Discover Big Flavors in Small Lots from Kenya
It is estimated that six million Kenyans are employed directly or indirectly in the coffee industry. Coffee produced in Kenya is batch processed allowing for the unparalleled discovery of quality and unique flavor profiles in individual coffee lots.
Kenya produces only Arabica coffee. Smallholders, who account for at least 60% of total production and the majority of top qualities, are organized into cooperatives, where generations of farmers uphold traditional values and practices.
Thanks to the two rainy seasons each year, some areas in Kenya enjoy two crops from the same tree–an ‘early’ (fly) crop and a ‘late’ (main) crop. This ensures that a fresh supply of coffee is available to the markets at all times, although the quality difference between the early and the late crops is quite apparent, with the latter being considerably more delicious.
Ripe coffee cherries are delivered to the cooperative factories for pulping, fermentation, washing / grading and drying. Kenya coffee is fully washed and ‘batch processed’ in relatively small quantities, and each batch retains its identity and is fully traceable.
The production area lies more than a mile above sea level, mainly in the hilly and fertile centre of the country. Mt. Kenya, the second highest peak on the continent, dominates the coffee landscape and remains a sacred place for the Kikuyu tribe living on its slopes and environs. With its high altitude, warm climate, and fertile soil, the country’s growing regions are well suited for producing coffee.
Kenyan coffee has several distinct characteristics that set it apart from other origins. They are typically medium bodied, often displaying a citrus tone, while some Kenyan coffees produce a winey, acidy flavor profile.
Zephyr’s coffee sourcing presence in Kenya reaches back to 2008. Over the last 13 years, we have developed a highly professional and knowledgeable team of cuppers, agronomists, and technical experts. We built a modern coffee lab for quality assurance as well as state of the art processing facilities that include graders, gravity tables, color sorters, bulking units & vacuum packaging. Over 90% of the Kenyan coffee that we source is from the auctions conducted by NCE. The balance is procured directly with intention and care from cooperatives and estates through our marketing agents. All coffee that we source has detailed traceability information and is screened by qualified and experienced coffee cuppers. We are proud to be the leading & preferred specialty coffee supplier in Kenya and among the leading certified coffees suppliers (UTZ, RFA)! We hope you get the chance to secure some of these specialty lots.
In 2021, we announced the exciting news that we launched a boots-on-the-ground partnership in Kenya and are in the midst of building our very own micromill. Our fresh, more vertically integrated Kenyan supply chain allows us to build direct relationships with talented farmers and estates and gives us the opportunity to provide meaningful support to farming communities year-round.