Coffee Inspector: Peaberry Coffee (Caracolillo)


A lot of steps in the coffee process are very controlled. You have the brewing process, the roasting temperatures, and all the way back to knowing how to harvest the beans based on the environment. It is rare that something in relation to coffee happens by chance, and that’s where peaberry coffee beans come in.

Peaberry beans is known in Spanish as Caracolillo, so keep that in mind when looking for it at stores. It is a growing part of the coffee market due to its rarity and the random reason for its occurrence. Sometimes you have to pay a pretty penny for something like peaberry coffee, but for good reason. Peaberry coffee beans are naturally occurring single-pit coffee fruits. We are here to explain why that’s so unique.

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Peaberry Process

Like we always try to emphasize when discussing the roasting process, coffee starts out as something completely different than what comes in the bags you buy at the store or local café. It looks closely related to cherry than to a bean. Coffee beans are technically a fruit, which you can read more about here. Each coffee fruit is normally going to contain two pits in them, which go on to be harvested, processed, and roasted.

It only takes one small adjustment from the normal coffee fruit growing process to bring us peaberry coffee beans, that being the single pit coffee fruits. There are some environmental and genetic factors that have been considered to cause this small mutation to happen but zero actually proven causes. If there were a surefire cause, peaberry coffee would definitely be more popular. The pit then has more room to grow within the fruit, resulting in a different look and even taste.

Look For the Difference

Peaberry coffee beans actually look a lot different from their relatives. As the name suggests, peaberry coffee beans are pretty cute. They are small and rounder because there are not two beans pushing against each other while growing. A grower can visibly see when one occurs and handpick it out of the group. This leads to the reason why peaberry beans are a bit pricier. It is somewhat time-consuming to even sort them out from the rest. Be on the lookout for peaberry beans in any bag you pick up though because there is always the chance that it was missed!

Be sure to also check out “10 Best Types of Coffee Beans” to see other kinds of coffee beans to brew up your interest.

What Does it Taste Like?

Not everyone will agree on this one, but peaberry coffee beans tend to make coffee sweeter. Some people even say that the shape of the peaberry means leads to a more even roast. Similar to how there is no one explanation for the peaberry bean happening, there is not a solid consensus for the taste of pearberry. Considering that peaberry can either be an arabica or robusta bean can be a peaberry bean, then either of those is going to be known for different notes.

This Tanzanian Peaberry blend from Jimmy’s Java has notes of dark chocolate, mild lemon and creamy. This peaberry medium roast from Koa Coffee has a richer description. A roaster has a responsibility to roast peaberry in a way that enhances the flavor of them. We would hope that they are cautious as to never over roast this specialty!

Thank you for reading our piece on peaberry coffee. Are you itching to try Peaberry coffee now? Comment below! Also, check out this peaberry coffee we found just for you to try. Let us know how it tastes.

Master all of the coffee bean knowledge by catching up on our pieces about the Best Types of Coffee Beans and The Best Way to Store Your Coffee Beans. Be sure to join the conversation with us by joining our Daily Coffee Talk exclusive group! While you’re at it, follow us on Pinterest here to get all of the latest tips.

We’ll brew ya later! ☕️

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