WHAT ARE PEABERRY COFFEE BEANS
Coffee cherries are the fruit of the coffee tree. Inside each coffee cherry there are two seeds – we know and refer to these as coffee beans. Which means, as you might just have guessed, that a peaberry (also known as a caracoli) is nothing more than a coffee bean without a partner. They occur in many different forms and varieties in almost every growing region and usually anywhere between 5 percent to 15 percent of coffee cherries can contain only a smaller single coffee bean. They are much smaller then usual coffee beans.
CAN YOU SPOT A PEABERRY
Unfortunately, because there's no way to tell from looking at the coffee cherry if the coffee seeds inside are going to be a peaberry or two coffee beans it means that they have to be hand sorted after picking and then processed in order to be sold separately to the normal coffee beans. In many cases the peaberries are sold alongside the normal coffee beans in order to save money. All of this means that if you want to try peaberries be prepared to pay more per gram then you would with normal coffee beans.
There was a time (believe it or not) when peaberry coffee beans were rejected. They were considered inferior! In short, this was due to their size and the somewhat unappealing difference in their appearance with regular coffee beans. In terms of appearance, because it's the only coffee bean in the cherry there's nothing for it to grow against and flatten it, meaning that the single coffee bean develops into an unusual oval (or pea) shape.
DO PEABERRIES TASTE BETTER THAN NORMAL COFFEE BEANS
Despite this, today many people believe that because peaberries are smaller – all of their flavour is ultra concentrated into the one coffee bean. Fans of peaberry coffee beans usually say that they taste sweeter and more flavoursome. However, it is not really clear if this is actually the case. Instead rather like normal coffee beans some of them can taste amazing, and some of them can be rather average. One thing is for sure though, and that's they are quite different from anything else on the coffee market and they have the ability to taste very special. So much so, that some varieties of peaberry have been bread for their peaberry.
At Hype Coffee we think that roasting peaberries is slightly more challenging then roasting regular coffee beans. That's down to the shape, and size meaning that more care is required then usual. As such, a slow and steady roast works best and that's in order to ensure that the flavours develop on the inside just as much as on the outside.