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, cooperative societies, coffee estates, millers, marketers, coffee dealers, exporters, warehousing and transport logistics firms to witness how Kenya’s coordinated 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.