Geography

Africa

Ethiopia

The largest number of varieties of coffee (more than 10,000) grows in Ethiopia. 90% of Ethiopian coffee is harvested by hand in forests or backyards, and only 10% of it comes from organized agriculture. In other words, coffee in Ethiopia continues to be grown "in the wild" and is harvested just like blueberries or mushrooms in Ukraine. This production model is radically different from the ones used by all other coffee-producing countries. Farmers grow either local varieties or those that have been bred by JARC.

There are several groups of JARC varieties:

  • resistant to coffee berry diseases
  • resistant to coffee leaf rust
  • ORSTOM - collections of French coffee
  • hybrid
  • special

Beans produced:

2020 - 7.3 million bags (60 kg each)

World market share in kg (Arabica and Robusta):

4.3%

Coffee beans export revenue:

$795 million

Harvest:

from October to February

Sidamo

Sidamo or Sidama (derived from the Sidama people) covers a large area: across the fertile plateau south of Lake Awasa in the Rift Valley. It consists of more than 20 administrative districts, or 'wards,' with different microclimates and altitudes from 1,550 to 2,200 meters above sea level. Accordingly, there is a wide variety of brands and profiles of cups that end up being labeled as Sidamo.

Yirgacheffe

Yirgacheffe is part of the Sidamo region, but its exceptional coffee quality makes it a separate micro-region. It is registered under the Ethiopian government's trademark. Most of the coffee produced here is washed, although it is also processed naturally. Yirgacheffe beans have citrus acidity, light notes of black tea, striking black and raspberry flavors, jasmine, and floral aroma, making this region a favorite among specialty roasters.

Harrar

This is a region of wild arabica grown on small farms in Oromia (formerly Harrar) at an altitude of 1400 to 2000 meters above sea level. Usually, the beans are processed naturally.

Harrar is known for its rich taste and fruit acidity: spicy, with strong hints of blueberries or blackberries.

Limu

Limu coffee grows in southwestern Ethiopia at an altitude of 1,100 to 1,900 above sea level. Washed coffee has relatively low acidity, a well-balanced profile, a noticeable spicy taste, pleasant sweetness, and colored notes.

Djima

The region in southwestern Ethiopia is the largest producer of commercial coffee, grown at an altitude of 1,400 to 2,100 above sea level.

Kenya

Kenya is one of the most famous specialty coffee producing countries. Kenyan coffee is known for its acidity, has a full and rich body and a unique aroma. The main coffee regions are located near Mount Kenya in Central Kenya, as well as in the west up to Mount Elgon on the border with Uganda.

The SL 28 and SL 34 (Scott Laboratories) varieties are the most famous African varieties of coffee and have become its trademark. They provide 80% of all coffee exports from Kenya.

Coffee from Kenya is always sorted by size. 17-18 screen coffee beans receive class AA - the most popular class for export. 16 screen beans receive class AB. Interestingly, the larger size of the bean does not always mean better taste.

Beans produced:

2020 - 0.7 million bags (60 kg each)

World market share in kg (Arabica and Robusta):

0,4%

Coffee beans export revenue:

$255 million

Harvest:

March – July, and September – December

Central Region

Central Kenya consists of Kiambu, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, and Muranga, traditional coffee-growing areas in Kenya that produce 60% of the crop. In particular, Kiamba was once called 'Brazil' of Kenya due to its significant lands.

The region has rich agricultural lands, and farmers also grow tea and enjoy gardening. Coffee is traditionally grown on small and large farms on the hills of Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Ranges. There are fertile volcanic soils in this region, which are synonymous with a cup of good coffee.

Profile cups for Murang'a, Kiambu, and Thika have a rounded grapefruit-flavored acidity. In contrast, Kirinyaga and Nyeri's cups have a sharp citrus acidity and a full body with black currant and chocolate notes.

Eastern region

Eastern Kenya includes Meru Central, Embu, Machakos, Taraka Niti and Makueni counties.

Machakos and Macueni counties are primarily arid and semi-arid. Coffee is grown on the hills of Iveta, Kangundo, and Mboona. These counties are located southeast of Nairobi and are the birthplace of the Akamba people (known for their talent in coffee processing). Machakos is the central city of Ucambani, founded in 1887, ten years before Nairobi, and was the first administrative center of the British colony.

Rift Valley

Rift Valley is one of the world's wonders, stretching from the Middle East through Africa to Mozambique. Known for its stunning scenery: the earth suddenly disappears from view, showing a giant space of a large crack that stretches for thousands of miles in both directions.

Coffee grows in the highlands west of the Rift Valley in Nakuru, Nandi, Kipkelion, Trans-Nzoia, and Baringo. Young volcanic soils in the Rift Valley are highly fertile. In many places, you can still see the lava not covered with vegetation. The temperature is moderate and does not exceed 28 °C.

This region's coffee has a medium acidity, a full body with fruity hints, and a rich chocolate flavor.

Western Region

It consists of the districts of Bungoma, Vyhyga, and Kakamega. Bungoma has very developed agriculture: most families rely on crop production and cattle breeding. The main crops are corn, beans, millet, sweet potatoes, bananas, Irish potatoes, and various vegetables. They also produce sugar cane, cotton, palm oil, coffee, sunflower, and tobaccoю. Coffee grows on the slopes of Mount Elgon. A cup has bright acidity and fruity hints typical of alpine coffee.

Vihiga County is one of Kenya's counties with favorable environmental conditions for growing coffee, thanks to acidic soils, sufficient sunlight, the right temperature, and rainfall.

Nyanza area

The main coffee-growing areas in Nyanza include Kisiya, Nyamiru, Migori and Kisumu counties. Kisiya and Nyamira are among the most densely populated in Kenya, with an average area of ​​no more than 0.25 acres. Migori and Kisumu also have coffee-producing potential.

The profile cup has medium acidity and medium body, smooth and creamy with the sweet taste of roasted nuts and minor fruity notes.

The famous SL varieties - SL-28 and SL-34 - tend to be juicy and dynamic, while French Mission tends to be more creamy and lemony.
"SL" in SL-28 and SL-34 means Scot Laboratories, hired in the 1930s to select Kenyan coffee varieties and determine the potential (both in terms of quality and cultivation).

Scientists have identified more than 40 trees of different types, assigning them numbers with "SL" for classification. Although many were genetic descendants of cross-pollinated variations, these varieties are considered selective, not, roughly speaking, 'hybrids.'

Fest Coffee Mission is a green coffee trader which can help to get the best coffee directly from farms. More information about specialty green coffee you can find on our website.