What da heck are PEABERRIES?

Chances are you’ve encountered peaberry coffee before...heard of it, seen it, tasted it. What exactly is it though? - you might be wondering. 

Peaberries sound like they would be adorable little things and, in fact, they are! In raw, or green, coffee form, they resemble small greenish-hued BBs and have a very distinct and refreshing fruity fragrance...quite different from the usual smell of grass of most green coffee. In roasted form, peaberries look a lot like small, round bunny poops. Fortunately, they taste nothing like that! 

Peaberries are a naturally occurring variation where only one seed, instead of two, develops inside the fruit, or cherry, of the coffee plant. This is quite uncommon and happens in only about 5% of all harvested coffee beans. The other 95% of the time two seeds form inside the cherry, squishing against each other and flattening their adjoining sides; this results in the very familiar shape of your average coffee bean. In the case of peaberries, where only one seed forms, the lone ranger is free to grow without being squished or flattened on one side, hence its resulting round shape. They are also generally smaller and denser.

You’ll likely see the peaberry variety when it comes to Tanzania as well as Kona coffees. Whether they taste any different from “normal” coffee is up for debate - advocates claim increased sweetness and flavor, while opposers insist there is no difference in taste. We’ll always root for the little guy so we’re partial to the former’s position but to each their own but, whatever camp you end up falling in, enjoy the brew!

February 16, 2019 by Lee Nichols