Black peppercorns come in many varieties with varying degrees of heat and flavor complexity. The berries for black peppercorns are picked from the vine just before they ripen and turn red. As they dry, the berries turn black. The largest black peppercorn is the Tellicherry, considered to be the best because it's left on the vine longer for more developed flavor. Other black peppercorns are Sarawak, Malabar, Penja, and Vietnamese.