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Kenya Coffee. Among the Best quality Coffee in the world


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Kenya Coffee

Kenya is the 17th largest producer of coffee in the world. The Kenya coffee industry is noted for its cooperative system of milling, marketing, and auctioning coffee, and its high percentage of production from small farms. It is estimated that six million Kenyans are employed directly or indirectly in the coffee industry. The major Kenya coffee growing regions are the High Plateaus around Mt. Kenya, the Aberdares Range, Kisii, Nyanza, Bungoma, Nakuru, and Kericho.

However, the high plateaus of Mount Kenya with the acidic soil provide excellent conditions for growing coffee plants. Kenya coffee is well known for its intense flavor, full body, and pleasant aroma.

Kenya coffee is well known for its distinct, bright acidity. They are medium bodied and almost sweet. You can sometimes detect sublime notes of blackcurrant flavors and aromas. The best grades of Kenya coffee are fabulously aromatic with very little bitterness.

It may be widely known as a type of Kenya coffee, Kenya AA is actually a classification of Kenya coffee grown in Kenya. All Kenyan coffee is graded after it is milled. Grades are assigned based on the screen size of the bean. Beans with a screen size of 17 or 18 (17/64 or 18/64 of an inch) are assigned the grade AA, generally the largest bean. While the large bean size is considered by many to be a sign of quality, it is important to note that it is only one of many factors in determining high quality coffee. Kenya Coffee is traded once a week at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. It is based at The Coffee Plaza, Exchange Lane which is off Haile Selassie Avenue. The Kenya coffee is packed in single sisal bags of 60Kg, but the bids are made per 50Kg bag.

Besides the size grade, The Kenya Coffee Board also uses a class system to rate the quality of the beans. The classes are on a scale of 1 - 10 with class 1 being the best. This class system is rarely advertised, but I found it interesting to note that just because a coffee is rated Kenya AA, it could be as low as a class 4. Small cooperatives societies in Kenya produce large percentages of coffee than the large Kenya coffee estates. The processing of Kenya coffee is normally wet-process. This method is relatively new and it involves the removal of the four layers surrounding the coffee bean. It results to a coffee that is cleaner, brighter, and fruitier

Kenya Coffee harvesting is normally carried out during the dry seasons when the cherries are bright, glossy, and firm. Ripe cherries are either hand picked, stripped from the tree with both unripe and overripe beans, or by using harvesting machines.

The process is known as selective picking, stripping, and mechanical harvesting. Selective picking ensures maximum amount of ripe beans picked.

During the processing the ripe, overripe, and the unripe which may have been accidentally picked are separated. After separation the perfectly ripe beans are dried naturally or sent to the pulping machines. Then it fermented so as to remove mucilage, and dried up and packed to prevent flavor and aroma loss. Finally, the beans are labeled and bagged, ready to be taken to the auction warehouse, where samples of every single Kenya coffee produced sit, waiting to be tasted before the weekly Tuesday auction.


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