Coffee starts it’s life as a fruit, the coffee cherry. The cherry has fruit (mucilage) on the outside and typically two seeds facing each other in the center (much like other fruits we eat). These two seeds have flat surfaces facing each other, and rounded surfaces facing the rest of the fruit. Peaberry is a genetic deformity when, instead of two seeds, a cherry has just one seed, with no flat surface, just rounded on both sides.
The coffee bean on the right is a peaberry, while the one on the left is a regular coffee bean. Notice how the peaberry is rounded on all sides while the regular bean has one flat side.
Why do they exist?
Nobody knows this for sure. There hasn’t been enough scientific study done to understand peaberries. 5-10% of all cherries are peaberries!
How are peaberry seeds sorted?
You could find peaberry seeds in any coffee, and they can be found in any coffee growing country. Coffee that’s called “Peaberry” indicates that the peaberries have been manually hand-picked from lots during coffee processing.
Peaberry coffees are usually found in countries like Tanzania, Kenya & Brazil since these countries have the infrastructure setup to sort the peaberries.
What’s special about the taste?
This is a debatable topic – some claim that it produces a more flavorful cup, slightly brighter & light-bodied cup compared to the same lot with normal berries. However, this hasn’t been consistently proven. You can brew a peaberry coffee just like you normally would brew any other coffee. And as you drink that delicious cup, definitely appreciate the extra work that has gone into picking these special beans!
The first peaberry we carried is this delicious coffee TAZ from Tanzania.