Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tanzanian Peaberry Obsession

This morning, like every other morning, after getting out of bed, I headed straight to the coffee pot.

Today, though, I realized something funny about our small collection of coffee - we had two different Tanzanian Peaberry coffees, from two different roasters in our cupboard. I knew we liked it, but I didn't realize we gravitated towards it! We always try to taste peaberry coffees - they are special in the fact that only 5% of coffee beans are peaberries. The difference is, normally two coffee beans grow within a single coffee fruit, with a peaberry only one grows. These beans are rounder because there is no other bean to share the room in the fruit with, and the most common type found on the market is the Tanzanian variety.

Normal beans in front.

So, I figured I would give this coffee tasting thing a try. Side by side, a Tanzanian Peaberry tasting. I mean, how hard could it be? I've read descriptions of coffee before "smooth acidity, with notes of citrus and cherry." Who couldn't do that?! Me. That's who. But whatever, I tried! So, I made them in my French Press. Each exactly the same way. I drank each black.

So, here are my notes. I didn't cheat and copy the bags or websites:

The Roasting House, Virginia City, NV, $12.00/lb - This is a lighter coffee, acidic, not heavy on the tongue. It is slightly bitter (which I attribute to the acid). To me it tastes like coffee - there aren't many underlying flavors. While it was brewing it smelled like caramel - but not so much after it was poured.

World Market, Tanzanian Peaberry, $9.99/12oz - This is a darker roast than the other one. It has a sweet smell, but again doesn't transfer to the taste. It has a forward acidity, but its not overwhelming or unpleasing. Also, very coffee tasting, without many underlying flavors.

Both coffees are wonderful morning coffees. I've noticed breakfast blends are usually more acidic than others, and I'm thinking this is because breakfasts are usually sweet (doughnuts, muffins, syrups, etc.). It was nice to taste both coffees, and be able to actually taste that they both started out the same - similar flavor profiles, similar acid, etc. By the way, this 'acid' that I keep describing, is a hard thing to describe. Its the word I am using to explain the flavorless tang that both coffees have. The coffees both have flavor! Duh, but each has a tang that can't be described by the coffee taste.

The actual roaster The Roasting House uses
Now, re-reading the review, I don't think I made either one sound very good... But they really are. If you like coffee flavor, and aren't looking for something sweet - these would be perfect for you. The World Market version is my favorite of all the World Market brand coffees. The Roasting House is this awesome little micro-roaster in the historic Virginia City, NV. Look them up here - its an awesome, super friendly, little mom and pop shop.


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