Something You Need To Know About Kenya Coffee

Something You Need To Know About Kenya Coffee

Coffee produced in Kenya has always been loved by many people in the fine coffee industry, but what is the difference between Kenyan coffee? How will coffee processing and unique varieties affect the flavor we drink? Why is it easier for buyers of raw beans to trade directly with farmers?

Flavor Of Kenyan Coffee

Kenyan coffee has a complex flavour with bright acidity, full-bodied, fruity, and distinctive aromas. The most recognizable flavour profiles are the ones that coffee lovers love.

Kenya has many coffee producing areas and varieties. Kenya has a high altitude, good soil quality, and consistent rainfall. There are several major production areas, including central Kenya (around the Kenya mountains and Aberdare mountains), the West (Kisii, Nyanza, and bungoma), the Great Rift Valley of East Africa (Nakuru and Kericho), the East (Machakos, EMBU, and Meru) and the coastal area (Taita Hills), etc. These production areas have unique climate and coffee growth conditions, among which there are sub micro production areas, which will make subtle differences in coffee flavor.

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In addition, Kenya also has a variety of coffee varieties, especially sl28 and sl34, which are less common in other coffee producing countries. These varieties planted in high-altitude production areas produce coffee with a complex aroma. In addition, you may have heard that K7 is planted at a lower altitude and is more drought tolerant because of its deep roots. In addition, batian and R11 are both bred in the laboratory to resist coffee related diseases.

In addition to specific production areas and varieties, you may have heard of the way Kenyan coffee is graded. The names AA, AB, Pb, C, e, and TT may be graded according to the size, shape, and quality of the beans. These names all have meanings. Aa/ab/c represents coffee beans of different sizes, Pb represents round beans (that is, a coffee fruit has only one seed), e represents coffee beans with huge seeds (like beans), TT represents coffee beans with low density (poor quality).

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Grading the beans in this way helps to ensure consistency so that the whole bag of coffee you buy has the same flavour profile.

Consistency Achieved By Teamwork

There are over 700,000 coffee producers in Kenya who prefer to do everything by hand, from picking the fruit, drying, and processing to grading. Most coffee growing farms grow around 1320 coffee trees per hectare.

Kenya coffee harvests twice a year, the first between April and June, and sometimes until July; The second time is from October to December, sometimes to January of the next year. The exact start and end times of the harvest period depend on the production area, the weather of the year, and the altitude of the farm. Since the crops are harvested twice a year, producers will be very busy all year round.

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Most coffee growers in Kenya are family businesses. Coffee is the parent of Kenyans and other coffee producers are their siblings. Most Kenyan coffee producers work in cooperatives, which increases the consistency of coffee quality.

The Trading Mode Of Kenya Coffee

Unlike many producing countries in America and Asia, Kenya's local government will control a certain amount of coffee trade. Under the supervision of the Kenya coffee Bureau operated by the government, most coffee beans are bought and sold in central auctions.

These laws are usually friendly to farmers, but if farmers want to sell coffee beans independently, it will be a big challenge. Farmers may be "excluded" from the supply chain, and the back-end transportation and trade administration operations should be carried out by both parties themselves.

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Some producers will think that they don't get a beautiful purchase price in this system. For them, it seems that there are too many roles in the supply chain, and farmers don't fully trust the people at the back end to really express their unique selling points of coffee to buyers, and even suspect that intermediaries lie about the actual purchase price.

Kenyan producers have a great passion for coffee. After all, they consider themselves to be coffee's children. However, the mismanagement and low pay described above can turn enthusiasm into disappointment.

In recent years, there have been many negative voices about the central auction, which has made it easier for farmers to sell and export their coffee directly. The next challenge is to help farmers get a better purchase price and improve the transparency of the supply chain.

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Dealing With The Rapidly Changing Coffee Industry

The local team says they are developing a coffee organisation made up of volunteers that operates through a commitment. Once funding is in place, they will be able to respond to these new trends in Kenya's coffee trade to promote transparency in the coffee bean supply chain. They want this transparency to exist not only in the hands of consumers, but also in the hands of farmers.

Coffee producers sometimes don't know how their processed coffee is, so they can use the cup testing mechanism to find out the state of their coffee and who is buying it.

The example in the auction is that farmers know that their coffee cup got 93 points, but they don't know why they got this score. In fact, this kind of situation often happens, and farmers as representatives can't wait to tell their partner's good news.

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Coffee producers have a right to know this information, which can help them produce better quality coffee. At the same time, if they respond well, it is a tribute to their efforts.

In addition, the establishment of the coffee institutions mentioned above can help farmers understand the status of their coffee from the aspects of Agronomy, baking, and cup testing, which will enable farmers to understand the value of their coffee from the perspective of the market, and thus obtain a more reasonable purchase price.

In addition, the organization can also provide relevant training for young coffee practitioners, such as baristas, cup testers, bean roasters, farmers, and other roles. The organization hopes that the new generation can see the complete coffee supply chain and understand that they have a future in the coffee industry, which is all related to improving the transparency of the supply chain.

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Each coffee producing area is unique, with different soil quality, climate, varieties, production methods, and treatment methods, which have created the uniqueness and flavor complexity of Kenyan coffee. Each producing country has its own challenges, whether it is infrastructure, relevant policies and regulations, pests and diseases, and so on.

It is a good thing to see that the coffee practitioners in Kenya are willing to improve the transparency of the supply chain. Understanding the appearance of high-quality coffee will help farmers have a sense of identity for their own coffee. We should not ignore letting farmers see a transparent supply chain.

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