The Coffee Wiki

Peaberry is the common name of a coffee bean that develops alone within a coffee cherry. These beans are considered an abnormality and can occur in coffee of any origin. Peaberry beans are often separated from the rest of the harvest and sold separately, in most cases commanding a higher price.

Botanical aspects[]

Peaberry beans are a relatively rare occurence. In most instances, a coffee cherry will contain two coffee beans, however when one of the ovules of the cherry fails to develop, the remaining bean with no second bean to provide pressure, will form into a rounded shape with no flat side [1]. Peaberry beans most often occur toward the end of a branch of the coffee tree[2]


Since peaberry beans can occur in any origin of coffee, it is not possible to describe a particular characteristic common to most cups. However peaberry coffee can have brighter notes and a lighter body. Peaberry is often marketed as having a superior taste from having the flavors of two beans concentrated within one. However, there is little difference between these beans and flat beans from the same harvest [3].


Traditionally, home coffee roasters who roasted in a skillet or some other flat surface favor peaberry beans due to their round shape. With no flat side, the bean is more likely to stay in motion during the roasting process and less likely to burn on one side[4].


  1. William H. Ukers (1922). “The Microscopy of the Coffee Fruit”, All about Coffee, 149. ISBN 0810340925.
  2. William H. Ukers (1922). “The Microscopy of the Coffee Fruit”, All about Coffee, 136. ISBN 0810340925.
  3. Kenneth Davids (2001). Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing & Enjoying, 82. ISBN 031224665X.
  4. Kenneth Davids (2003). Home Coffee Roasting: Romance & Revival, Rev. updated ed., 76. ISBN 0312312199.