Peaberry Coffee: What is Peaberry Coffee and How Does it Taste?

Peaberry Coffee

If you're like us and enjoy something more adventurous than you're average cup of coffee, perhaps it’s time you hear about Peaberry coffee beans. If your local roasters carry Peaberry coffees, you've probably wondered why these beans tend to be as pricey as they are. 

Today at Black Ink Coffee, we will unpack everything about the Peaberry coffee bean, everything from where Peaberries originate, and what to look out for in terms of purchasing your own quality Peaberry roast. 

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What is Peaberry Coffee

what is peaberry coffee

In order to understand Peaberry beans, we need to have a look at the coffee cherry itself. Coffee cherries normally contain two coffee beans in their innermost layer. When it comes to Peaberries, these are technically mutated coffee cherries with only one seed, instead of two seeds. 

Yes, you read correctly, Peaberries are technically a natural mutation of the regular coffee cherries harvested, and lead to flavor notes that make each brew worth the price. However, this rare mutation has actually led to a certain quality in the taste of the coffee fruit when it’s roasted which has led to Peaberry beans be the craze at any coffee shop that has them for purchase.  

Technically, this mutation can develop naturally in the growing process anywhere around the world, so when coffee is called Peaberry, it could have been processed from multiple different regions. 

Fun fact, in Spanish, Peaberry actually means snail, and presumably because of the shape of the beans, this name stuck. 

Coffee Cherry Anatomy 101 

As you may or may not know, a coffee bean technically comes from what is called a coffee cherry, which, yes as the word cherry implies, technically makes it considered as a  fruit.  Each cherry contains two coffee beans which are processed for roasting before they get ground down and brewed into your morning cup. 

The beans are protected by different layers and pulp contained inside the coffee cherry.  Most commonly, after processing the cherries, two flat coffee beans are separated.  Peaberries are special cherries containing only one oval bean, and are limited to only  5 percent of every single green coffee cherry grown per farm. 

While many explanations have been offered for the unique characteristics of Peaberry beans, and their rounder higher density body, it remains a mystery how they occur. Thus, each bag of Peaberry coffee beans tends to have a pretty large dollar sign attached to it. 

Harvesting the Goods 

From the initial onset, Peaberry coffee and regular coffee cherries look exactly identical. So, when coffee beans are harvested, they go through the same process. On any single coffee farm, many hours of labor are spent picking and collecting hundreds of thousands of cherries each day before they are prepared for shipping. 

Following their drying phase, all those pounds of coffee beans are sifted in order for the Peaberry beans to get grouped together. 

Any coffee growing company that has gone through the process of sifting out Peaberries can understand how involved this process really is.

How Do the Beans Taste? 

For a first time drinker, Peaberry coffee never fails to deliver a unique coffee drinking experience. 

Since Peaberry coffee is generally a denser and rounder bean, this leads to a much bright and sweeter taste after the coffee is roasted. 

While nothing is entirely proven, coffee experts have reason to believe the reason Peaberry coffees are such high quality can come down to them being the only bean grown inside the cherry, and thus, free of interference receives more nutrients. Since the average coffee cherry divides its nutrients amongst two beans, Peaberries may simply be more nutritionally dense, leading to a greater flavor profile and other characteristics. 

Tanzania Peaberry Coffee

Tanzania Peaberry Coffee

Now that you know what makes a coffee Peaberry, it’s probably a good time to find out how you can get a roast of it yourself. If you subscribe to our posts, you know we do like to shop around for our beans. And, in this particular matter, we're gonna give you the inside scoop on Tanzania Peaberry, and trust us, this may quickly become a regular brew for you. 

As we've mentioned, Peaberry coffee can be grown inside different regions all over the world.  That being said, Tanzania is growing to become the home address for the first choice of Peaberry beans from anywhere else. 

As we've mentioned, in normal coffee cherries, one flat and one round bean divide the nutrients between each other. But, in the case of Peaberry coffees, all of these nutrients are funneled into one Peaberry bean, creating twice the flavor notes and sweetness. While regular beans from Tanzania are already known for a delectably bright acidic roast when it comes to Tanzania Peaberry, the brightness and acidic profile of their naturally sweet coffees is multiplied even more. 

If Tanzania Peaberries go through a medium roasting process, this generally gives out a more balanced body and flavor that maintains all the unique characteristics of Tanzania coffees, but is easier to the palate.

From our experience, Tanzanian Peaberry seeds make the perfect combination of sweet, black currant, citrusy tropical fruits, and a smooth chocolate finish. If you're looking to send your tongue on a rollercoaster ride, these are the beans you need. 

Peaberry Coffee Beans

Peaberry Coffee Beans

At the end of the day, you're free to continue drinking coffee the old fashion way, but at least some time in your life, we recommend finding roasters with a solid supply of Peaberry. Usually something with an expensive dollar sign can tend to be hyped without anything that really sets it apart or makes it different. 

That being said, until you've had your first sip of Peaberry, you won't truly know what makes it such a special cup of coffee. 

If you can't find anyone around you roasting it, its not a bad idea to take to the internet and purchase some online. Good Peaberries are can be hard to find, but once you do, you'll think you went to heaven (or Tanzania). 

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Parker Russell is a coffee professional and the founder of Black Ink Coffee. As an expert in the field of coffee roasting, cupping (professional Q-Grader) and brewing, Parker has established Black Ink as brand that fuels the grind of dreamers.