Among the world’s most intensely aromatic and brightly acidic coffees, Kenyan coffees are among the best. The flavours vary slightly from region to region, but the majority of them have complex fruit and berry notes, citrus acidity, and juicy, rich textures that are unique to the region.
Only about 330 farms in Kenya are estates with a total land area of 15 hectares (37 acres). Smallholders account for slightly more than half of all coffee producers, with each having only a couple of hectares of land. They are organised into factories that are members of cooperative societies, with each factory receiving coffee cherries from hundreds or even thousands of small-scale coffee growers. Kenya is a producer of Arabica, specifically the SL, K7, and Ruiru cultivars. The majority of the beans are washed for export (see Processing); however, any smaller selections of naturally processed coffee cherries are typically consumed in Kenya, according to tradition. When the coffee beans have been processed, the majority of them are traded through a weekly auction system, in which exporters bid on samples they had tasted the previous week. Although prices at the auction are still subject to fluctuations in the commodity market, they reward the highest-quality coffees and, as a result, provide producers with incentives to improve agricultural practises and the quality of their coffee.
Key facts about Kenyan coffee: 0.52 percent of the world market, and 0.52 percent of the Kenyan market.
Harvest The main crop is harvested from October to December, with a smaller “fly” crop harvested from April to June. Processes Some sort of natural process was used to wash the clothes. PRIMARY TYPES Arabica SL 28, Arabica SL 34, K7, Ruiru 11, Batian Arabica SL 28
As a producer, you are ranked 18th in the world.
MARSABIT The region of Marsabit does not produce enough coffee to export, but it is the only place in Kenya where the wild Rubiaceae family has been discovered. In these forests, researchers are studying and conserving the coffee gene pool, which will benefit coffee growers all over the world.
MERU Meru, located on the eastern slopes of Mount Kenya, has rich organic soils and moderate rainfall, which enable the cultivation of the K7 and SL varieties to thrive.
NYERI The areas around Nyeri, which are dominated by factories and cooperative societies and receive only moderate rainfall, are renowned for their high-quality beans, which are primarily of the SL variety.
KIRINYAGA Kirinyaga is located on the slopes of Mount Kenya, where the altitudes and twice-yearly rainy season are ideal for producing high-quality coffee. The most widely planted varieties in this area are SL 28 and SL 34.
EMBU Embu is characterised by deep, red volcanic soils and two distinct rainy seasons. It is dominated by factories and societies that cultivate a diverse range of crops.
KNOWLEDGE OF THE AREA Kenyan researchers are looking into a large number of wild Arabica trees, as well as smaller numbers of eight other wild Rubiaceae species, which have been discovered in the Marsabit forest and are currently being studied.