Peaberry, what is it?
When scrolling through coffee content, or browsing a roasters website, there are always going to be key words that jump out at you and leave you wondering; what is that?
One of these words that really sparked my curiosity when I first came across it was “Peaberry”. It didn’t feel like the other varietals that were mentioned across the site, and its link to Kenya only increased my interest.
In a regular coffee cherry, you are expected to find 2 coffee seeds. These are removed, separated and processed and eventually end up as the roasted bean we know and love.
Peaberries occur from a natural mutation within the plant that means that instead of 2 coffee seeds there is only one, larger, rounder seed growing inside the cherry.
During post-harvest production these beans are separated from the rest and processed on their own. Peaberries are considered to have a superior flavour profile due to the fact all the good stuff is packed into one, denser bean rather than split between two. Whether they’re superior or not is still up for debate, and flavour preferences may result in varying opinions, but one cannot excuse their brilliance to their mutation alone.
Like all coffee beans, agricultural and production factors all play a massive role in the final cup’s flavour and aroma. How high was the coffee grown? What processing method did it go through? All of these things impact how a coffee bean performs.
However, when a Peaberry arrives for roasting it’s important to note that it requires a little extra attention. Due to its size, it is assumed that the heat from the roaster takes longer to penetrate and reach the core of the bean; resulting in a longer roast time. With that comes the danger of burning the beans. It really is a focused game of balance between time, heat and air.
We, at Butterworth HQ, recently got our hands on 2 brilliant Kenyan coffees of which one is a Peaberry. When you place them against each other, size and flavour wise, you really get to understand the differences and what makes a Peaberry stand out. If you want to see this contrast for yourself head over to the website and grab yourself both, or either one of the Kenyan coffees.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of different types of coffee beans. It’s important to remember that even the most exclusive of varietals can result in a bad cup without the people tending to it and the care it received on its journey.