As coffee becomes more of a delicate balance of flavors, tasting notes, and an artful expression of bean origins, coffee lovers around the world have taken to enjoying peaberry coffee more and more.
Typically, a coffee cherry has two seeds — commonly referred to as “coffee beans” — but peaberry coffee comes from cherries with a deformity, causing them to have one seed. The result of making coffee with these smaller peaberries is a fruity and sometimes floral flavor profile that is light and bright with a nicely balanced acidity. Peaberry coffee should be freshly roasted and not over-roasted, as longer roasting times get rid of that desired acidity.
As it grows in popularity, there are more and more peaberry coffee options available, and choosing one that is processed and appropriately roasted can be difficult with so many choices. That’s why we put together this list of reviews to help you narrow down your search for the peaberry coffee that will suit your taste and needs perfectly! Let’s get started.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2020
|Best Overall||Volcanica Colombian Peaberry Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Value||Good as Gold Tanzania Peaberry Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
|Premium Choice||Hualalai Estate PEABERRY Kona Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
|Stone Street Coffee Tanzania Peaberry Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
|Cubico Tanzania Peaberry Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
The 10 Best Peaberry Coffees
1. Volcanica Colombian Peaberry Coffee– Best Overall
This peaberry coffee from Volcanica is our favorite for a myriad of reasons. First, the flavor is exceptional, and the acidity and fruitiness you can expect from this coffee will have you looking forward to your second cup as soon as you finish the first. It has a beautifully balanced flavor that we cannot get enough of. This coffee is shade-grown, which means no deforestation was required to grow it, and the coffee trees it came from grew slowly in the shade as they naturally do. This coffee is also fair trade, so the farmers and workers at the processing plant were paid a fair wage for their coffee beans.
It is roasted to order, so you’ll always get the freshest coffee possible, and it’s appropriately roasted to get the full flavor and acidity from the beans. This coffee is expensive, but given the quality and care that goes into its production, we strongly recommend it!
2. Good as Gold Tanzania Peaberry Coffee – Best Value
This peaberry coffee comes from Tanzania, and the fruitiness is very apparent even in the smell of the beans. This produced coffee that was downright delicious, and the acidity is well balanced by a light, perceived sweetness from the fruity notes. The coffee is grown using ethical and environmentally friendly practices, so production isn’t as tough on the environment as many other options. When we received ours, there was no “roasted on” date printed, but the coffee did look, smell, and taste fresh.
It’s medium roasted, so the flavor and acidity are preserved well and not roasted out of the beans. The fact that the coffee isn’t listed as being shade-grown or fair trade kept this out of our number one spot. Still, especially given the unique flavor profile and very affordable price, we think this is the best peaberry coffee for the money.
3. Hualalai Estate PEABERRY Kona Coffee – Premium Choice
This peaberry coffee hails from Kona, a region on the “big island” of Hawaii. Although expensive due to importation from Hawaii and the cost of farmland there, Kona coffee is delectable and unlike any other coffee we’ve had. This coffee, in particular, has a beautiful acidity and range of fruity tasting notes, and the roast is medium-dark, which balances the acidity with a bit of delightful sweetness. We could not get enough!
It’s shipped within five days of roasting, so you’ll be getting beautiful, fresh coffee. It isn’t listed as shade-grown or fair trade, and it is very expensive. These factors kept this out of our top two spots, but we still highly recommend trying this coffee if you don’t mind the higher price tag!
4. Stone Street Coffee Tanzania Peaberry Coffee
This peaberry coffee is another from Tanzania, and it delivered the acidity and brightness we expected from coffee from the region. It has a nicely balanced acidity, but the flavor didn’t seem to be as complex as our more highly-rated options. It isn’t noted to be fair trade or shade-grown, but Stone Street does ethically source their beans from all around the world. It’s nicely roasted to a medium roast, so the coffee is full-flavored and bright.
It isn’t roasted to order, but it is shipped out within two weeks of ordering, so it will be reasonably fresh if you order whole bean coffee and grind it yourself. It’s very affordable and comes in a larger quantity (a full pound) than many other options.
5. Cubico Tanzania Peaberry Coffee
This is another Tanzanian peaberry coffee that is nicely roasted to a medium roast to highlight the flavor profile of beans from this region. The coffee has nice fruity notes that are balanced by some acidity, and it ends with a bright cocoa flavor that is quite pleasing. It’s less flavorful than our higher-rated choices, but it still makes a delicious cup.
We noticed that there was quite a bit of chaff still on the beans, which is a papery covering that should be removed during processing. This chaff creates a bit of a bitter taste in your coffee if you don’t remove it yourself. The coffee is roasted to order and has the “roasted on” date printed on the bag, so you know your coffee is fresh. It’s not fair trade or shade-grown, but it does make a delicious cup of coffee!
6. Civilized Coffee Tanzanian Peaberry Arabica Coffee
This peaberry coffee comes from Tanzania as well, and it’s roasted and packed in Florida. The tasting notes are bright, fruity, and acidic, which is what should be expected from a peaberry coffee. The roast is labeled as “medium,” but it is a bit lighter than some others and is roasted nicely. The flavor isn’t as rich or complex as other options on our list, but it is well balanced.
There was no “roasted on” date, just an expiration date that was about a year from when it arrived. While this isn’t always indicative of stale coffee, the bag we received didn’t taste fresh, and it didn’t bloom nearly as nicely as others we tried, which is a good sign that the coffee wasn’t delivered fresh. It doesn’t state that it is shade-grown or fair trade, but it does not that the beans are ethically sourced.
7. Kauai Coffee Hawaiian Peaberry Coffee
This peaberry coffee comes from Hawaii but not from the desirable Kona region. It’s roasted to a medium-dark roast profile, which unfortunately has rid these beans of the fruity and acidic flavor notes that are expected from peaberry coffee. We also got some clearly burnt beans in our bag, so it’s evident that the roaster has inconsistencies even within each batch. These inconsistencies were very disappointing, mostly because the taste was quite good with very little bitterness and balanced acidity when we sorted out some of the lighter beans.
It’s very expensive, and because it isn’t roasted to bring out the brightness and acidity of peaberry coffee, we’d recommend choosing a different coffee that is roasted lighter. It isn’t branded as shade-grown or fair trade either.
8. Paradise Mountain Organic Peaberry Coffee
This peaberry coffee comes from Thailand, and it’s organic and noted to be “bird-friendly,” although it isn’t shade-grown or fair trade. It’s roasted to a nice medium roast, but this coffee’s flavor profile is rather bland, and it lacks the acidity and fruitiness one expects when drinking a peaberry coffee.
We tried grinding to different sizes and using different recipes, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get much flavor out of the beans. The coffee is more expensive than many other options. Especially given the disappointing lack of taste, we wouldn’t recommend this to those looking for a delicious, full-flavored peaberry coffee.
9. Douglas Coffee Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee
This is another peaberry coffee from Tanzania, and it’s lightly roasted to bring out the desired flavors. However, the coffee had an uncharacteristic bitterness to it, and we suspect this is due to improper processing and failure to remove the chaff from the beans. Even putting the bitterness aside, the coffee’s flavor wasn’t spectacular, and it lacked the complexity that peaberry coffee should offer.
This coffee is fair trade, but it isn’t shade-grown, so it’s made in a way that supports farmers but not necessarily the environment. There was no “roasted on” date, and unfortunately, the bags we bought didn’t arrive fresh. The coffee didn’t bloom at all, and there was a distinct stale taste to the finished coffee.
10. Stringbean Coffee Malawi Peaberry Coffee
We were excited to try this peaberry coffee from Stringbean because it’s roasted on a small, manual roaster. However, we were highly disappointed to see that the beautiful flavors and brightness associated with peaberry coffee were destroyed by heavily roasting these beans to a dark roast. The acidity and fruitiness were almost non-existent, and the flavors were more characteristic of the roasting process and didn’t highlight the complexity of peaberry coffee. It isn’t fair trade or shade-grown. There was no “roasted on” date, and the coffee we received didn’t look or taste fresh, so it was clear we got stale coffee. Although it’s very affordable, we strongly recommend choosing a different peaberry coffee that will offer more acidity and brightness as a peaberry coffee should.
Peaberry coffee isn’t like other coffee: only about 5% of all coffee has a genetic mutation that allows peaberries to grow inside coffee cherries. It has a different flavor profile that requires special care and specific roasting profiles. It isn’t easy to choose a peaberry coffee that will deliver the acidity and fruitiness that it should. Whether you decide on one of the coffees above or continue looking for others, make sure you keep the below factors in mind, as they will make a big difference in your coffee experience.
Peaberry coffee is naturally more acidic and fruitier, and lighter roasts tend to bring out and develop those flavors better. You’ll want to choose a peaberry coffee that is light or light-medium roast so that you get to experience the brightness that is associated with this specialty coffee.
Taste & Complexity
Even if a bean is roasted perfectly, it can lack flavor and complexity if it isn’t processed properly. You should make sure that you choose a coffee that isn’t bland or “thin,” as lighter roasts can lead to flavorless coffee if the beans aren’t farmed or processed correctly. A good peaberry coffee will have strong and bold flavors that tend toward fruity and acidic notes.
Even in whole bean form, roasted coffee begins losing freshness and flavor very rapidly after the roasting process is completed. Buying coffee that you know is roasted to order or roasted very shortly before you consume it — ideally only a few days after it’s roasted — will provide the best, most flavorful coffee experience you can get!
Lastly, humans drink a lot of coffee, and farming and processing beans to keep up with demand are taxing on the environment and the farmers responsible for growing coffee trees. Choosing a fair trade coffee will ensure that hardworking farmers aren’t underpaid for their services. Selecting a shade-grown coffee, when possible, ensures that large areas don’t get deforested just to plant coffee trees to grow more rapidly in the sun.
As you can see, choosing a peaberry coffee that delivers the best coffee experience isn’t as simple as picking the one that’s most affordable or readily available. There are a lot of options out there, but hopefully, these reviews and our buying guide will help you narrow down the options and find a peaberry coffee that you won’t soon forget.
Our top pick for flavor, roast profile, and overall enjoyability is Volcanica Colombian Peaberry Coffee. This is bright and acidic, beautifully balanced, and full of complex flavors that are sure to please! If you’re looking for a more affordable option but still want a coffee experience that will blow you away, we recommend Good As Gold Tanzania Peaberry Coffee. It’s very reasonably priced and still delivers the bright flavors and freshness you should expect from quality peaberry coffee.
Featured image credit: bonchan, Shutterstock
Table of Contents
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2020
- The 10 Best Peaberry Coffees
- 1. Volcanica Colombian Peaberry Coffee– Best Overall
- 2. Good as Gold Tanzania Peaberry Coffee – Best Value
- 3. Hualalai Estate PEABERRY Kona Coffee – Premium Choice
- 4. Stone Street Coffee Tanzania Peaberry Coffee
- 5. Cubico Tanzania Peaberry Coffee
- 6. Civilized Coffee Tanzanian Peaberry Arabica Coffee
- 7. Kauai Coffee Hawaiian Peaberry Coffee
- 8. Paradise Mountain Organic Peaberry Coffee
- 9. Douglas Coffee Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee
- 10. Stringbean Coffee Malawi Peaberry Coffee
- Buyer’s Guide