A not very well-known type of coffee in the world is the Peaberry coffee bean. It is a very special coffee bean that accounts for only about 5% of world coffee production. This type of coffee consists of smaller beans.
What are Peaberry coffee beans?
Usually, the flat side of the coffee bean faces in, while the round back faces out. Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee cherry that are extracted, processed, and roasted for consumption.
Peaberry beans result from a spontaneous mutation or error within a coffee cherry. In this case, only one bean grows. This creates more space for the individually growing seeds. A larger, rounder seed develops in this area.
During the post-harvest, the berries are usually sorted and separated. They are sorted by size with a sieve or with a sophisticated technology that quickly sorts by weight and size.
Due to its rather rounded shape, the Peaberry is called “caracolillo” in Spanish. Peaberry coffee can be grown anywhere in the world. Interestingly, there are places like Tanzania, Brazil, Kenya, and Kona (Hawaii) that produce more peaberries because they have the infrastructure to find and separate peaberries from regular beans.
Why are there Peaberry coffee beans?
Nobody knows for sure. There are still not enough scientific studies to understand the Peaberry coffee bean. But 5-15% of all coffee cherries are Peaberry coffee beans.
How is the Peaberry coffee bean roasted?
These coffee beans are naturally smaller in size. Therefore, the roasting process differs from that for regular sized coffee beans.
Since these are smaller coffee beans, the temperature needs to be lower. The beans should not be heated too quickly, nor should they be exposed to extremely high heat. This also means a shorter roasting time.
Most of the time, smaller green coffee beans are roasted using fluidized bed technology. Due to the smaller size of the beans, it’s not easy to hear that first crack, and that opens the door to over-roasting.
It’s important to mention that some roasters consider these coffee beans to be easier to roast than their flat brethren due to their round shape. Others argue that the procedure is more difficult for the same reasons.
Does the Peaberry coffee bean have more caffeine?
One of the main differences between Peaberry and regular coffee beans might be the caffeine content. Peaberry coffee beans contain slightly more caffeine, especially those from the Robusta plant. To be precise, regular coffees have a caffeine content between 1 and 1.3%, while Peaberry has a caffeine content of 1.42%. However, this is highly dependent on origin, roasting and extraction.
Does the Peaberry coffee bean taste better?
Peaberry coffee beans possess sharp acidity, sweetness and concentrated, nuanced flavors in the cup. Most people agree that Peaberry coffee beans taste different; however, the reasons for this vary.
Some say that Peaberry coffee tastes sweeter and tastier than regular coffee. It is often pointed out that this is because the single seed inside the coffee cherry absorbs all the nutrients for itself.
Others say that the main reason for the great taste is that the beans are hand-picked. This is to minimize the harvest of inferior beans.
Another frequently cited reason for the better taste of Peaberry coffee is the fact that the beans are roasted more evenly due to their “rounder shape”.
In short, the flavor profile of Peaberry coffee is quite different from that of regular coffee. However, the difference isn’t always as pronounced as some people think or as marketers would like us to believe.
Types of Peaberry coffee
As for the different types of peach coffee, there are the two most common. One is from Tanzania, the other from Hawaii.
The first is made from Arabica coffee beans and usually has flavors such as blackberry, lemon, black tea, chocolate and kiwi. In addition, the Tanzanian peach coffee offers more depth of flavor.
Kona coffee from Hawaii, on the other hand, has a more intense citrus aroma. It has a much lighter body and a more aromatic profile.
Peaberry beans can be of any type, i.e. light, medium or dark roast. They are also available decaffeinated.
The Peaberry coffee beans themselves are not a variation of different types of coffee, but a special coffee bean. The three common types of coffee are Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica. So there is Peaberry Arabica, Peaberry Robusta and Peaberry Liberico.
It comes from Arabica coffee trees. A regular Arabica coffee has a “sweet” taste and aroma, but it’s said that the addition of peach berries enhances the taste. Arabica coffee is the most popular bean in the world. The flavors of this bean range from fruity to chocolatey and honeyed to floral.
It comes from Robusta coffee trees and has a stronger and more bitter taste. It also has a higher caffeine content. This coffee bean is the second most popular coffee bean in the world. The taste is bitter, dry and more intense due to the high caffeine content and low sugar content.
It comes from Libérica and has an even stronger flavor than Robusta. It is not a very popular coffee bean and is mainly grown in Asia and Africa, as its cultivation requires a special climate.
What is the best way to prepare Peaberry coffee?
Peaberry coffee is best served as a long black coffee, preferably filtered through paper, but some Peaberry coffee origins allow a more intense brewing method, e.g. B. on the stove or in the pot.
However, there are three recommended methods of extracting Peaberry coffee beans to get the best taste, quality, and aroma.
Drip coffee maker
It is able to extract enough acidity and body and has a very fruity taste. This method is ideal for any type of roast.
The best choice for medium and dark roast coffee beans. This method tends to extract too much acidity, so it’s not the best choice for light roasts.
Siphon coffee maker
Allows control of temperature and water flow, as well as extraction time. This method is ideal for light to medium roasts of Peaberry coffee beans.
Why is the Peaberry coffee bean so expensive?
Quality Peaberry coffee doesn’t have to be expensive. The price largely depends on supply and demand and the quality of the coffee beans.
However, due to the limited quantity and the amount of work involved in choosing, they tend to be a bit more expensive.
The special harvesting and roasting processes for Peaberry are not the same as for regular coffee beans. So, it’s only natural that the flavor profile is different. There is also a slight difference in terms of caffeine content.