Do You Know What a Peaberry is? It’s What Makes the Latest Starbucks Reserve Coffee Unique


The taste of Starbucks Reserve® Zambia Peaberry Terranova Estate is distinct because the coffee beans it’s made of are unique.

Normally, two beans grow inside a single coffee cherry but occasionally the cherry only produces one bean, or seed, inside the fruit. The round-shaped bean that forms when one of the two flat-sided beans in the coffee cherry fails to grow is called a peaberry.

Though small in size, the peaberry’s internal development gives it an intense flavor.

“It is as if all the flavor that is usually destined to fill two separate beans within a singular coffee cherry, has all been channeled into one bean that is, the peaberry,” said Arthur Karuletwa, Starbucks director of traceability. “That is the explosive taste I experience with every sip of this amazing coffee.”

During the roasting process, the peaberry’s unique shape enables it to roll easily in the roasting chamber. That results in a more evenly roasted bean.

Starbucks Reserve® Zambia Peaberry Terranova Estate coffee is a medium-bodied coffee with notes of apple and vanilla. It pairs well with citrus, apples, and chocolate.

Coffee was introduced to Zambia in the 1950’s by missionaries who had imported seed stock from Tanzania and Kenya. The former British colony, then known as North Rhodesia in South Central Africa, was struggling to boost its foreign exchange and wanted to promote high quality coffee. With funding supplied by the World Bank and Food and Agricultural Organization in the 1970’s, coffee production began in earnest and since then Zambia has slowly created a presence in specialty coffee beans.

“Terranova Estate has been producing wonderful coffees since 1986, thanks to its rich soil and the proper locale. The coffee is a selection of only the peaberries from the crop,” said Leslie Wolford, a Starbucks coffee specialist.

The Terranova Estate is located in the village of Mazabuka in southern province of Zambia.

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