Spoiler Alert! Peabody by Koa Coffee, the medium roast, is one of the smoothest tasting coffee I’ve ever tried!
Before we get into the review on each element of Peabody, let’s touch on Koa the company. Based out of Captain Cook, Hawaii, Koa was founded in 1997 by the Artuckovich family. At the Hawaii plantation, the Artuckovish’s process their coffee beans from growing to roasting so everything is done on site.
Why is Koa Peaberry coffee so expensive?
A few factors can answer this, one that could have had an effect a while ago goes back to the 1990’s where the root-knot nematode ruined many trees in the Kona districts.
Another infestation, this time in 2010 by the Coffee Berry Borer beetle which is the most devastating beetle to arabica coffee created a drought and had the potential to reduce the yields from crops up to 90%.
Given the significant economic impact these insects could have, the infestation was cured through methods by the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture.
One of the largest reasons Peaberry coffee is expensive would have to do with the rarity of the bean. Peabody beans represent only 3-5 out of every 100 beans, that’s only 3-5 bags out of 100!
This small portion of coffee beans derives from the geographical location of the producing coffee plant. Kona coffee comes from the western slopes of the Hualalai & Mauna Loa volcanoes, located on an island in the Pacific ocean.
Why is it called Peaberry?
The Peabody bean has an interesting characteristic which adds to the beans rarity. Most coffee beans are flat, while the Peabody is round in shape. The coffee plant’s cherry, the fruit of the plant, normally consists of two seeds/beans that have flat facing sides.
In some cases only one of the two seeds fertilizes, while the other side matures without anything to flatten it. What remains is an oval or “pea” shaped coffee bean, hence the word “peaberry” created by nature and the reason why this bean is rare.
The pea shaped bean, Peaberry, is roasted separate from the properly fertilized beans to ensure a consistent even roast. Since the beans are round with no edges, they roll around in the roast chamber more fluid and this is suspected to be the reason on the quality of the final product as I mentioned it is one of the smoothest coffees I’ve tasted.
What is a Kona blend?
This is what you need to be careful of, when retailers use the word “blend” in their Kona products to improve the perception of their product. Since Kona coffee beans are so expensive some producers use a blend of coffee beans combined with an actual Kona produced bean – this means that the blended product is not actually real premium Kona coffee. In fact, retailers are only obligated to contain 10% real Kona coffee beans in their Kona coffee – what!?!?
Koa Peaberry Review
Since I taste tested this while out fishing, I used my Aeropress and went with the traditional method. Temperature of the water was 190 Fahrenheit, and I went with a medium-fine grind using my handheld grinder (ceramic burrs for consistency, always!)
Aroma – 5/5
Upon opening the bag, that fresh coffee smell hit me right in the feels. You know that rich scent of freshness hinting at how much energy you will have once consumed? Yeah that’s it, that’s the aroma. When speaking to aroma for coffee, most contain that wonderful distinct smell so I would only write more here if it wasn’t so pleasant.
Acidity – 4.5/5
Acidity – that characteristic referring to the dry, vibrant and crisp taste of coffee, is noticeably fantastic in the Koa Peabody and that is why I gave it a 4.5/5. Consider acidity in coffee the same as hops in craft beer, that distinct sought after taste. I’m not speaking about the actual taste but more to the notable taste on your pallet many desire.
I mentioned that Kona coffee is grown on the slopes of the Hualalai & Mauna Loa volcanoes, it is known that coffee beans grown in higher elevation produce a higher acidity level. Given that this is a medium roast bean, I want to try the dark roast Peabody Koa offers to see the difference in acidity.
Body – 4.5/5
The “mouthfeel” of the Peabody is impressive with a medium weight. I say impressive as I mostly like dark rich roast coffee and with a medium weight in a medium roast I would purchase the Koa Peabody again just for this part of the review. Maybe for avid medium roast coffee consumers they may beg to differ, but I felt the “mouthfeel” was reaching towards what my pallet tongue prefers.
Flavor – 4/5
Sweet is how I would describe the Peabody flavor as it rises above any hint of bitterness or other flavor consideration. In combination with the wonderful aroma and impressive acidity, sweetness completes this coffee. This sweetness most likely comes from what I mentioned about the mutation of the Peabody bean, in most cases you can tell the difference versus a regular grown bean where a Peabody has better flavor.
Aftertaste – 4/5
The lingering sensation of Koa’s Peabody carries along the initial sweetness taste well after the first sip giving a satisfying aftertaste, fulfilling the expectation of Peabody coffee.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a true Kona coffee, and medium roast is your preference I believe Koa’s Peabody at a 4.4 out of 5 scale is a delicacy you should try.
Purchase the Koa Peabody Medium Roast at a price of $45 for 8oz here.
Koa Coffee Awards & Recognitions
- Gevalia Cupping Competition
- PCCA Coffee of the Year
- Forbes Top 10 Coffees of the World
- Forbes 50 of America’s Best (Best Coffee in America)