Tanzania Peaberry Zanzibar: A Story of Delightful Mutations

There are many aspects of my job that I find enjoyable, but my favorite by far is the fact that I get a good bit of advance notice about the coffees that we bring in. I get to be in on conversations about new blends, I get to hear about possible micro-lot offerings, and I get to put my two cents in on coffees that I find. I try not to reveal too much about the company's plans, but sometimes I get really excited. Right now is one of those times.

Our new Tanzania Peaberry Zanzibar officially steps into the spotlight Monday. Just like our other micro-lot offerings, we will brew it every day next week so that everyone has an opportunity to try it. I want to go ahead and give you all a head's up because you're going to want to plan your Monday morning around getting a cup of this coffee. 


Let's first tackle the coffee's name, which I understand is slightly intimidating. Tanzania is an East African country wedged between Kenya and Mozambique. Some of the world's best coffees come from this area (extra points for those of you who recognize east Africa as the birthplace of coffee). Zanzibar is actually an archipelago off the coast of Tanzania. Our coffee comes from the mainland, so this part of the name may have more to do with the meaning of the word, which roughly translates to "Black Coast," referring to the spices and other crops grown in the region.
The really exciting part of the name is the middle part: Peaberry. This actually refers to a mutation that occurs when the coffee is growing. A coffee cherry almost always contains two seeds or beans, which we process and roast and grind and drink. In about 5% of coffee cherries, one seed fails to develop, leaving only one seed for us to use. No one is quite sure why this happens, but most people agree that it's an awesome occurrence. Peaberries tend to be smaller and denser than normal coffee beans, and they are separated from normal beans to be sold as special lots.

There is some debate over how special peaberry beans actually are, but it's pretty clear (at least to us) that they're awesome. Because there's only one bean in the cherry, it gets all of the nutrients and sugars. Those nutrients and sugars go a long way in creating the coffee's flavor profile. Peaberry coffees can have brighter notes and lighter bodies than their counterparts grown in the same areas.
Are you excited yet? I'm sitting here drinking a Tanzania pourover, and I can't wait for customers to try it. It's a fairly complex coffee. It starts off with some bright fruitiness (think orange and lemon) with some tannic notes, then it finishes with some creamy chocolatey notes and a pleasantly smooth aftertaste. There's a lot going on in that cup.

Most stores will be brewing Tanzania Peaberry Zanzibar every day next week. So go ahead and set your alarm to wake you up a few minutes earlier than normal on Monday. Or just tell your boss you'll be a minute or two late because you're bringing in coffee for the office. We'll have some Tanzania Peaberry Zanzibar ready for you when you get here. 

Austin Moore
Cups Quarter Cafe