COFFEE REVIEW: Fire Roasted Coffee Company's Peaberries

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fire Roasted Coffee Company
900 King Street 
Western Fair Grounds Confederation Building 2nd Floor

London, Ontario Canada N5Y 5P8
Phone: +1(519) 438-5225
Payment Options:

Mon - Fri:9:00 am-5:00 pm
Sat:8:00 am-3:00 pm

I've been wanting to visit The Fire Roasted Coffee Company for a while now. I was overseas, when I seen a Facebook event the London Green Party was holding at this roastery. It sounded right down my lane... fair trade, organic, and best of all freshly roasted coffee from all over the world. It doesn't get much better than that. Having been back home for just over 2 months now, I've been trying to find a good opportunity to visit. Reading their website one day, I noticed they were hosting a peaberry coffee tasting event. Having fallen in love with the Indian Monsooned Peaberry at the roastery I worked at in Melbourne, Australia. I knew this was the perfect chance. I sent out a call to all my coffee lovin' Essex County friends and Adam, Josh, and Steph joined me for this experience.
Haitian Bleu Dried Coffee Cherries

We were introduced to our coffee tasting guide who was extremely knowledgeable and seemed to really enjoy his job. He started off explaining how coffee beans were produced.  

Coffee beans are 
Papua New Guinea Roasted Coffee Beans
Papua New Guinea Unroasted
Coffee Beans
essentially the seed found within the cherry of the coffee tree. With fair-trade coffee, typically, the coffee cherries are picked on the farm. They are then allowed to ferment, making the cherry skin easy to remove from the coffee bean itself. The beans are then carefully sorted, and allowed to dry out before being shipped to roasters around the world. We were shown an extremely rare way to receive coffee from a farm. They had received a Haitian Bleu coffee sample from a farm in Haiti. They received a plastic ziploc bag, filled with dried coffee cherries, holding the beans inside. Discussion moved to what a fresh coffee cherry looks like. Someone asked what the cherry itself tasted like. I, of course, volunteered to try it out. I've always seen coffee cherries in photographs, and had always wondered how they tasted. Verdict: grassy, with a very slight sweetness.

Papua New Guinea Unroasted Peaberries
Papua New Guinea Roasted Peaberries
Normally, coffee beans are usually flat on one side and rounded on the other. A regular coffee bean grows together with its other half in one coffee cherry pod, resulting in its distinctive shape. Sometimes though, only one seed is fertilized and grows to fill the entire coffee cherry pod. This results in what is known as a peaberry coffee bean. 
The shape of the peaberry coffee beans, being small, round, and shaped like peas, is the origin for its name. Peaberry coffee beans are considered the holy grail of coffee beans. The pea-shaped coffee beans make up only 3-5% of any coffee bean crop. The peaberries are picked by hand from amongst the "normal" coffee beans ensuring only the finest beans are chosen. The coffee brewed from peaberry coffee beans reflects this selective process. It is far richer and smoother in flavour with a much more intense aroma.
The coffees on offer included: Kenyan, Cameroon, Tanzanian, Jamaican Blue, and Papua New Guinea and included both the peaberries and its regular coffee bean counterpart. My favourite of the coffees on offer was the Papua New Guinea peaberry. It was a dark roast, and had a really complex earthy flavour to it.  Adam enjoyed the Cameroon Peaberry. Josh's favourite was the Jamaican Blue Peaberry. Steph steers away from caffeine and went with a Swiss Water decaf from Sumatra.

Stay in touch with Fire Roasted Coffee Company's website for more information on their wide assortment of single-origin and blends of coffees as well as future coffee tasting events.



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