What is Peaberry Coffee

If you are a coffee lover, the smell of freshly brewed coffee brings a special feel that is beyond words. The unique aroma of the coffee provides a variety of attractive scents. This could be the reason why a majority of people favor coffee. 

But do you know that coffee is available in different varieties? Yes, Arabica and Robusta are the two main types of coffee that are available all over the world. There is yet another variety called the Peaberry coffee that is gaining popularity nowadays. 

What is Peaberry Coffee? 

The natural mutation of Arabica and Robusta coffee types results in the formation of Peaberry coffee. In this type of coffee, only one bean is present inside the coffee cherry. You need to extract the bean and then roast and ground to make the peaberry coffee. 

The name peaberry comes from the pea-shape of the beans. Peaberry coffee is also called Caracol in Spanish. 

How Are Peaberry Coffees Formed? 

A coffee bean is a red-colored fruit called the coffee cherry. A normal coffee cherry consists of two seeds with a flat surface on one side and a round surface on the other. Both the flat surfaces face inwards, and the rounded back face outwards. 

In some coffee cherries, a natural mutation happens because of which only one seed will be present. The other seed fails to mature. This single seed gets enough space to develop as there is no other seed to crush it. Because of this, this single seed will be round in shape and denser. This single, rounder seed is called the peaberry. 

From outside, peaberries and regular coffee seeds look the same. It is during the post-harvest process that you need to sort and separate the peaberries. Most of the coffee companies resort to manual sorting to separate the peaberry from normal beans. 

The type of cultivation or processing technique does not have any influence on the growth of peaberries. It occurs naturally. Worldwide, around 5-10% of harvested coffee contains peaberries. 

What Are the Characteristics of Peaberry Coffee? 

Peaberry coffee has some unique characteristics that make it stand out from the rest. 

  • Taste

Peaberry coffee tastes better than regular coffee. It is sweeter and lighter, which makes it a favorite with coffee lovers. The coffee tends to be more juicer and creamier. The unique taste is because the single seed absorbs all the nutrients that the cherry gets, thus making it richer. 

  • Easy to roast

A regular coffee bean has a flat surface on one side and a rounded surface on the other. But a peaberry coffee has a rounded surface throughout. The unique shape of the peaberry makes it easy to roast. But the temperature should be adjusted so that all beans gets uniform roasting. 

  • Nutrient

The nutrient content of peaberry coffee is much higher than regular coffee. In a regular coffee, both beans in a cherry equally share the nutrients. But in peaberry, the single bean absorbs all the nutrients. This increases the overall nutritional level of peaberry. 

Why Do You Consider Peaberries to be More Tasty and Superior? 

In a standard coffee cherry, the nutrients absorbed is equally shared by both beans in a cherry. But in the case of peaberry, since only one bean is present all the nutrients are absorbed by this single bean. Because of this, peaberry has a high caffeine content and taste better than normal beans. 

In addition to this, peaberries are rounder and denser. This makes it possible to roast them evenly, which can affect their flavor. 

Why Is Peaberry Coffee Expensive? 

Peaberry coffee is an exotic and premium variety of coffee. You can attribute the high cost of peaberry coffee to various reasons.

  • Less availability

When compared to regular coffee, the quantity of peaberry coffee extracted by coffee companies is very less. Only 5%-10% of the total harvest consists of peaberry coffee. Since the supply of peaberry is less, their price naturally shoots up. 

  • High labor cost

You need to resort to the manual technique for sorting Peaberry. When a new batch of coffee beans arrives, more labor is hired by coffee companies to manually check for peaberry beans. This increases labor costs. 

Moreover, separate roasting should be done for these beans as it is round in shape. You cannot mix peaberry with regular coffee beans. This again increases the overall cost, eventually making the coffee more expensive. 

  • It roasts differently

As mentioned earlier, you cannot roast the peaberry the same way as a regular bean. Because of its peculiar shape and density, roasters have to adjust the roasting temperature. The mesh size used in the roasting drum and roasting time should also be adjusted so that you get perfectly roasted beans. All this adds to the high price of the beans. 

  • Better taste

Since peaberry gets all the nutrients absorbed by the coffee cherry, it tends to be more strong and sweet. The caffeine content in peaberry is also slightly higher than most other bean varieties. This again increases the cost of the coffee. 

Where Do You Find Most of the Peaberries? 

You will find peaberries in all places where coffee is processed. But you can find a higher concentration in regions like Tanzania, Brazil, Kona, and Kenya. The main reason is that these regions have a special infrastructure in place to find and sort peaberries from normal berries. Because of this, you can find more peaberries in this region. 

Which Are the Popular Varieties of Peaberries? 

Peaberry coffee grows in almost all coffee growing regions. But there are two varieties of peaberry coffee that are popular. They are Kona coffee and Tanzanian coffee. 

Kona Coffee

Kona coffee grows in the North and South districts of the Kona region in the Big Island of Hawaii. They usually grow after the dry winter months and you can harvest them in the next autumn. Coffee mostly grows in the cool slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Lao mountains in rich volcanic soil. This along with the afternoon cloud cover in this region, adds to the Kona coffee’s unique flavor. 

Tanzanian Coffee

The Tanzanian coffee is an African coffee variety that grows on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru’s slopes in Tanzania. This coffee tastes best when you roast them at medium. The coffee beans are bright and have a high acidity level. The unique feature of this coffee is the hint of fruit flavor. You get a taste of citrus fruit, coconut, and blackcurrant in this coffee. 

How Can You Roast Peaberry?

Once you pluck the coffee cherries, it undergoes the following process.

  • Sorting

Here, you need to check each cherry manually to see whether it is a normal bean or peaberry. It is easy to identify as peaberry will have only one bean inside the cherry. 

  • Sample roast

Next, you need to roast a few peaberry samples in a small roaster. This helps to identify the optimum temperature for roasting a larger batch. 

You can roast peaberry in light, medium, or dark. If roasted light, the coffee taste will be prominent. But if you roast it dark, then the roasting taste will be noticeable. 

  • Final roasting

You need to decide the optimal temperature based on the sample tested. Now the whole batch of peaberry is transferred to a roasting drum. You then need to roast it at the optimal temperature decided. 

Is Peaberry Coffee Worth the Price? 

Whether Peaberry coffee is worth the price is a tricky question. For some people, certain smells and tastes create a positive vibe. It can leave them energized and craving for more. For some other people, the same aroma can be horrible. The same applies to peaberry coffee as well. 

Coffee connoisseurs can make out even a subtle difference in taste. They find peaberry coffee to be sweeter and stronger and are ready to pay a high price. Whereas for some others, peaberry is like any other coffee. Thus, whether it is worth the price is an individual choice.

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This article was written by William

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