24 June 2008

India Peaberry!

The day has arrived, and I am excited to bring you this. It's been a day in the making just for the post itself. Joseph also plans on telling us more about peaberries specifically, after this!

As you might see from the Peet's description, India Peaberry was a special online exclusive for the company, because apparently it is the company's favorite from the Indic region. The roast was done on three specific days in this month of June, and was shipped out after roasting immediately thereafter (per the company's extant online-purchasing approach). The shipment came with the roasting date "stamped" on the bag, as well.

According to Peet's the bean comes exclusively from a small, usually tropic portion of India, where the coffee plant is grown independently on the " Elkhill Estate" in the southern portion of the country; so the bean is most likely the product of a lush co-habiting botanical environment, and monsoon precipitation.

The bean itself has a nomenclature that is quite appropriate: the size is much smaller than average, and the bean looks as if it has rounded and cleaved while growing naturally, rather than being halved before roasting. In other words, the bean itself seems to have been roasted whole, to preserve both flavor in the bean and product quality overall because of its natural size. It measures about 1/8" long. I've included pictures at the end of this post in order to compare it to a more "regular" roasted/purchased bean, the previously reviewed "Organic Sumatra-Peru" from Starbucks.

Now, as one might be able to tell, the roast suggests a mostly different texture in the mouth, and perhaps more concentrated flavors. The mouthfeel was a bit less complex than the smell, but the expectations did not lead to disappointment. For the sake of condensing my ridiculous verbiage:

Before Grinding:
dark chocolate, cranberry, bird of paradise, sawdust, licorice, rose leaf, molasses; definitely complex

After Grinding:
strong and peppery tingle; pure, but unclear; dark chocolate enhanced, cherry, redwood, lily, slight carmel; thoughts of Mendocino coast

After Immersion:
much initial froth & bean reaction; 2x as long to rise to the top; looks like mixed beach sand on bottom of grinds; dark, malty brew; deep Siena color; chocolate syrup color toward the edges

After Pressing:
clear redwood, eclair, iron, light tobacco, maltball, incense; some correspondence in smell to Assam teas; smell dissipates after two minutes

burnt brick, chocolate, slight tang, buttermilk biscuit, cod, carrot; smooth taste, absolutely no acid or unnecessary bitterness, grainy feel

All in all, I would recommend this with confidence. 4 out of 5, perhaps even 4.5, seems good. If I were to give it a mental "color association": reddish-brown, perhaps maroon. Not too dark or earthy, but nowhere close to light. I kept picturing this red flower leaf: red at the tips, dotting out to white towards the blossom against a lush green jungle in the background.

But I don't have a name for that.

Joe says I'm "describing an acid trip... no, just a little".

Until next time, keep sipping,

P.S.-> The "Peaberry" bean is on the left in the second picture, below.

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