Kenya

Kenyan specialty coffee: nature’s gift to the world

Kenyan specialty coffee is known for its explosive juicy tastes. If you come across a great Kenyan coffee, you’ll find notes of syrupy blackcurrant in the cup and the clearest and punchy acidity on the market. It’s a gift of nature.

Why is coffee from Kenya so good?

Kenyan specialty coffees, and in particular the AA and AB grades, out-match other coffees when it comes to acidity and complexity. Why is this? Well, Kenya has several natural elements that give coffees enough room to develop their rich flavors.

For starters, Kenya is found at the center of the coffee belt; the equator runs through the country. And;

  • elevations vary from 1500 to 2000+ m.a.s.l.,
  • trees enjoy the nutritious rich volcanic soil,
  • and you find the famous coffee varieties SL28 and SL34 in the gardens of smallholders.

Agronomists say the abundant phosphoric acid found in the minerals of Mount Kenya makes Kenyan coffees taste clear and lively.

Delivering Kenyan specialty coffees to your doorstep

As a coffee importer with a strong focus on East Africa, we know where to find the best washed AA, AB, and Peaberry lots. It’s our goal to deliver these to your roasting facility’s doorstep. But not without the help of locals. We’ve cultivated strong relationships with growers in Nyeri County; a place of pilgrimage for coffee buyers.

Nyeri County: the champagne region of the coffee world

You find Nyeri at the South-West slopes of Mount Kenya. In the eyes of locals, Mount Kenya is the throne of deity. We agree. If there is one region that can produce a ‘godly cup’, it is Nyeri County.

Trabocca founder, Menno Simons, calls Nyeri ‘the Champagne region of coffee’. And truth be told, the coffee flavors speak for themselves. It’s no surprise that coffee buyers around the globe flock to Nyeri county.

How we source the best Kenyan specialty coffees from Nyeri county

For ten years, we worked together with exporters to find the best tasting Kenyan coffees. However, for the past three years, we couldn’t. Cup results did not match with the famous lively Kenyan blackcurrant profiles.

From January to December 2018 we investigated why quality and volumes seemed to drop. Upon visiting Nyeri County, we met the Ndaroini growers; a group of 1400 Nyeri smallholders. The Ndaroini growers were bold when talking about the cause for quality and output drops.

Two issues surfaced in every conversation;

  • underpayment,
  • and a lack of knowledge.

The Ndaroini growers were unsatisfied with the system and their negotiating position. But when we revealed our intentions to work together, they were exuberant. For the Ndaroini growers, our partnership offer was a revolution. A coffee revolution.

The Kenyan coffee revolution

In January 2019 we signed a contract with Ndaroini Coffee Ltd. We purchased the entire crop for Ksh (Kenyan Shilling) 100 per kilogram coffee cherries. A record net price paid in the history of Kenyan coffee. On top of that, we paid Ksh 21 per kilogram coffee cherries to upgrade the Ndaroini washing station.

In pursuit of better quality

Besides a better price, we focus on quality improvement. Bernard Gichimu, an Agronomist, teaches best practices to all Ndaroini growers. They learn how to manage their coffee canopy, control soil fertility, and reduce the impact of coffee diseases.

Learn more about Kenyan coffee and the ‘Ndaroini revolution’

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