Coffee's Role in Kenya

Kenya is characterized by the Kenyan Rift Valley and central province, which is home to the highest mountains in the country—Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon. Its terrain rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean to mountains and plateaus at its center. The highland areas of Central Kenya provide fertile ground for farming, making Kenya one of the most agriculturally productive countries in Africa.

Despite its proximity to Ethiopia (widely believed to be the birthplace of coffee), coffee was cultivated in Kenya until the 1890s. Since then, the coffee industry has been one of the key pillars of the economy. Today, coffee is the third largest cash crop in Kenya—it’s estimated that over 700,000 small-scale and large-scale farmers are involved in coffee farming. Coffee also plays a huge role in economic and social standards, directly and indirectly benefiting about five million people in the country.

Regions & Cup Profile

Renowned for producing some of the world’s finest coffee, Kenya holds a special place in the heart of coffee enthusiasts. Most Kenyan coffee is grown from Mount Kenya. With its high altitude, warm climate, and fertile soil, these regions are well suited for producing Arabica coffee. Coffees from Kenya feature a bright, citrusy character and floral and blackberry notes—features that bring joy to all who truly appreciate this origin. They are also known for having a deep acidity and pleasant aroma.

Harvest Period

March – July

Annual Productivity

780,000 bags

Genetic Varieties

SL varieties, Ruiru 11, Kent, Batian

Growing Regions

Ruiri, Thika, Kirinyaga, Mt. Kenya West, Nyeri, Kiambu, and Muranga