Kenya is one of the most famous specialty coffee producing countries. Kenyan green coffee beans are 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.
Green coffee beans 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.
2020 - 0.7 million bags (60 kg each)
World market share in kg (Arabica and Robusta):
Coffee beans export revenue:
March – July, and September – December
Assortment of the Kenyan green coffee
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. Kenyan green coffee from this region 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 Kenya includes Meru Central, Embu, Machakos, Taraka Niti and Makueni counties.
Machakos and Macueni counties are primarily arid and semi-arid. Kenyan coffee beans are 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 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.
Green coffee beans in Kenya grow 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.
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. Kenyan coffee beans grow 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.
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.'
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