Tanzania Peaberry Coffee

Coffee first came to Tanzania in the 16th century from Ethiopia. Coffee quickly felt at home in the volcanic soil found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is now Tanzania’s largest export.

In the early days coffee was not really brewed in the region but was used as a stimulant. They Haya Tribe boiled the Robusta beans and steamed them with various herbs and chewed on the mixture as a stimulant. The tribe also used the coffee beans as a form of currency and the growing and cultivating of the beans were highly controlled by tribal leaders.[source]

Tanzania peaberry coffee from Java Momma

Tanzania coffee is medium in body and is soft and clean in the cup. If you’re looking for a change, Tanzanian coffee is a rich and mellow treat.   This coffee is somewhat similar to the coffee of its neighbor, Kenya, north of the border.  It is bright, clean, and aggressively complex.

Peaberry coffee beans are grown all around the world so they aren’t unique to Tanzania but over the years have become synonymous with Tanzania. Peaberry beans are unique – usually, only between 5% an10% of the beans from a harvest are classified as Peaberry. 

Usually, coffee cherries contain two seeds, or beans, flat on one side and rounded on the other. In the case of peaberries, only one seed is fertilized. This results in a single round seed with a ridge down the middle. Coffee labeled “peaberry” means that the peaberries have been picked out during the harvesting process and collected together to sell on their own.

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Peaberry coffee bean

Peaberries are considered by some to be superior in quality and taste from regular flat beans.

The reasons for this are considered twofold: The single bean contains all the flavor intensity (and nutrition) of two beans, and the round shape of the beans results in a more even roast.

While the first assumption isn’t based on fact, it is true that the rounded shape of the beans does aid the roasting process. The perceived high quality of peaberry coffee is most likely as a result of the sorting process, which is more rigorous than that used to sort flat beans.

Peaberry Flavor

Tanzanian peaberry coffee is known for its intense brightness and high acidity. Conversely, the coffee is medium-bodied and best enjoyed at a medium roast.

The Java Momma roast is comprised entirely of peaberries and it creates a cup that is more intense in flavor with notes of peach, vanilla, and nectarine.

These tend to be quite oily beans that will “go off” much quicker than dried beans – as always, it’s ideal to grind just before making your coffee and to not buy more than is needed at a time.

Brewing Tanzania Peaberry

Tanzania Peaberry can be brewed by both hot and cold methods.

Since peaberry is considered quite an oily coffee using a metal filter will give a higher quality brew as it allows for better filtration of the oils.

This means brewing by french press, pour-over or something like Chemex will give the best results.

Peaberry is also excellent as a cold brew or served as an iced coffee.

What food pairs well with Tanzania Peaberry?

Tanzania peaberry pairs beautifully with fruits, particularly tangy and tropical fruits like pineapple, berries, and passion fruit. The tartness of the fruit will contrast well with the rich tones of the coffee. So you can enjoy it with a nice fruit and yogurt mix for breakfast or perhaps a fruit and cheese platter later in the day.

For the more adventurous, a cup of cold-brewed peaberry with its bright acidity would pair nicely with pan-seared fish and zesty summer salads.