What is peaberry coffee?
If you haven’t heard the word peaberry before, then you may think that peaberries are like any typical fruit that ends with berry: strawberries, blueberries, etc. But, surprise, surprise – peaberry is neither like strawberry, blueberry, or any of their kind of fruit. It’s actually a type of coffee bean.
If you are wanting to learn more about peaberry coffee, you came to the right place. This article will educate you on peaberry coffee, and specifically, we will cover the following questions:
· What is a peaberry?
· Where does peaberry come from?
· What makes peaberry coffee special?
· What is the flavor profile of peaberry?
· Are peaberries better than regular coffee?
Peaberry coffee provides a unique flavor and smell, and one that everyone should experience. These beans are a result of a unique mutation that can’t be intentionally grown, yet are extremely popular brew.
What Is A Peaberry?
A Peaberry is a type of coffee bean. It is a result of a coffee beans genetic (natural) mutation where a single coffee bean grows on its own inside its cherry, rather than with its twin. So technically, peaberry is not a different type of coffee bean, but a mutation from a regular coffee bean.
So far, researchers are unsure of how the mutation happens, but it is estimated that around 5% of coffee beans mutate into peaberries. In fact, once you learn how to spot a regular coffee bean from a peaberry, and when you look closely at your coffee beans (of any type), you may spot a few peaberries mixed in.
Where Do Peaberries Come From?
As mentioned above, a peaberry is not a different type of coffee bean, it is simply a mutation of a would-be coffee bean. That means, peaberries can be found in any coffee cherries.
Because peaberries are found in virtually any coffee cherry, the region where the coffee was grown, how they were processed, whether they either came from a Robusta or Arabica plant or even the roasting process used, don’t impact the “production” of peaberries.
It might sound surprising, but you cannot plant peaberries. Because they come from a mutation, it’s sometimes hard to even sort them out. However, if you’re planting coffee plants, around 5% to 15% of your coffee cherries will contain peaberries.
Over time, peaberries became more popular. Farmers and growers decided to sell peaberries separately. So, every time they harvest their coffee, they intentionally pick out peaberries and sell it as a separate product.
It doesn’t matter what region they were grown in, whether they came from an Arabica or Robusta plant, how they were processed, or what roasting process is used. Peaberries are simply singleton beans – that’s it.
They’re also more common than you might think. Anywhere from 5% to 10% of coffee cherries contain a peaberry! Although you might find a peaberry here and there, there are bags dedicated to only peaberries. Coffee labeled “peaberry” means that the peaberries were picked out during the harvesting process and collected together to sell on their own.
Although peaberry growth is independent of its region, most peaberries come from regions like Tanzania, Kona, Brazil, and Kenya because they have built tools and machinery intended to find and separate peaberries from regular coffee beans. This also explains why peaberries are often coming from Tanzania and Kona.
What Makes Peaberries Special?
What is a peaberry and why is it special? Here are three reasons why peaberries are special:
1. You cannot intentionally grow a peaberry
Peaberries are a product of random mutation. While it’s true that peaberries are slightly common in coffee plantations (accounting to around 5% to 15%), you still can’t control how and when to grow them. They just exist with regular coffee beans – and only Mother Nature knows how and when.
2. It takes more effort to produce peaberry coffee
To produce an entire bag of peaberry coffee, farmers sort out and hand-pick peaberries from coffee cherries. That’s not even the hard part though.
The hard part is, they don’t know which coffee cherry has peaberries inside, so they must manually crack open each coffee cherry to know which have peaberries. Peaberries come at a premium price, partially because of the work that goes into harvest.
3. They have a distinctive taste.
Despite coming from regular coffee beans, peaberries are known to be sweeter and more flavorful than regular coffee beans. Otherwise, why bother buying a premium of peaberry if they just taste like regular coffee?
Flavor Profile of Peaberry
As we mentioned earlier, peaberries have a unique and distinctive taste. However, not all people agree on this, some believe that there is not a significant difference between peaberries and their regular coffee bean counterparts.
One thing is clear, though: it does have its own flavor profile. Typically, peaberries tend to be light-bodied with a brighter taste. The only thing in question is – how different does it taste from its regular counterpart?
Two things that play a role in taste include region and the type of coffee blend it comes from. For example, Tanzanian peaberries, aside from having a brighter taste when comparing to regular coffee beans, have a rich, chocolate flavor as well.
Are Peaberries Better Than Regular Coffee?
While peaberries – mutated versions of regular coffee beans – are different than regular coffee beans, it does not necessarily mean that they are superior to regular coffee beans.
For one, farmers cannot control when to grow peaberries, let alone control the quality of them. Peaberries sprung from coffee cherries due to mutation, but farmers cannot replicate it because of the mutation.
Keep in mind that peaberries are often compared to their regular counterparts – and farmers can’t do much to guarantee that a specific set of peaberries will be better or more superior to regular coffee beans.
However, if you’re looking for caffeine strength, peaberries tend to have a slightly higher amount of caffeine compared to other coffee beans. This is especially true if the peaberry came from the Robusta plant. For instance, the Tanzanian Peaberry has a level of 1.42% of caffeine, while other beans have an average of around 1% to 1.37%.
When it comes to flavor strength, the region arguably plays a role. Peaberries from East Africa and Indonesia tend to have a stronger flavor than those coming from Hawaii or South America. Indonesian and East African peaberries will especially have a stronger flavor because of a darker roast.
Aside from caffeine content and flavor strength, how you like peaberries will depend on your personal flavor preferences. The question to ask is, do you want to have a more dramatic, bold taste or is a regular coffee’s taste more fitting for you?
Regardless of your normal preference, you should try peaberry coffee once in your life. Who knows, you may end up liking it more than your regular coffee or experiment mixing the two together.
Where to Buy Peaberry Coffee
If you want to try out peaberry coffee, we have a few different options that you can choose from. You can find these here or here. You can buy a fully 100% peaberry coffee bag or take a mixed-in option.
One beneficial part about peaberry beans coming from a random mutation is that consumers don’t have to worry about producers creating “fake” peaberries. While some coffee beans experience mass amounts of frauds like Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, it’s impossible to create fake or copy-cat peaberry coffee.
It’s impossible to rip off a random mutation. That said, some producers might label a mixed peaberry and regular bean bag as a strict peaberry bag. This is where consumers need to be careful to only purchase high-quality coffee from a quality brand.
Just keep in mind the price, though: peaberry beans typically charge a premium price because of the difficulty of harvest and production costs. The growers and farmers work hard to produce these beans. Chances are if you give peaberry coffee a try, you will understand the price point.
Bonus: A Delicious Peaberry Coffee Recipe
One way to try out peaberry coffee is by making a flavorful latte. An iced vanilla latte combines a mix of flavors that will refresh and rejuvenate you on a warm spring day. It’s savory, delicious, and a combination you will want to make time and time again.
- 1 cup of chilled peaberry coffee
- 1/4 cup milk or cream (for those on diet, a recommendation would be to use low-fat milk and decrease the syrup amount)
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla syrup
- 1/2 cup of ice cubs
How to make it →
- Brew a cup of peaberry coffee and refrigerate it until chilled.
- Prepare 1 glass by filling it with ice.
- In the glass, pour in the coffee, milk/cream, and vanilla syrup.
- Stir until the ingredients are combined and enjoy!
Have you tried peaberry coffee? If you love it, or if you want to experience it, you can shop for our peaberry coffee here or here. You can drink it black, or make it using one of our favorite coffee recipes here.