Exploring espresso consumption in Kenya


Kenya is the fifth-largest espresso producer in Africa. In accordance with knowledge from the International Coffee Organisation, the nation produced roughly 775,000 60kg baggage in 2020.

The nation exports round 95% of its espresso to many worldwide markets, with the US and Germany importing the highest volumes.

Which means that the remaining 5% of the nation’s espresso manufacturing is consumed domestically. And whereas tea consumption stays excessive in Kenya, the variety of folks consuming espresso is rising.

The US Division of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that Kenya’s home espresso consumption will rise to 43,000 60kg baggage by the top of 2022. Whereas the nation’s repute for high-quality arabica manufacturing appears set to develop, what’s in retailer for Kenyan espresso shoppers within the years to return?

I spoke to Ritesh Doshi from Spring Valley Coffee and Rozy Rana from Dormans Coffee to study extra.

You might also like our article on renewing generational interest in Kenyan coffee production.

A profile of Kenyan espresso manufacturing

Though Kenya’s volumes of espresso manufacturing have fluctuated considerably over the previous few years, the East African nation is well-known for its specialty coffees.

It has 5 distinct coffee-growing areas. These are Central (Mount Kenya and the Aberdare mountain vary), Western (Kisii, Nyanza, and Bungoma), the Nice Rift Valley (Nakuru and Kericho), Jap (Machakos, Embu, and Meru), and Coastal (Taita hills). 

These areas develop a spread of types, together with SL-14, SL-28, SL-34, Batian, Ruiru 11, and K7. The SL group, selected from the Bourbon variety in the 1930s, has helped to considerably enhance the standard and yields of Kenyan espresso through the years.

Along with its distinctive varieties, the nation can be identified for its distinctive grading system. Espresso beans are graded in response to their dimension, form, and general high quality. These grades are AA, AB, PB, C, E, and TT.

Washed processing is the commonest methodology in Kenya, giving coffees an acidic, vivid flavour profile. It has traditionally been utilized by Kenyan farmers to create a extra repeatable flavour profile; nonetheless, the marketplace for pure Kenyan espresso can be rising.

The nation’s buying and selling system additionally makes it distinctive. Coffees are graded by the Kenya Espresso Producers and Merchants Affiliation (KCPTA), earlier than they’re traded via a central public sale run by the Nairobi Coffee Exchange.

Nevertheless, most espresso is first dealt with by “coffee marketing agents”, who generally restrict direct purchases from smallholder producers. 

roasting kenyan coffee

Altering espresso tradition

Kenya is a former British colony, so it’s not stunning that it’s a predominantly tea-drinking nation. 

As with many different international locations which eat larger volumes of tea, espresso consumption stays comparatively low. Furthermore, decrease high quality prompt espresso is dominant.

Ritesh Doshi is the proprietor and CEO of Spring Valley Espresso in Nairobi. He is likely one of the few licensees in Kenya who is ready to buy coffees immediately from smallholder producers.

Ritesh tells me: “Espresso doesn’t even come near comprising 10% of all drinks consumed in Kenya. Nevertheless, that is altering and occasional consumption is rising.”

In accordance with Statista, Kenyans consumed round 500 tonnes of espresso in 2009. Nevertheless, by 2020, that quantity had greater than tripled to over 1,500 tonnes.

It’s believed that Kenya’s rising center class populations in city areas are driving espresso consumption, almost certainly due to their larger disposable incomes.

Very similar to in basic European espresso tradition, Kenyans desire to spend a number of hours in espresso retailers to socialize. 

“Velocity is just not usually part of Kenyan espresso tradition,” Ritesh says. “Individuals come into cafés to take a seat all the way down to get pleasure from their coffees.” 

This could possibly be a results of traditionally excessive ranges of tea consumption. In lots of tea-drinking international locations, conventional tea ceremonies can take a number of hours, encouraging a way more leisurely interplay with the beverage.

In contrast to different worldwide consuming international locations, such because the US and China, comfort seems to be much less of a buying issue for Kenyan espresso drinkers. Nevertheless, as home espresso consumption steadily will increase, there could possibly be extra demand for on-the-go espresso.


When evaluating espresso consumption in Kenya to that within the neighbouring international locations of Ethiopia and Uganda, there are some similarities and variations. In accordance with figures from the ICO, espresso consumption throughout each Ethiopia and Uganda is way larger than in Kenya.

Much like Kenya’s relationship with tea, in Ethiopia, espresso ceremonies are an integral a part of on a regular basis life for many individuals.

In the meantime, in Uganda, cities reminiscent of Kampala are experiencing a rise in specialty coffee shops, just like that in Nairobi.

Nevertheless, general, prompt espresso is essentially the most generally consumed espresso product in Kenya. Market Research claims the nation’s soluble espresso market is about to be value greater than US $434 million by 2025.

In Kenya, as with many different producing international locations, the volumes of prompt espresso consumed are far larger than these of specialty espresso. 

Ritesh explains why soluble espresso is so common in Kenya. 

“In each rural and concrete areas, for those who ask for a espresso, you’ll virtually at all times obtain a Nescafé prompt espresso with milk and sugar.” 

Some Kenyans put together their coffees by boiling the beans and filtering the ensuing brew, which almost certainly leads to a weaker espresso than different brewing strategies.

Nevertheless, Ritesh tells me that there’s a “slowly rising group” within the nation who’re brewing with the French press and filter strategies.

Some espresso firms in Kenya, like Dormans, are serving to to make larger high quality coffees extra accessible to shoppers. 

Rozy Rana is Managing Director of Dormans Espresso. “We had been one of many first firms to make espresso extra accessible in Kenya,” she says. “We helped to determine initiatives such because the Kenyan Barista Championships to assist encourage extra inner consumption.”

The 18th edition of the Kenyan Barista Championships was held in 2020, which included over 60 members. In distinction, the primary competitors had fewer than ten members – indicating rising curiosity in specialty espresso.

On the 2021 World Barista Championships, Kenyan competitor Martin Shabaya placed fifth in the finals. This highlighted the rising specialty espresso scene within the nation on a global stage.

customers at a kenyan coffee shop

What does the longer term maintain for home espresso consumption?

As with all different espresso consuming nation, there are common tendencies rising within the Kenyan market. Rozy explains that throughout the complete espresso sector, consumption is rising and extra manufacturers are beginning to seem.

“There’s a larger number of espresso manufacturers in supermarkets, particularly in comparison with ten years in the past,” she says. “Extra new manufacturers wish to capitalise on the expansion in consumption.”

She provides that the nation’s capital metropolis of Nairobi is on the forefront of the rising specialty espresso scene.

“There was an rising aspiration amongst youthful shoppers to be ‘stylish’ by visiting espresso retailers,” Rozy says.

Ritesh believes that the rising recognition of espresso and milk-based drinks is contributing to the brand new specialty scene. Individuals in Kenya are consuming drinks reminiscent of cappuccinos, lattes, and flat whites greater than ever.

Espresso retailers additionally current a chance for baristas to teach shoppers on the provision chain, with a selected give attention to origins and flavour profiles.

“We’ve been in a position to do that with info playing cards which inform clients about our producers and our roast profiles,” says Ritesh. “We had been additionally doing Saturday morning cuppings earlier than the pandemic, which was a good way to introduce our local people to espresso tasting.”

Naturally, as Kenyan shoppers study extra about specialty espresso, consumption might begin to improve – opening up a probably thriving market.

And with the issue of an ageing farmer population in Kenya, introducing youthful folks to specialty espresso might encourage a new generation of coffee producers.

Kenya is well-established as a espresso producing nation, however its market of espresso shoppers continues to be comparatively small. Nevertheless, there’s little doubt that this could change and that the county’s specialty espresso consumption might develop within the years to return.

Both method, as Kenyan espresso consumption grows, will probably be fascinating to see which tendencies emerge and the way espresso professionals within the nation look to innovate.

Loved this? Then learn our article on how to roast Kenyan coffee.

Photograph credit: Spring Valley Coffee, Dormans Coffee

Excellent Every day Grind

Wish to learn extra articles like this? Sign up for our newsletter!

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here