Like busses I’ve waited for a great peaberry (not ignoring the Indian Peaberry Bold) and two have come along. The new Bolivian San Ignacio and the nearly here (well here just not got the profile nailed yet) Brazil Fazenda Aranquan Pulped Natural Peaberry which will be sorted in the next few days.
There was a time where peaberry coffee beans were considered inferior and a rejected defect. In the main this was due to the size and an unappealing difference between Peaberries and regular beans. Then there was a time when peaberry’s became highly treasured and something that was desired. And then some normality hit the market and now there are some good peaberrys and some bad, and this is widely accepted as the norm now.
Exactly what are Peaberry’s?
Coffee cherries are the fruit of the coffee tree, and inside each cherry are two seeds, more commonly referred to as beans. A peaberry is nothing more than a bean without a partner. Peaberries occur in all varietals in every coffee growing region and normally anywhere from 4%-10% of coffee cherries harbour a single, smaller, fused bean.
There are some varietals that have been breed for there peaberry, and on my trip to Brazil I came across one that is called Acuan that produces 45% peaberry.
Peaberries typically develop on the ends of the branches. No one really knows why, but one theory is that an outermost blossom is more exposed to the wind and weather and may lose a pistil.
There is a theory that because Peaberries are smaller, all the flavours are concentrated in the one seed. Maybe, but on the other hand the flower and cherry are at a disadvantage to produce only one seed and this may also be a negative in the cup.
But you know what, some peaberry’s I have had have been amazing, some others not so amazing, just like some regular coffee can be average and amazing. But one thing is for sure they are different and have the ability to be very special. I remember one kenyan coffee from a few years ago that was truly amazing. This years offering of the Bolivian San Ingacio and the soon to Come Brazil Fazenda Aranquan peaberry thats around the corner. Special coffees, I know you will be enjoying
Roasting peaberry’s takes a bit more skill than your average bean. Because of the shape size and density more care is needed in the profile stage. They can easily roast on the outside quicker than on the inside. A slower more developing roats I have found best with these coffees.