Peaberry coffee is a bit of a novelty in the coffee world. The peaberry name comes from the shape of these unique beans. Typically, a coffee cherry grows two "normal" coffee beans inside (also known as flatbeans). A peaberry bean results from a mutation that happens inside the cherry where a single bean grows inside the cherry. This results in a smaller oval shaped bean that looks like a tiny football. This mutation is somewhat common, and the average coffee tree produces a small number of peaberry cherries each year.
A Little Background - Sorting Coffee
After coffee is picked, milled, and dried, the resulting beans are then sorted. Sometimes the sorting is done by machine, sometimes by hand. This is done to remove defective beans and to grade the coffee. The picture below of a mechanical sorter is a good example of how peaberry beans are sorted out of a traditional flatbean coffee. Depending on how well the coffee is sorted, you can still find the occasional peaberry bean mixed in a traditional flatbean coffee.
So, Why Peaberry?
Peaberry coffees are rare and often provide a unique flavor profile of a particular origin. Sometimes the novelty of the peaberry appeals to our customers and sometimes we carry peaberry coffees because we find they are cupping better than their flatbean counterparts for a particular crop.
In February of 2018 we are offering a New Guinea Peaberry as our coffee of the month. This coffee came across our table and we really loved it. We only offer New Guinea occasionally, and we chose the peaberry this time because it is exceptionally rich and sweet. If you would like to try it, you can order it on the Coffee Of The Month page.