For those who love coffee, coffee from Kenya offers a taste that is truly distinctive and pleasing.
Kenya produces over 2 million bags of coffee each year, grown in red volcanic soil on plateaus to the north and east of Nairobi.
In the same way that Ethiopia produces coffee with a taste that is clearly of East African origin, the same goes for Kenya. However, Kenya coffee is also quite distinct from Ethiopian.
Many coffee experts view the best of coffees from Kenya as being among the very finest in the world.
If it’s so good, why don’t we hear more about Kenya coffee?
Why isn’t it up there with the big names like Blue Mountain Jamaica coffee and Hawaii’s Kona coffee?
Even Colombian coffee gets more coverage and accolades.
While a few coffee drinkers know what to expect from Kenya, most people don’t have it high on their list of coffees to try.
There are two reasons why Kenya coffee appears to be unappreciated...
These two reasons are related.
The first is that coffee from Kenya is not well marketed. The Kenya Coffee Board has done a very patchy job in promoting the quality of its coffees to key overseas markets, like the U.S. Coffee growers have also been struggling with an antiquated auction system, held each Tuesday in Nairobi.
As with all products, sometimes aggressive marketing will overshadow the quality of the coffee itself.
The second reason is that the quality of the coffee from Kenya has been inconsistent at times. And that inconsistency makes buyers nervous. Political and social unrest in Kenya have not helped small farmers produce consistently good crops.
How to choose the best Kenya coffee...
Kenya AA is the finest grade of coffee from Kenya, and the easiest to find.
In addition, it is slowly becoming possible to find premium coffees from specific regions of Kenya. Starbucks has recently introduced their “Black Apron Kirinyaga Kenya”, grown by small farmers and processed through a cooperative venture between six coffee mills.
Kenya offers some marvelous coffees, and it is well worth seeking out the best of them and giving them a try.If you can't find any through a local roaster, you can buy coffees from Kenya at Amazon.com
And a final update: For the first time, Fair Trade Coffee is now available from Kenya. That's great news for small farmers there and will hopefully result in a growth of the market for all coffees from Kenya.
More about gourmet specialty coffee...
About the author: Nick Usborne, aka Coffee Detective, is a writer and long-time coffee enthusiast. Read more…