What is the rare coffee bean "Peaberry"?
Have you ever heard of a coffee bean called "peaberry"? Many of you may have heard of this somewhat small coffee bean with a slightly unusual shape. Peaberry coffee beans are unique even at the growing stage, as they are slightly different from coffee cherries.
Coffee bean with only one seed
Normal coffee beans, also known as flat beans, have two seeds. The coffee cherry contains two semi-circular coffee beans, one round and one flat, with the two beans facing each other on the flat part. You may have seen this shape in diagrams.
On the other hand, peaberry (round bean) is a coffee bean with only one seed. Since there is only one coffee bean inside the coffee cherry, the coffee beans do not collide with each other and grow together, resulting in a round shape. The coffee cherries usually contain only one coffee bean instead of two, and the round shape of the coffee bean is called "peaberry.
Rarity: Only a few percent are harvested.
The peaberry is a very rare coffee bean, and accounts for only 3 to 5% of the total harvest. It is difficult even for professionals to determine whether a coffee cherry is a peaberry or not, but coffee beans undergo a "sorting" process during the production process. Before coffee farmers ship their coffee beans, they visually inspect them for cracks, insect infestation, etc., and remove any defective beans. Peaberries are sometimes found during this process and are immediately removed because they are clearly misshapen compared to flat beans, which are normal coffee beans.
Peaberries are often sold at a higher price than regular coffee beans, so some coffee farmers collect and ship only peaberries during the sorting process. You may have seen them before, as they are rarely found mixed in with regular coffee beans sold on the market.
Reasons for peaberry formation
It is not known why there is only one coffee bean that should normally have two peaberries. It is said that a combination of factors such as abnormal crossbreeding, sunlight, precipitation, and soil can cause the formation of peaberries. Generally, peaberries are found at the tips of branches, but in reality, they often grow in areas of the coffee bean tree where the fruit is stunted. It seems that the peaberry is formed because one of the coffee seeds dies due to stunting and all the energy is injected into the other seed instead.
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