Trader Joe's Limited Edition Peaberry Coffee from Costa Rica (Followed by a Recipe for Chocolate Chip Scones)

As much as I love Trader Joe's and buy a solid 95 percent of my groceries there, I must admit that I'm not always thrilled by their coffee selection. I'll toss it in the cart from time to time on account of convenience, each time choosing a different blend from a different region. I take it home, I grind the beans, I brew my morning cup, and ultimately find it to be drinkable, at best.

That is, however, until I brought home the Limited Edition Peaberry Coffee from Costa Rica. In a phrase: it was love at first sip.

What is a peaberry? Despite what its name suggests, a peaberry is not some exotic species of fruit. You won't be baking pie with it, or whipping it up into jam. A peaberry is the name of a small, extra-concentrated coffee bean.

Coffee beans grow inside little round fruits called cherries. Once the cherries are ripe enough to pick, the harvesters break them open and generally find two coffee beans inside. However, in about 5 percent of the total crop, harvesters will find there is only one tiny bean growing inside the cherry, and that bean is called a peaberry. Peaberries are technically the runt of the litter; yet, in spite of their size, they are packed with enormous bursts of flavor.
                                                              (coffee cherries)

The Trader Joe's version from Costa Rica costs $7.99, and makes an incredibly smooth cup of coffee. It's a medium roast, and according to the packaging, it has notes of citrus and brown sugar. In all honesty, I'm not great at detecting flavor variations in coffee just yet. Wine, absolutely. Coffee? That's still a work in progress; however, I believe there was a slight hint of citrus flavor at the tail end of each sip. 

As for brown sugar, I know I tasted that because it's an essential ingredient added to every cup of coffee I drink. And when I say brown sugar, I don't mean the raw kind. I mean the kind that you "firmly press" into the measuring cup when adding it to a batch of cookies. I've been using it in my coffee for years now, and I love the way it dissolves so evenly. It's also healthier than white sugar, and you don't have to use nearly as much of it. A little brown sugar goes a long way. So try it out! And while you're at it, enjoy a chocolate chip scone with your cup of Joe.

Chocolate Chip Scones (adapted from

1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup organic, unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup semi-sweet, mini chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sour cream and baking soda together in a small bowl and let sit. The consistency will slowly change, and you'll notice the sour cream becomes light and airy, almost like whipped cream.

Get out another small bowl and beat together the egg and vanilla.

Next, get out a large bowl and thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt.  Cut in the butter until the mixture is nice and crumbly.

Add the egg/ vanilla mixture, and then add the sour cream. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty because they will be your easiest bet in terms of getting the batter in workable order. Using a mixing spoon is probably going to be rough, so just dive in with your hands, and try not to overwork the dough.

Once it's all evenly combined, arrange the dough around the outside edges of the bowl in order to create an empty hole in the center. Pour the mini-chocolate morsels into the center, and then gently work them into the dough with your hands.

As a side note, you can use regular-sized chocolate chips if you like, but I prefer the tiny ones in scones because they distribute the chocolate flavor more evenly.

Get out some wax paper or parchment paper, dust a little flour on top of it, and then use the floured surface to roll out the dough into a large rectangle, about 1-2 inches thick.

Cut the rectangle into three long sections. Separate each section, and then cut it into small triangles.

Place the triangles on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes.

I know it's summer, but hey, happy baking and coffee drinking!