Peaberry vs. Regular Coffee Beans – Are They Really Better?

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When it comes to coffee you feel like you know what you’re talking about. You wouldn’t necessarily call yourself an expert, but you buy whole bean coffee, and you know how to properly set a grinder.

You buy beans from various growing regions to obtain various flavor profiles, and you know what a single origin blend of coffee is.

But if you truly want to up your coffee bean game and obtain some expert-level knowledge, you’ve got to learn the ins and outs of peaberry coffee beans.

Are you reading that right? Peaberry beans? Yes, as strange as it sounds, Peaberry beans are in fact a type of coffee bean. And they aren’t just any kind of coffee bean. They’re actually a mutated coffee bean.

3 Ways Peaberry Coffee Beans Differ From Regular Coffee Beans

regular vs peaberry coffee beans comparison
Peaberry Coffee Beans vs Regular (Flat) Coffee Beans

Regular coffee cherries grow 2 seeds together that face one another. The seeds, or beans, grow one round side and one flat side where they touch each other. If you think about a coffee bean you’ll recall that it looks almost like a peach cut in half. One side is round, and one side is flat and smooth.

1. Peaberry Beans Are Mutants

Peaberry beans are the result of a mutation that causes a coffee cherry to only grow one seed. The resulting seed or “Peaberry Bean” is round all the way around.

There is no way to tell what cherries will produce Peaberry beans and no way to predict why this happens any more than any other mutation that occurs in nature. There is no single type of Peaberry bean.

You can find anything from Tanzanian Peaberry coffee beans to Kona Peaberry coffee beans. The mutations occur randomly, and they can only be sifted out of the bunch through manual harvesting.

So if Peaberry beans are mutations, why are they considered by some to be better than ordinary beans?

While mutation is a rather harsh-sounding word, it could just as easily be described as a rarity. Peaberry beans may be mutations in the natural sense but, in the commercial sense, they are rare and therefore considered valuable by some.

2. People Claim They Taste Better

This value also stems from the belief that Peaberries, despite their name, taste better than ordinary coffee beans. Enthusiasts claim that the beans produce a brighter juicer flavor because all the flavors that would typically be divided into two beans is stored in one. Those same people may refer to them as super berries.

The theory of their superior taste also relates to the way they must be hand-selected out of the bunch. Farmers and workers must sift through high-quality, mutant, and inferior peaberries because machines cannot do it. This creates a batch of peaberry beans that are more uniform in color and size and are therefore easier to extract flavor from.

3. Peaberry Beans Roast Differently

The other reason that is important to know if you are dealing with peaberry beans is that they roast differently because of their different shape. This would apply to any type of peaberry beans including Kona peaberry coffee beans.

You’ll find that roasters have to adjust their roasting temperatures, the size of the mesh used in their roasting drums, and their roasting times to accommodate for the differently shaped beans.

What Can I Buy Peaberry Coffee Beans?

Okay, so if Peaberry beans are so unique and interesting, where can you buy them from? You’ll find that for reasons unknown, the most common types of peaberry beans are Tanzanian peaberry beans and Kona peaberry beans, and you can find them in the same places you find your regular coffee.

You probably didn’t know that the peaberry beans were there because you’ve never looked for them before. You never paid attention to the label, or read it very closely. But, in fact, you can find a wide range of peaberry coffees.

Discover Peaberry Beans For Yourself

So, you might not be getting a price break on your mutated coffee beans, and whether or not they taste any better is still widely up for debate, but the only way to form a true opinion of Peaberry beans is to try them yourself.

You may notice a fruitier flavor, or you may remain unconvinced, but you’ll still end up with a good cup of coffee and an interesting story to tell.