The flavors in Kenya Kiruga AA come from the SL28 and SL34 tree varieties which can only be found in Kenya. These trees provide the recognizable acid profile and depth of flavor that Kenyan coffees are known for. You take a sip and can still taste the flavors minutes later!
Similar to Ethiopia, Kenyan coffee farmers deliver ripe coffee cherries to a local washing station where the cherries are sorted, fermented, and dried for final milling. Each washing station may have as many as 1000 smallholder farmers delivering cherries at any given time. From there, the coffee is taken to a dry mill, where it is processed to its final quality and subsequently graded for quality. The coffee is then given to a marketing agent who builds a catalog of the coffees they will sell at the Nyrobi Coffee Auction. At the auction, coffee importers bid for different lots of coffee, securing the best lots for their customers.
This auction system is unique to Kenya, and it causes many difficulties for smallholder coffee farmers. While Ethiopian coffee trading has become increasingly transparent, Kenyan coffee trading is still shrouded in ambiguity. We know that the marketing agents make considerable sums of money through the auction system, but it’s unclear what percentage returns to the farmers themselves.
In short, the Kenyan auction system does not benefit most coffee farmers. These problems have created a desperate situation for Kenyan coffee as some farmers have begun removing their coffee trees and finding other crops to grow. Thankfully, there are organizations creating new pathways to equity for farmers.