The Ultimate Coffee Glossary

Flat Bean

What is a Flat Bean?

In coffee cultivation and processing, a flat bean refers to a regular coffee bean, which is the result of two seeds growing inside a coffee fruit with flat sides. In contrast, a peaberry is a single seed that develops a rounded shape due to the other ovule in the fruit failing to develop. While flat beans are the norm for most coffee plants, a small percentage of plants produce peaberries.
The term "flat bean" is not commonly used in the coffee industry, as it is the standard for coffee beans. However, in some coffee-growing regions, such as Tanzania, where peaberry coffee is more prevalent, the term "flat bean" may be used to distinguish regular coffee beans from peaberry coffee beans.
Peaberry beans are sometimes considered superior in quality to flat beans, as they are believed to have a more concentrated flavor due to their smaller size and rounded shape. However, this is a matter of personal preference, and many coffee connoisseurs enjoy both flat beans and peaberry beans.
Overall, understanding the difference between flat beans and peaberry beans can be useful in selecting coffee beans for purchase and appreciating the unique qualities of different coffee varieties.
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