Peaberries: A brief introduction

You may have heard the term ‘peaberry’ before but do you know what a peaberry is or what it does to the cup of coffee you’re drinking?

Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant which grow inside of its cherry. Normally, two beans develop with flattened facing sides. However a peaberry is a bean that hasn’t split into two like usual, but instead, they are one whole.

This happens for one of two reasons. Either only one bean is fertilised or it is a result of a drastic change in the environment. For instance, there might be a very sudden spike in temperature or a dry/wet spell. When this happens the bean recognises this sudden change and essentially panics so instead of splitting its beans in two, it will keep them together in order to save energy and increase survival.

Roughly 5% of all coffee harvested will be a peaberry and, regardless of why a peaberry forms, as a result, they will be fed all of the nutrients that would normally be spread over two beans and therefore this will result in a very juicy cup of coffee which is why the peaberry is so sought after.

 

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