Why is Kenya’s coffee so exceptional?
A walk down the coffee aisle of a typical grocery store will expose you to more coffee brands than most people have likely ever tried. A visit to the local café can overwhelm even the most seasoned caffeine enthusiasts with its vast variety. With so many options and attractively packaged products, it can be difficult to determine which types of coffee are worth purchasing. Fortunately, if you’re looking for the finest beans, there’s one word to look for on the bag: Kenya.
According to the National Coffee Association of the United States, coffee beans grown in Kenya have a naturally fruity, acidic flavor profile and produce a fragrant, full-bodied brew. It states that Kenyan coffee beans are typically grown by farmers on small estates, primarily in the fertile foothills of Mount Kenya. According to Coffee Bean Corral, 70% of all coffee grown in Kenya is grown on small-scale farms. But even beyond cultivation, the nation produces its beans with quality in mind from beginning to end. Here’s why Kenyan coffee is so exceptional.
Kenya may be biologically predisposed to be the center of coffee production. The country’s natural climate is ideal for cultivating some of the world’s finest coffee beans. The cultivation of beans requires high altitudes, volcanic soil, and moderate temperatures, according to Perfect Daily Grind. However, Kenya’s status as a world-class coffee producer goes far beyond growing conditions; it’s all about the process.
From harvesting to roasting, Kenyan coffee is meticulously and methodically curated to ensure a high-quality cup. Kenyan coffee supplier KENCAFFEE states that Kenyan coffee beans are typically Arabica and are hand-picked, hand-sorted, and sun-dried. No industrial processing. Typical flavor notes consist of honey, caramel, chocolate, and black currant. Intercontinental Coffee Trading reports that the beans undergo “wet harvesting” to preserve their natural acidity. Using this method, Espresso and Coffee Guide explains, unroasted green coffee beans are washed before the bean has had a chance to harden, so the washing must occur very soon after harvesting. According to Coffee Bean Corral, Kenyan coffee beans are then fermented for 36 hours to remove their natural slimy exterior coating prior to being milled, roasted, and packaged for sale.