The Peaberry - so small with so much flavor
Besides the coffee beans that most of us are familiar with, there is a peculiar, smaller berry that sometimes appears and produces its own unique shape and flavor: the peaberry.
Typically, each coffee fruit (the coffee cherry) contains two seeds (the beans) that develop with flattened sides. The seeds of the cherries at the end of each branch are different: these cherries contain only one bean each, which is also rounder than a normal coffee bean. The coffee tree transports nutrients to each bean, but it takes longer to reach the end of the branch, which is why these cherries are smaller and produce only one seed.
This pea-shaped peaberry bean is called a caracolillo in Spanish. Typically, about 5% of all harvested coffee beans are peaberries.
Since green coffee is graded - that is, sorted, beans of the same size are always sold later as lots. For example, in India or Africa, there is a size-based system that goes from AA to PB - which stands for peaberry. Here, AA is the largest possible bean. Pacamara or Maragogype beans, for example, are known for their large beans. Large beans are preferred and considered desirable for flavor. For a long time - often still today - beans were judged by size than flavor. Initiatives such as the Cup of Excellence are changing that.
In some countries, peaberry is seen as a defect. As a result, coffee is usually sold at a lower price. However, there is also the opposite view that peaberry coffees are much more flavorful than regular beans. This is because the coffee plant only has to feed one bean and therefore transfers all of its nutrients into that one bean. Whether you prefer Peaberries, you can find out for yourself: OurItalo Disco rocks! One of our most popular espressos.
The peaberry's particular proportion requires a different roasting style. It is smaller and therefore needs less time in the roaster. It is therefore good that the beans are pre-sorted according to a size system.
Their taste is different from that of the "flat beans", even if they come from the same harvest. Peaberry coffee tends to be lighter in color, contains more acids, more complex in the upper flavor range of the profile, but somewhat lighter in body than coffee made from normally shaped beans from the same batch. Some roasters even claim that peaberry roasts better and more evenly than flat beans because of their round shape, which allows them to roll more easily, or move more optimally in the roaster's air.
Our Italo Disco just rolls over the disco floor of the roaster and gets a roast profile that is based on the classic Italian roasts - with a strong roast note and pleasant sweetness. Perfect also for your fully automatic machine!