Kenyan Coffee: All You Should Know & Guide

Kenyan Coffee: All You Should Know & Guide

Kenyan Coffee: All You Should Know & Guide. Kenya is the largest coffee-producing country in Africa. There are several versions of what exactly constitutes “Kenyan Coffee”. In this article, I want to share all you need to know about Kenyan coffee, its process, and how we buy Kenyan coffee.

What is Kenyan Coffee?What is Kenyan Coffee?

One of the most sought-after coffees in the world, Kenyan coffee is of the “Colombia mild” variety and is well recognized for its robust flavor, full body, and lovely scent with overtones of cocoa.

History of Kenyan Coffee

The Bourbon variety of Arabica coffee was brought to Kenya by European missionaries in the late 1800s from Brazil. At Bura in the Taita Hills, at Kibwezi in 1900, and then at Kikuyu and Thika in 1904, they planted the first coffee trees.

White immigrants started to cultivate the crop, paying native Kenyans cheaply for their labor. There were over 50 coffee plantations in the nation in 1900.

At the time, Kenya was a British colony known as the East Africa Protectorate. The British recognized an opportunity to grow coffee in East Africa and seized the opportunity to do so.

The cultivation of coffee in Kenya was initially not commercialized, and there were no rules governing the farming, production, processing, grading, or sale of the crop.

Types of Kenyan Coffee

Kenya AA is a classification of Kenyan coffee, despite being commonly recognized as a Kenya coffee variety. Following milling, every Kenyan coffee bean is rated. Based on the size of the bean’s screen, grades are given.

Beans that have a screen size of 17 or 18 (or 17/64 or 18/64 of an inch) are given the grade AA, which is typically the largest bean.

Despite the fact that many people believe the size of the beans to be an indicator of quality, it is vital to remember that there are many other elements that contribute to a cup of excellent quality coffee.

At the Nairobi Coffee Exchange, Kenyan coffee is traded once a week. It is based at The Wakulima House, Exchange Lane which is off Haile Selassie Avenue.

Although the coffee is packaged in single 60 kg sisal bags, the bids are made per bag of 50 kg. The average coffee price at the auction (per 50 kg bag) is shown in the table below.

Type Price
AA $377.20
AB $317.42
C $239.19
PB $308.93
T $183.70
TT $252.51
UG1 $198.06
UG2 $104.81
UG3 $116.63

Kenyan Coffee VarietiesKenyan Coffee Varieties

Coffee traveled the world before arriving in Kenya. Although Ethiopia, where coffee originated, is only a few miles away, it took 500 years for Kenyan coffee types to begin to produce their delicious coffee cherries.

Today, five widely consumed coffee types dominate the Kenyan terrain: SL28, SL34, K7, Batian, and Ruiru 11.

Kenyan Coffee Flavor Profile

Kenyan coffee beans have a number of traits that can help you distinguish them from those from other nations or areas, despite the fact that the flavors can differ from farm to farm.

  • They use wet processing on their green coffees.
  • They often have a full to medium body, a citrus-like acidity, and a winey flavor.
  • They have a flavor that is complex, sweet, and fruity and has undertones of berries and dried tomatoes.

The Coffee Industry in KenyaThe Coffee Industry in Kenya

Kenya’s coffee business is frequently hailed as being among the best-developed in the world. A collaborative system of manufacturing, processing, milling, and marketing is to blame for this.

Early in the 20th century, the British brought coffee farming to Kenya. With yields of the order of 100 million tons per year, it is currently the 16th largest producer in the world.

About 95% of that is earmarked for export because Kenyans themselves have long preferred drinking tea. According to estimates, there are 150,000 coffee producers in Kenya, and the coffee industry provides direct or indirect employment for up to six million Kenyans.

Small-scale farmers account for two-thirds of production, with the remaining one-third coming from massive plantations. Sadly, Kenyan coffee growers are some of the world’s poorest despite the profitability of the beans themselves.

Yields have been declining in recent years as small-scale farmers cave into socio-economic reasons, which is starting to take a toll on production. Due to a property boom in regions that were formerly used for cultivation as well as uncertainty in the world coffee price, coffee production is also currently in decline.

Kenyan Coffee Brands

Here are some best Kenyan Coffee Brands for you to consider:

  1. Volcanica Kenya Whole Coffee Beans — Best Overall.
  2. Cooper’s Cask Kenyan Coffee Beans.
  3. Henry’s House of Coffee: Kenya Beans (Light)
  4. Java House Kenya Coffee-Beans.
  5. Gevalia Special Reserve Kenya Ground Coffee.
  6. Coffee Bean Direct Kenya AA.
  7. Volcanica Coffee Kenya Peaberry

Why is Kenyan Coffee Famous?Why is Kenyan Coffee Famous?

The intricacy of its flavors, unmatched by any other coffee in the world, makes Kenyan coffee the indisputable choice among coffee lovers. As a coffee lover, I can feel that Kenyan coffee is so delicious.

Also, I am frequently questioned as to why Kenyan coffee is so delicious. There are several steps involved in making the ideal cup of coffee, and each one, from the farm to the cup, is important.

Here are the reasons why Kenyan coffee is famous all over the world:

Its Growth at High Altitude

Over 6,000 feet above sea level is where Kenyan coffee is cultivated, allowing it to reach its famed complex flavor development. Geographically speaking, Kenya is blessed with a wide variety of mountains and is located on the equator.

Africa’s second-highest mountain, Mount Kenya, has abundant coffee plant life on its slopes. In order for the proper floral, sweet, and fruity flavors to develop, the coffee fruit must grow slowly at this high altitude due to the low oxygen content and cooler temperatures.

Kenyan marathon runners, who dominate the sport globally, are credited with developing their stamina under the same demanding circumstances.

This condition contributes to the good development of the Kenyan coffee tree!

Kenya’s Rich Volcanic Soil

Kenya’s soil is especially fertile since the Great Rift Valley, one of the world’s natural wonders and home to an active volcano system, exists there. The abundant mineral ingredients in the volcanic soil boost the coffee’s flavor.

Additionally, coffee grows organically in nutrient-rich soil without the need for extensive fertilizer and pesticide use, which is typical of monoculture production and harmful to the environment.

Its Handpickedness

When the cherries are ready to be picked, the farmers painstakingly weed out those that have flaws before hand-picking only the red, ripe cherries from the trees in preparation for processing.

Due to the fact that not all coffee cherries ripen at the same time and that a farmer may need to return to the same branch of a tree up to three times in a season, this is a labor-intensive and time-consuming exercise.

Other nations with mechanical production simply use a machine to remove all of the cherries, ripe and unripe, from a branch at once. Unripe coffee has an astringent flavor that is similar to eating a green, unripe banana in a cup.

There is no incentive to separate the unripe and over-ripe cherries because of the chronically low worldwide coffee prices, which are below the cost of production for the majority of farmers.

As a result, the majority of the coffee on the market is a blended mixture of low and high quality. In order to maintain the high quality of the coffee produced, Kenyan small-holder farmers have a unique history and custom of hand-picking only the ripest cherries.


The coffee berry undergoes a fermentation process to build the coffee characteristics that you will ultimately taste when coffee is roasted, much like how grapes are fermented to produce white or red wine.

There are numerous ways to process coffee, and specialty coffee roasters typically classify them as either wet-processed, natural-process, or honey-process.

Kenyan farmers employ a distinctive wet-process variation that involves fermenting the coffee twice, with a rinse in pure river water in between. The additional fermentation and washing improve the sharpness and purity of the distinctive flavors of Kenyan coffees.

Unique Blends

The most popular varieties of coffee are probably already known to you as Arabica or Robusta. Robusta has a harsher flavor but larger yields, disease resistance, and lower elevations of growth than Arabica, which has a more refined taste and only thrives at high altitudes.

Since Arabica is more difficult to grow and more expensive but is worth it for the greater taste, coffee businesses will typically state if the coffee is 100% arabica to imply higher quality. Since not all Arabicas are made equal, specialty coffee shops will frequently specify a particular variety of coffee.

Due to their distinctive qualities, two specific kinds called SL-28 and SL-34 are grown in Kenya. These flavors can only be produced by the “terroir” of Kenya. These flavors have been attempted to be replicated by other nations without success.

In the end, all of these elements—from varietal type to terroir and processing—combine to make Kenyan coffee regularly among the best in the world.

Its Quality

Kenyan coffee is frequently cited as one of the most well-known coffees in the world. It should come as no surprise given its full-bodied composition, strong acidity, robust flavor, and wonderful scent.

Kenyan coffee is renowned for its berry undertones and overt acidity. Black currant is a berry note among those. One of the characteristics that make Kenyan coffee so distinctive is the flavor known as “black current,” which is unique to Kenyan beans.

How to Buy Kenyan Coffee?How to Buy Kenyan Coffee?

Buying Kenyan Coffee is simple and easy. You can purchase it online or even in the supermarket.

The Kenyan coffee industry has been growing fast, and there are many companies that provide you with quality coffee beans. But how can you choose between them?

Here are some tips on how to buy Kenyan coffee online:

Do research before buying

  • Researching the different brands and their products will help you choose which one is best for you and your family.
  • You can also ask your friends who have used different brands of coffee beans in the past and their experiences with them.

Look for quality reviews from other customers

  • See those who have bought the same kind of product from your chosen brand before so that they can help you make an informed decision on which brand will suit your needs most effectively in terms of quality, taste, and price range.

Read reviews online before making a purchase

  • Visiting sites like Amazon where many users post their opinions about certain products so that other customers could benefit from reviewing those products before making a purchase decision themselves.

If you go to the supermarket or Kenya to purchase, it is necessary for you to consider:


  • Like with other coffees, a lot depends on personal preference. A darker roast may reduce acidity and eliminate some of the aromas of fruit and other spices if you prefer your Kenyan coffee to taste more like “coffee.” Naturally, a darker bean is an oilier bean, so the cup might not feel as clean.
  • You may anticipate a bright, complex cup of coffee with milder roasts. But for some, it can be excessive. Kenya is regarded for producing some of the best coffee in the world, but it can also be for those who are more daring.


  • Kenyan coffee is of a higher caliber than other countries, hence it is also typically more expensive.
  • The wonderful thing about the coffee globe is that it is so vast that you can still experience Kenyan coffee for less money, even if it is only a small taste of what you would have with finer Kenyan offers. It’s not necessary to spend a fortune on the finest Kenyan coffee beans!

FAQsFrequently Asked Questions

What does Kenyan coffee taste like?

Kenyan coffee beans are regarded as some of the best in the world by coffee connoisseurs. Kenyan coffee’s flavor notes are strong and vibrant, with wine-like overtones and flowery or fruity undertones.

How much caffeine is in Kenya coffee?

The amount of anhydrous caffeine in 100 grams of Kenyan coffee was 1.12 (0.08) g.

What is Kenya famous for coffee?

It should come as no surprise given its full-bodied composition, strong acidity, robust flavor, and wonderful scent. Kenyan coffee is renowned for its berry undertones and overt acidity. Black currant is a berry note among those.


In nutshell, Kenyan coffee is one of the best coffee you should try because of the above-mentioned reasons, Also, you’ve been guided to buy it for use and some related information.

Thank you for spending your precious time paying attention to this blog. Centralwestcafe hopes you find this post informative and helpful.

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