I am a bit confused about peaberry coffee. I know what a peaberry is, but often packages of coffee that advertise as "Peaberry" and it is a mix of regular and peaberry beans.  I know that for example Caribou Coffee La Minita Peaberry is hand sorted and all peaberries (which is only seasonal because it must take a long time!).  Can someone explain to me how a bag of coffee can be called Peaberry if it does not contain only peaberries.  Thanks!  I look forward to learning more about this!

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There is no regulation that I'm aware of to restrict the use of the word "peaberry" on roasted coffee, or to dictate what percentage of the product must in fact be "peaberry". Some people will do whatever you let them get away with doing.

 

See also "Jamaican Blue Mountain" bags that contain only trace amounts of said coffee, and other serious counterfeiting issues.

 

Buyer beware.

Thanks Brady.  Very interesting, yet very sad.

It seems like it's the same type of situation as Kona coffees or JMB blends. As long as there's a trace of the big-shot origin coffee in the blend as a whole, you can use the big-shot name.

 

Hmm. Maybe some regulations are definitely in order?

There is a really easy solution:

 

Only buy good coffee at a fair price from reputable roasters.

 

There are so many excellent, transparent, honest roasters in this world. They work their butts of to source great coffees that 95% of the population has never heard of, and most of them would be happy to have a little more business. Why give your money to anyone else?

100% nailed it

Brady said:

There is a really easy solution:

 

Only buy good coffee at a fair price from reputable roasters.

 

There are so many excellent, transparent, honest roasters in this world. They work their butts of to source great coffees that 95% of the population has never heard of, and most of them would be happy to have a little more business. Why give your money to anyone else?

Perfect answer Brady.

Brady said:

There is a really easy solution:

 

Only buy good coffee at a fair price from reputable roasters.

 

There are so many excellent, transparent, honest roasters in this world. They work their butts of to source great coffees that 95% of the population has never heard of, and most of them would be happy to have a little more business. Why give your money to anyone else?

This leads to another question. Is peaberry worth the extra money? I've not beem able to detect a significant difference between peaberry and it's fully formed siblings.

Coffee labeled as Kona Blend, by law, can be as little as 10% Kona coffee with the rest being any old beans used to meet a price point. 

 

There is some good info on Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kona_coffee

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamaica_Blue_Mountain

 

Like this discussion. As a roaster, if I label a coffee peaberry then visually it better look like peaberry. Yes, there may be some regular beans in it - because many coffees are hand sorted by fallible humans. So, I expect so see a regular bean here and there. The same goes for regular (non-peaberry) coffees - every now and then a peaberry is in it. But, I feel if I label a coffee (and source a coffee) as peaberry it will be vastly just that. I don't mix anything else in unless I use it in a blend - then I don't high-light the peaberry aspect of it (unless simply naming the exact coffees that make up the blend).

When it comes to Kona, we source and sell only 100% Kona. I have a relationship with a small family-owned farm in Kona that grows some fabulous beans that many of my customers drool over whenever I bring them in. But, I never use them in a blend. People that want Kona want just that. And I find they're willing to pay for it. So, we source, roast and promote our 100% pure Kona coffee and find it hard to keep in stock because our customers like it so much. And at $15.00 per 8 ounce bag they grab it up.

One of my customers even claims that due to the higher levels of niacin in Kona coffee he is able to breathe more freely when he drinks it.

I believe some special things shouldn't be tampered with - Kona is one of them.

If you're going to use 10% Kona in a blend why bother? Will you really taste that 10%'s contribution to the overall blend? Maybe a really well-trained palette will - but your average customer won't.

That's how I see it...

Yes, you will taste every coffee contribution you put into a blend, however inconsistently. Even your average consumer.  That 10% didn't vanish, it's still in there.


Kirk said

Like this discussion. As a roaster, if I label a coffee peaberry then visually it better look like peaberry. Yes, there may be some regular beans in it - because many coffees are hand sorted by fallible humans. So, I expect so see a regular bean here and there. The same goes for regular (non-peaberry) coffees - every now and then a peaberry is in it. But, I feel if I label a coffee (and source a coffee) as peaberry it will be vastly just that. I don't mix anything else in unless I use it in a blend - then I don't high-light the peaberry aspect of it (unless simply naming the exact coffees that make up the blend).

When it comes to Kona, we source and sell only 100% Kona. I have a relationship with a small family-owned farm in Kona that grows some fabulous beans that many of my customers drool over whenever I bring them in. But, I never use them in a blend. People that want Kona want just that. And I find they're willing to pay for it. So, we source, roast and promote our 100% pure Kona coffee and find it hard to keep in stock because our customers like it so much. And at $15.00 per 8 ounce bag they grab it up.

One of my customers even claims that due to the higher levels of niacin in Kona coffee he is able to breathe more freely when he drinks it.

I believe some special things shouldn't be tampered with - Kona is one of them.

If you're going to use 10% Kona in a blend why bother? Will you really taste that 10%'s contribution to the overall blend? Maybe a really well-trained palette will - but your average customer won't.

That's how I see it...

Come on... the only reason you'd put 10% Kona in a blend is so that you can put "Kona Blend" on the label. Oh, and charge the tourists more...

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