Starbucks informed me this morning that it was National Coffee Day today!
While I suspect this might be a made-up holiday, I’m still celebrating this morning with a lovely, light, Tanzanian peaberry coffee that I roasted myself.
What exactly is a peaberry, you might ask.
Each coffee berry generally grows two seeds or beans in the middle. When a coffee berry is ripe, the outer fruit portion is removed and the beans are harvested and dried. The beans are what we make coffee from.
When a coffee berry only grows a single seed or bean, that’s called a peaberry.
Generally, peaberries are smaller and more round in shape than a regular coffee bean. That’s because it matures without a second bean to push against.
IMO, peaberries make lovely light roasts, almost a green coffee. There are other beans, like a Sumatran, that I wouldn’t recommend for a light roast–the bean itself is so earthy and heavy, even if I try for a light roast it always comes out tasting like a darker roast. (More experienced roasters may have the skill to draw out a lighter roast from those beans–I’m still very much an amateur and have only been doing this for a year and a half or so.)
Roasting coffee is alchemy. Particularly with the small, home roasting setup that I have.I have a grimoire where I track all the variables for every batch I roast. The ambient temperature and humidity play a big roll in the roasting. For example, this summer when it was so stupid hot, roasting times were half of what I normally use. Now that it’s cooler, if I tried to roast outside, I’d have to add a lot more time to achieve the same roast.
Anyway – go and celebrate National Coffee Day in the manner of your choosing! Ignore it, go have a celebratory cup of coffee, hug a barista, what have you.
As part of my celebration, I’m offering a light fantasy short story that I wrote about roasting coffee free for today! It’s called The Alchemy of Coffee.
You can download it for free from Bookfunnel: