Kenyan coffee captures the hearts and taste buds of people around the globe. A combination of outstanding natural elements and human intervention – cultivating the famous SL28 and SL34 – stand at the basis of Kenya’s loved gourmet coffees. We created the Coffee Regions of Kenya map to guide you through this fascinating coffee origin.
The Coffee Regions of Kenya map shows you where coffee is grown in Kenya, and where you find the most prominent washing stations that process your coffee.
The map also features important cities, ports, mountains, the Eastern Rift, lakes, and places like the Nairobi Coffee Exchange and the Coffee Research Institute.
Ready to discover Kenya’s coffee landscape? Download the map and use the upcoming information in this blog as a hand guide while you discover Kenya.
You can separate Kenya’s coffee regions into two large areas. You find the first area in the south center of the country between two iconic landmarks; Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Range. Mount Kenya connects – and towers above – Kenya’s most famous regions; Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Embu, and Meru. The Aberdare Range touches the borders of the Eastern Rift, also known as the Gregory Rift.
If you move to the West of the country you find the second area. It flows from the hills of Mount Elgon to the borders of the Eastern Rift. The western coffee-growing regions do not enjoy the popularity of the Aberdare Range and the Mount Kenya regions, but can still offer you stunning coffees.
As you will notice, we used the Counties (administrative and political areas) to show you where coffee grows. Of course, coffee does not grow in the entire County, but it gives a sense of where to find coffee in Kenya. We highlighted and expanded several Counties, in the Center of the country, that surround Mount Kenya. These Counties enjoy vast popularity among green buyers because they produce high-quality coffees.
Nyeri County lies to the south-west of Mount Kenya. You immediately notice how many washing stations cram up in Nyeri County. This is because Nyeri is a hub for producing and trading coffee and tea; the area enjoys the right natural elements and the farmers, processors, and agronomists who know how to cultivate great coffee.
To the south of Mount Kenya, you find Kirinyaga County; another coffee hub in the center of Kenya. Kirinyaga County is one of the smallest Counties in Kenya, but you find three prominent washing stations here; Thunguri, Karimikui, and Kii. The ‘Center Counties’, Nyeri and Kirinyaga, are home to the Kikuyu people that form 20% of the entire population. But besides the Kikuyu people, you find many Kamba-people here as well.
The Coffee Regions of Kenya map features two important coffee entities: the Coffee Research Institute (CRI) and the Nairobi Coffee Exchange (NCE). CRI developed the Ruiru 11 and Batian varieties in response to Coffee Leaf Rust and Coffee Berry Disease outbreaks throughout the country. And because Ruiru 11 and Batian are disease resistant, many Kenyan growers choose to grow these.
Coffee sellers and buyers sell and buy their coffee through the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. The NCE uses a pricing hierarchy based on quality coffee. The higher the quality, the higher the price. NCE is one of the reasons why Kenyan coffees rank among the most expensive in the world. 90% of Kenyan coffee is traded through the NCE.
Coffees often bear the name of farms, areas, or washing stations. The unwritten rule of thumb in coffee is to name the coffee after the most up-stream traceable location. In Kenya’s case, you will find names of washing stations – also known as coffee factories. On the Coffee Regions of Kenya map, we pinpointed ten washing stations that are popular within the coffee community. From the Nyeri-based Gatomboya and Ndaroini to Karimikui in Kirinyaga.
As a coffee importer, we work together with the Ndaroini washing station in Nyeri. Through the Ndaroini we source high-quality AA and AB grade Kenyan specialty coffees.