kenya coffee

The Secret of Kenya Coffee.

Kenya Coffee is famous for its unique fruity character, intense acidity, rich body, and for producing a clean cup. Many factors contribute to these great qualities; Kenya's location, rare coffee varieties, and exceptional growing conditions.

Among these factors, the processing is possibly the one we consumers pay the least attention to, but Kenya Coffee growers continue to treat this important step with an incredible degree of precision and care.

The double fermentation process at hand is used almost everywhere in the country and is considered the best practice by most farmers.


In the double fermentation method, farmers pulp the cherries immediately after harvest and place the mucilage-coated seeds in fermentation tanks, with minimal contact with water, for 12 to 24 hours, depending on the rate of fermentation.

Fermentation helps to decompose the mucilage, facilitating its elimination but also helping to develop the latent character of the mucilage fruit, imparting part of that character to the coffee seed.

In this first stage, fermentation is allowed to continue until a large part of the mucilage begins to separate from the seed.


The coffee is washed from the tanks into water channels where agitation helps to rinse and remove loose mucilage, stopping the fermentation process. Seeds that are low-density "floaters" are also collected at this stage of the process, one of the many steps that ensure the consistently high quality of Kenya Coffee


After cleaning the coffee, the first step is repeated, immersing it in a secondary fermentation tank for another 12 to 24 hours. This will restart the fermentation process, but this time with less sugar and fruit material available. At the end of this second stage, the coffee returns to pass through the water channels where any final mucilage residue is eliminated.


Once the coffee has been separated, the different lots are transferred to their water tanks where the coffees are soaked for an additional 24 hours. As the mucilage has been eliminated, and the coffee is soaking in much more water, it is assumed that the enzymatic activity in the coffee increases in this soaking tank, which results in a strengthening of the amino acids and proteins present in the coffee.


The soaked seeds are removed and placed in elevated drying racks and spread out to a depth of a couple of inches. The idea is to initially dry the coffee quickly to decrease the moisture content and reduce the risk. After this initial period of rapid drying, the coffee is piled into 6-inch deep mounds and moved to a longer, slower drying section to promote long-term green quality stability. The time in the raised beds can vary greatly depending on temperature and climate, but the coffee needs to be turned constantly during this period to achieve uniform drying. Once the moisture content of the coffee reaches around 11-12%, this essentially concludes the processing of Kenyan coffee. Finally, they are dry-hulled, graded, and prepared for export.


This double fermentation method gives us a very clean cup with extraordinary sweetness. On the other hand, it is intensive in labor and natural resources. It is also necessary to be extremely careful in the process so as not to ruin the coffee due to over-fermentation.
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