If you have heard of peaberry coffee, you may have wondered what it is and why it is so expensive. Peaberries have a rather interesting origin, and a complicated harvesting method.
What is Peaberry Coffee?
Peaberries are developing in a coffee cherry where one of the beans fails. Some people think this is a mutation. The coffee cherry normally contains two pits. The two coffee beans are flat on the interior side and round on the outer side. A peaberry contains a single, round coffee bean. Their small size and round shape give them their name. Peaberries are found in about 5-10% of the cherries, hence they are more rare. In some cases the ratio could go as low as 1%.
Peaberry beans are harder, and more dense than the normal beans. Some people believe that the peaberry will get more nutrients than regular beans which have to share the same amount of nutrients.
Because of the higher density, peaberries roast slower, hence a different roast flavor.
Rising Sun’s Brazil Peaberry
The Brazil peaberry beans boasts a candy-like sweetness with nutty notes. The beans are roasted in small batches, for a better control over the roasting process.
The roasting is done with infrared technology, which means there is no smoke aftertaste like with traditional roasting. The small batch roasting ensures a speedy cooling for perfect coffee.
What’s So Special about Peaberry Coffee Beans?
Why Are they Expensive?
Since there is no way of telling which cherries contain peaberries, peaberries must be hand-sorted after picked and processed in order to be sold separately. This manual process is laborious and makes the peaberry coffee more expensive. The extra work will translate into a premium price – about $15+ per pound. Peaberries are not specific to any particular region. They can grow anywhere. So, it’s not necessarily their high quality that makes them so expensive; it’s their complicated sorting process.
The online publication Coffee Review has a short article here, that describes pretty well how peaberries are different.
Does Peaberry Coffee Taste Better?
Roasters who sell peaberry coffee will boast its exceptional flavor, but whether or not peaberry coffee tastes better than regular beans is up for debate. Since they are found in every region alongside regular coffee beans, some would argue that there isn’t very much differentiating them from regular coffee. In fact, some roasters don’t even bother separating them from a regular batch, like this one. Not to mention, to assume all peaberries from all coffee-bearing regions are superior would be a huge generalization. Flavors always vary between regions. Regardless, there are certainly a good few aboard the peaberry train.
Should You Try Peaberry Coffee?
Interested in giving peaberry coffee a shot? The hype around peaberry coffee makes it an alluring prospect, and we have to admit, the mystery surrounding the quality of the flavor is enough of a reason to try it out. So, why not? The worst thing that could happen is that you drink a delicious cup of specialty coffee that tastes like a delicious cup of specialty coffee. But keep in mind that you’re paying for the expensive sorting process, not for a higher quality bean.
Where Can You Buy Peaberry Coffee?
There exists a myth that peaberry coffee comes only from Tanzania, but we know that this is false and that they can come from every region. However, it is true that Tanzania is widely known for consistently producing peaberry coffee, so you will find a lot of Tanzanian peaberry coffee on the market.
Our advice is to buy coffee locally. Your local coffee roaster, if there is one you can trust, is the best place to buy it, because it’s fresh, and you can arrange to pick your beans within hours from roasting.
If you don’t have a roaster locally, Amazon is probably the best bet.
Tanzanian peaberries are the most famous single origin. The Tanzanian mills have a tradition of sorting peaberries, and their coffee never disappoints.
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC has a very inexpensive option on Amazon, and the reviews are great. The coffee is a light roast, so make sure you adjust your brewing for that. The cup will have lemon and peach acidity, with honey notes. The beans produce a very smooth coffee, with no bitterness, that you can use with virtually any brewing method from cold brew to espresso.