feeling thin as I was at the time, you could get it topped with whipped cream). But going to college in Berkeley where Peet's was founded, I learned the difference between good coffee and the crud that gets served many places, and learned to appreciate a good cup of coffee black -- no sugar, no milk. Now that I'm addicted to the taste, the process of waking up with a hot drink, and particularly the caffeine, I can tolerate lesser coffee if that's all there is. But Peet's still has the best coffee. Not that Starbucks serves a bad cup of joe, but I think Peet's will always be my favorite. And Peet's was the inspiration for Starbucks, so it might not even exist if it hadn't been for Alfred.
Now I've learned that Michael Jackson (no, not that one) passed away. He was known as "The Beer Hunter", and hosted a TV series as well as authored a book by the name. Beer is also an acquired taste, and I admittedly acquired it well before I acquired a taste for coffee in college. I even worked in a brew pub / brew on premises for a while after I left Geoworks.
If I had to choose between giving up beer or giving up coffee, well...it'd be a hard choice. But both the world of coffee and the world of beer have lost something.