Peaberry: the best of the best
Peaberry is considered the “Champagne of Kona coffee” - it’s our rarest and most sought after coffee. Just a handful of beans wear the Peaberry crown. Ours is 100% grown on our single estate farm in Kona, Hawai`i. We think it’s the best of the best.
WHAT MAKES PEABERRY SO SPECIAL?
Peaberry is a classification of coffee beans that, through an anomaly in the growing process, only has one bean developed within the coffee cherry. Normally two beans grow in each coffee cherry and they press together within the fruit causing the flat face and rounded back that we all know as the “traditional” coffee bean. In the case of the Peaberry, the second bean is absent resulting in one oval, round bean.
To be clear; Peaberry beans grow on the same trees as all other beans. They comprise about 3-5% of the total harvest and are sorted post-parchment during the sorting/grading portion of production. After machine sorting, Peaberries undergo another hands-on inspection and a second sort. The extra time and labor involved in the sorting process notably translate into a 100% Kona Peaberry of the highest quality, excellence in the cup and a rich, smooth taste that inspires allegiance for all involved.
HOW IS COFFEE GRADED?
Peaberry, extra fancy, and prime are all coffee grades you may have seen on bags of coffee. Hawai`i is the only state in the United States to grow coffee. The cost of growing, farming, harvesting, and processing coffee grown in the U.S. are considerably higher than in other, growing regions around the world. Following some trying times for the coffee-growing region in Kona in the late ’80s, the Hawai`i Department of Agriculture deemed it best to establish a system of grading and evaluating coffee grown on the islands of Hawaii. The grading system qualifies coffee grown by size, moisture content, and amount of defects in a determined sample size. The system is governed and administered by the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture. Following is a brief description of the different grades in the Kona growing region.
DOES PEABERRY ACTUALLY TASTE BETTER?
There are many myths and tales about Peaberry including that since only one bean is grown in the cherry as opposed to two that the single Peaberry bean has double the flavor. This certainly may be true, but here are some facts that can lead to a superior cup. Peaberry goes through extra steps in sorting. It is almost impossible to not hand-sort Peaberry. The roundness of the Peaberry enables it to roll in the drum while roasting giving the bean a subtle advantage to the flat and oval angles of conventional beans.
Samples of the Kona Coffee & Tea 2019-2020 crop of Peaberry were cupped by coffee connoisseur Michael Cubbage. He found freshly ground aromas of clove, almond, citrus, and milk chocolate. Kona Coffee & Tea roasts all their Peaberry coffee to a full city roast, which is right in the middle of medium and dark roast. This really brought into harmony the art of the roast and the inherent flavor of the bean. This Peaberry exhibited some nice deep chocolate notes with almond and marzipan highlights in the french press. Brewed through a paper or cloth filter the deep chocolate was transformed into more of a hazelnut nougat flavor and the citrus notes were just tangible. The body in all preparations was full, with a pleasant acid/body balance. It’s a pleasure on the palate.
Mike recommends pairing your Peaberry with a nice thin-sliced Serrano or Parma ham. For breakfast, this coffee would go great with an eggs Benedict. Do you like chocolate cake (we know that’s a silly question)? Kona Coffee & Tea’s Peaberry is match made in tastebud heaven with chocolate cake. This is another good coffee to drink on its own as well. If you like your coffee smooth and bold this is your cup.
After selling out a few months ago, we have been working extra hours picking, milling, drying, sorting and sorting to once again bring you this year’s 2019-2020 crop of Peaberry. Due to its limited availability, Peaberry is only available in the 7oz size.
CONTRIBUTOR: MIKE CUBBAGE
HOW I LIKE MY COFFEE: Medium Roast Black
AS KID, I WANTED TO BE A: Pilot or race car driver. I liked going fast and I was much better at the hand eye coordination of games and stuff than sports.
I've been involved in the coffee industry for about 16 years. I've been a barista for many years, then a trainer and consultant. I am big on sharing relevant knowledge that will help coffee lovers have the optimal coffee experience. Working with Kona Coffee & Tea Company is like a dream come true. I can't say how rewarding it is to work with such a great product from seed to cup. From the very beginning, being part of the team here, I've felt like family and have been treated like family. The spirit of Aloha is strong as is their dedication to community and quality.