Pepper-Passion black peppercorns

Black peppercorns reviewed: Malabar, Tellicherry, Sarawak, Lampong, Madagascar, Talamanaca, Vietnam, Kampot, Pohnpei
Cost: Pepper-Passion provided samples for this review.

Pepper-Passion has the most extensive selection of peppercorns of any vendor that I’ve encountered so far.¬† They have high-quality standard selections, such as Malabar and Tellicherry, along with relatively unknown varieties like Pohnpei and Kampot. Click on the pictures to enlarge.

India Malabar – Medium size, light tan, wide range of colors. Soft texture. Cinnamon and nutmeg notes. Heat is warm and cozy.
India Tellicherry – Medium-to-large size. Uniformly dark brown. Cedar middle notes, becomes slightly bitter toward the end. Light heat.
Malaysian Sarawak – Large size. Array of colors, dark-brown to tan. Light, crispy texture. Bright flavor, slightly citrus. Light heat.
Indonesian Lampong – Small. Black to dark-brown. Slightly soft texture. Bold, peppery flavor. Medium heat.
Madagascar – Small size. Color varies from black to tan. Firm, crunchy texture. Middle notes of pine, followed by other spice notes such as cumin and coriander. Heat develops slowly, provides a lingering warmth.
Ecuador Talamanca – Medium to large in size. Gray to black color. Notes of juniper, slightly tangy taste. Intense heat develops after about 10 seconds. The end flavor is slightly bitter. These don’t have the strong vegetal taste that I’ve noticed in some other Ecuadorian peppercorns.
Vietnam – This is the first time I’ve found gourmet Vietnamese peppercorns. Medium size. Uniform brown. Texture is dense and hard. Average flavor, but the sensation of heat is more in the nose than in the mouth, which makes it a bit unique.
Kampot – Large size. Black and shiny. Dense. Fruity flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Low heat.
Pohnpei – Large and well-formed kernels. Color is deep black-purple. The flavor is floral, almost sweet, with notes of cedar. There is a fair amount heat, which seems to catch in the back of the throat.

Peppercorns were sampled in their raw form. They were also used to season several common foods, ranging from bland (e.g., eggs) to pungent (e.g., andouille sausage, gumbo). Side-by-side comparisons were conducted whenever possible, but with this many peppercorns I had to rely heavily on notes from previous tastings. It was really an incredible opportunity, and a challenge, to compare this many different  peppercorns. A big thanks to Pepper-Passion for making this possible.


3 Responses to “Pepper-Passion black peppercorns”

  1. Jeanne Kelly says:

    I have visited this site. They also have awesome pepper mills.

  2. John Wise says:

    I love Pepper-Passion and have been an avid fan and customer for years now. This last year saw me making my own vanilla extract for the first time, wish I had known about your site. How about reviewing a range of various salts too? I’ve often wondered if it were worthwhile to purchase smoked, pink, black, or flavored salts.

  3. My favorite pepper is Kampot pepper! Many French chefs consider Kampot pepper the best in the world.