Peaberries are dense beans, great for home roasting, and holds up well to dark roasts. Caramel sweetness, grape and dark berry fruit flavors, and some citrus. Dark roasts are very sweet and bodied. Moderate acidity throughout the roast range. City to Full City. SO Espresso.
This coffee is a peaberry selection from a few of the Antigua estates we buy coffee from. Every shrub produces peaberries, but a very small amount in relation to flat bean, and so it takes quite a bit of harvesting to put together any sort of sizable lot. So it's nice to have access to selections from these larger estates where larger scale harvesting is customary. Peaberries are considered a mutation, where one of the two flat beans essentially dies off leaving the one behind to absorb all the nutrients. It results in a fairly misshapen, rounded bean, and one that is quite dense. Because of this last factor, they can take a bit of heat, and are a great option for home roasters. It's also believed by some that PBs are often sweeter than the regular beans from the shrub because of the amount of nutrients that they are afforded by not having to share the inner cherry with another. Whatever the case, this one cupped out quite well as an offer, and the landed coffee represents 20 bags in all.
We're very pleased with the resulting cup of this peaberry offer from Antigua. It has a fairly 'rich' sweetness, and the aroma is highlighted by dark fruits and baking spices. The dry grounds have a scent of butter toffee - caramelizing sugars and butter - as well as a hint of grape juice and all-spice. At Full City this coffee retains a deep aroma of browning sugars that permeate from developed roast characteristics. Fruited notes really come through in the wet aromatics, baked peach and apricot in City roasts and a bit of plum at Full City. A big sweetness of brown sugar and caramel resonates on the break at both roast levels. This is not an overly complex cup of coffee, but a profile that expresses definition of sweetness. When hot, it's fairly simple, with caramel (and a little cocoa) and a black-tea brightness. But with patience, there's more nuance to be found. A cooled City roast has notes of grape and blackberry jam, as well as a nice layer of caramel sweetness. Acidity is moderate, but has aspects of citrus and black tea. Our Full City roast definitely showed roast flavor, but also showcased a combo of dark sugar and fruited sweetness (delicious really!). Peaberries tend to be pretty dense, and because of this, are difficult to scorch and are rather forgiving in the roaster. It's a nice cup of Antigua coffee, noticeably different from the flat bean from the same area, and also a great option for home roasting.