I hadn’t ever expected to conduct a reprise of my peaberry/flatbean comparison, but I was browsing coffee at my local coffee shop and ran across a similar-yet-very-different pair of coffees: Ljulu Lipati and Ljulu Lipati Peaberry. They’re similar to my previous sampling in that there’s a peaberry/flatbean sibling rivalry. But thye’re different in that they’re from Zambia, and coffees from Africa tend to be at the opposite end of the flavor spectrum than coffees from Indonesia. FWIW, I don’t expect to find as much difference as I did when comparing the two Sulawesi. On with the sampling!
Flatbean: It’s good, though perhaps not quite what I would normally prefer in an espresso. I was a little shocked when I took a sip, and decided that it had a distinct flavor of grapefruit, and then read the label to find that “grapefruit bitters” is the first flavor listed. It then lists sour cherry, which I also detected as a complicating factor in the grapefruit. I don’t usually “get” the flavors listed on the bag, so if you’re in the same boat and want finally taste the marketing copy*, give this a try.
Peaberry: This is prety similar to the flatbean, though it is different. The grapefruit still dominates the flavor. That said, I’m not sure I would have come up with that specific description if I hadn’t tried the flat bean first. I wasn’t really able to identify any others myself, so I looked at the description on the bag and was able to imagine tasting the roasted red pepper. Had I been trying, maybe I could have tasted that with the flatbean as well.
In each case, the late pull tasted very much like the ristretto, but watered down a bit – still strongly grapefruit.
I didn’t think to look until I saw a distinct difference in crema pulling the peaberry shot, but the two coffees have different levels of freshness. The peaberry was roasted April 3 and the flatbean March 22. I wouldn’t call eitherei one is fresh, but I could definitely tell a difference in the appearance. I don’t know much the flavors differ, or if I could detect them.
*I call it marketing copy, but I don’t really doubt that the cuppers actually tasted these flavors. I’m sure they have a much more trained palette, and probably don’t the weak sense of smell that skews my gustation.