Exploring coffee consumption in Kenya

Kenya is Africa’s fifth largest coffee producer. The International Coffee Organization estimates that the country will produce approximately 775,000 60kg bags in 2020.

The country exports approximately 95% of its coffee to a variety of international markets, with the United States and Germany importing the most.

This means that the remaining 5% of coffee produced in the country is consumed domestically. And, while tea consumption remains high in Kenya, coffee consumption is increasing.

Kenya’s domestic coffee consumption, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is expected to reach 43,000 60kg bags by the end of 2022. While Kenya’s reputation for high-quality arabica production appears to be growing, what does the future hold for Kenyan coffee consumers?

To learn more, I spoke with Ritesh Doshi of Spring Valley Coffee and Rozy Rana of Dormans Coffee. Additionally, you may be interested in our article on reviving generational interest in Kenyan coffee production.

While Kenya’s coffee production has fluctuated in recent years, the East African country is well-known for its speciality coffees.

There are five distinct coffee-growing regions in the country. These are Central Kenya (Mount Kenya and the Aberdare mountain range), Western Kenya (Kisii, Nyanza, and Bungoma), the Great Rift Valley (Nakuru and Kericho), Eastern Kenya (Machakos, Embu, and Meru), and Coastal Kenya (Machakos, Embu, and Meru) (Taita hills).

These regions cultivate a variety of cultivars, including SL-14, SL-28, SL-34, Batian, Ruiru 11, and K7. The SL group, which was developed in the 1930s from the Bourbon variety, has significantly improved the quality and yields of Kenyan coffee over the years.

Along with its distinctive varieties, the country is well-known for its unique grading system. The size, shape, and overall quality of coffee beans are all graded. These are the following grades: AA, AB, PB, C, E, and TT.

In Kenya, washed processing is the most common method, imparting an acidic, bright flavour profile to coffees. Historically, Kenyan farmers have used it to create a more repeatable flavour profile; however, the market for natural Kenyan coffee is expanding as well.

Additionally, the country’s trading system distinguishes it. Coffees are graded by the Kenya Coffee Producers and Traders Association (KCPTA) before being traded at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange’s central auction.

The majority of coffee, however, is initially handled by “coffee marketing agents,” who occasionally restrict direct purchases from smallholder producers.

Read more • perfectdailygrind.com

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