Peaberry coffee beans are the new rage. They're awesome! All other beans pail in comparison! If you drink peaberry coffee you're definitely "cool". Seriously? Well, that's what many coffee companies want you to believe. Instead of taking their word for it, do a side-by-side Peaberry Coffee Bean Review and see if peaberry coffee is as smooth, non-bitter, and flavorful as a regular coffee bean from the same region.
What Are Peaberry Coffee Beans?
Peaberries are nothing more than the coffee plant throwing off an oddball single bean in a single cherry instead of the usual two beans per cherry. This happens in about 5% of all the berries produced by all the coffee plans in the world.
When harvested all the coffee cherries look the same. It's not until after the cherry's skin and husk are scrubbed and washed away that one might notice these odd little peaberries. A vast majority of coffee growers simply mix them in with all the "normal" beans.
A few growers or processors hire a team of people to hand pick these little peaberries and set them aside for sale as something super special and very expensive. These peaberry beans are smaller, rounder, and more dense. Other than that, they look almost identical to a normal coffee bean.
Comparing Apples to Apples
We're going to use regular coffee beans and peaberry coffee beans;
- both grown in the same region
- both processed in the same way
- both harvested at the same time
- both roasted identically
- both brewed identically
- and both taste tested at the same temperature
Let's see which one comes out on top, the regular beans or the more expensive peaberry beans?
The Peaberry At First Glance
At first glance the peaberry coffee bean looks pretty much like any other coffee bean. But knowing it's a
"peaberry" you can tell that they are a little bit smaller and a little bit rounder. Other than that, if I didn't now it was a "peaberry", I'd never have noticed the subtle differences.
As stated above, peaberries are supposed to be more dense than normal berries. If that's true, what that means is that a denser peaberry would have more oils in the bean. Coffee bean oils are critical. Inside those oils contain all the bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, and flavor. So, if the peaberries are more dense, then there's the potential for more oils and thus the possibility of containing more bioflavonoids, antioxidants, caffeine, and flavor.
One of the easiest ways to easily and quickly determine bean density is to manually hand grind the beans, which I did. If I wasn't paying attention, I wouldn't have noticed any difference. But because I was paying attention to the difficulty of hand grinding, I did notice a slightly more difficult effort in grinding. Thus, perhaps the peaberry beans may be more dense.
Brewing Peaberries vs Regular Beans
I'm partial to the French Press when brewing coffee. I believe that the French Press gives you that most honest flavor profile. The French Press hides nothing. If your beans are bitter, the French Press will make that taste profile abundantly obvious. The same is true for exceptional coffee beans. If the beans that your brewing are smooth as silk with fantastic flavor notes, the French Press will magnify those qualities.
So, obviously I used a French Press:
- Using 1/4 cup of medium-course ground beans
- With boiling water
- Steeping for 2 minutes
- Resulting in the optimal cupping temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit
Peaberry Coffee Bean Review
Taste. This is where the rubber meets the road. The proof is in the pudding. It ain't over until the fat lady sings. Pick your idiom. In determining which coffee is best, it all comes down to taste. Granted, price is a factor too and we'll cover that next.
I found the Peaberry flat and one dimensional. If you're a Charbucks fan, then you haven't a clue what I'm talking about. Let's try this. Imagine drinking a Bordeaux wine who's grapes were grown in the state of Wisconsin and comparing that to a Bordeaux wine that was grown and made in Bordeaux France. The Wisconsin wine would be flat and one dimensional and the Bordeaux wine would be glorious.
QPR (Quality Per Price Ratio)
Any wine or coffee connoisseur can tell you about QPR. For example, Kona coffee will run you about $70 per pound. And it's pretty damn good coffee. On the other hand, we exclusively sell coffee from the Tarrazu Region of Costa Rica. And it too is pretty damn good coffee. Yet, our coffee goes for $18 per pound. How do these two coffee's compare. Though they taste very different, the quality of the coffee is identical. Which one is the better buy?
The same can be said for Peaberry Coffee Beans. You'll typically pay $25-$45 per pound of Peaberry beans. Some Peaberries might be better than their equivalent regular beans, but the QPR just isn't there. If it was me, I'd save my money for a better grinder. A good grinder is priceless. But, that's a story for another day.
Lake City Coffee
When Alisha and I started Lake City Coffee we decided to focus on one thing, coffee that we love. And we love coffee that's smooth as silk, with a diversity of balanced flavors. We also decided to focus on the best coffee growing region that consistently produces coffee that we love. That region is the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. Therefore, we offer only one bean and 4 roasts, thus making your decision super simple.
How Fresh Is Your Coffee?
We roast and ship every Tuesday morning. What that means is that when your bag of coffee goes into your USPS Priority Mail Box, the coffee's still warm. In fact, when I deliver your box to the post office, the box is still warm. Being Priority Mail means that your coffee typically arrives in 24-72 hours after roasting. With coffee that fresh, you'd be hard pressed to find better coffee anywhere.