Industry News

Kenya Brings Coffee and Culture to Seattle for Coffee Expo

SEATTLE – (April 14, 2017) – Kenya is the offi­cial Portrait Country for the 2017 Global Specialty Coffee Expo orga­nized by the Specialty Coffee Association from Thursday, April 20 to Sunday, April 23. Coffee experts and connois­seurs across the globe have recog­nized Kenyan coffee for its high quality, supe­rior crafts­man­ship and excep­tion­ally balanced flavors. Kenya will bring its specialty premium coffee beans to Seattle next week, along with a perfor­mance by tradi­tional Maasai dancers from Kenya to welcome Global Specialty Coffee Expo guests to the country’s rich cultural heritage.

“We are priv­i­leged to be featured as the offi­cial Portrait Country at the Global Specialty Coffee Expo,” said Mr. Willy Bett, E.G.H. — Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries. “We look forward to sharing the complex and well-balanced flavors of Kenyan specialty coffee with Seattle and the rest of the world. Though Kenyan coffee has long been used in blends to improve other coffees’ qual­i­ties, a cup of pure Kenyan coffee is a unique expe­ri­ence in itself.”

During the Expo, more than 11,000 coffee profes­sionals will come together to exhibit, attend lectures and classes, hone their roasting skills, compete in barista and brewers cup cham­pi­onships and explore equip­ment inno­va­tion. Kenyan coffee will be featured in the expo’s cupping sessions, lectures and inter­ac­tive expe­ri­ences.

Vibrant and deeply dimen­sioned, Kenyan coffee is known for its alluring aroma, full-bodied berry or citrus under­tones and fruity, wine-toned acidity. Its bright, bold and distin­guished flavors are perfect for coffee enthu­si­asts who delight in a complex cup. The country’s red volcanic soil, high alti­tudes, favor­able climate and cool high­lands near the equator create ideal envi­ron­mental condi­tions that produce one of the finest coffees in the world.

In Kenya, coffee farmers have inte­grated sustain­able produc­tion by embracing inter­na­tion­ally recog­nized measures in their farming systems that ensure water and soil resource protec­tion and produc­tivity. Certifications under sustain­ability programs such as UTZ, 4CS, Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance ensure that Kenya’s ecosystem is preserved. Kenyan coffee is grown using excep­tional agri­cul­tural prac­tices, supported by sound research and exten­sion services. The country grows natu­rally disease-resistant coffee vari­eties that lessen the need for pesti­cides.

Meticulous detail and expert crafts­man­ship goes into each cup of Kenyan coffee. The main coffee growing areas range in alti­tude between 4000 feet to 7000 feet above sea level. The coffee is grown in red, well-drained, loamy acidic soil under the right amount of sunlight and rain­fall. Red-ripe coffee cher­ries are then hand-picked from envi­ron­men­tally friendly bushes sourced from certi­fied nurs­eries. Next, cher­ries are sorted by hand and undergo a unique double fermen­ta­tion process that leads to spec­tac­ular, clean and long-lasting coffee. The coffee beans then are sun-dried on raised beds, cleanly processed and pack­aged to preserve quality. The coffee is graded by qual­i­fied Q-graders to analyze the quality for the market.

The specialty coffee market has been instru­mental in contributing to fair returns to Kenyan coffee farmers. In November 2016, Kenya was delighted to host the Roasters Guild Origin Trip for 31 coffee profes­sionals from 11 coun­tries. The experts visited coffee farms, coöper­a­tive soci­eties, coffee estates, millers, marketers, coffee dealers, exporters, ware­housing and trans­port logis­tics firms to witness how Kenya’s coör­di­nated value chain delivers high-quality coffee to the world. The Origin Trip team under­took cupping sessions in coffee growing zones while enjoying the beauty of Kenya’s wildlife.

For more infor­ma­tion about the Kenyan coffee industry, visit coffee.agricultureauthority.go.ke.

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