Kenya is one of the most prominent global coffee producers, which accounts for approximately 70% of their coffee from small-scale business holders, who are also known as small-scale, local farmers. The entire industry is run by a cooperative system, where these holders are responsible for the processing, milling, marketing, and auctioning of the crops.
Kenyan coffee is best grown at higher altitudes, so elevated plateaus around Mount Kenya, the Aberdare Range, Kisii, Nyanza, Bungoma, Nakuru, and Kericho are ideal environments for the quality plants. The volcanic soils on the plateaus also provide fertile ground for the coffee. According to an article from Espresso Guide, when the coffee plants are elevated, they grow at a slower rate, so more time is allotted for the plants to absorb all possible nutrients from the volcanic soils. The acidity in these soils, coupled with a perfect amount of sunlight and rain, provides the best conditions for this coffee.
The country’s coffee wasn’t cultivated until 1893 when the plant was first introduced by a group of French missionaries named the Holy Ghost Fathers. Since then, the coffee industry has flourished, and several kinds of classifications are used to organize the grades of the beans. These grade types — PB, AA, AB, C, E, TT, and T, are identified when the skin surrounding the bean is removed at the mill and the beans are sorted by size, weight, and shape. PB grade beans are round, AA are large, E are elephant beans, also known as the largest beans, and TT and T are the smallest of the group.
Our company uses the AA grade of Kenyan coffee, which is known to be the highest quality grade of arabica coffee beans that the country produces. Medium-roasted and delicious, be sure to try it next time you stop in.