Kenyan coffees are said to embody power and character. Wet-processed, they are bold, full- to medium-bodied coffees with distinct bright acidity, intense flavors, and a winy richness. Kenyan coffees are complex and vibrant, yet clean and crisp, not subtle or delicate.
A Kenyan coffee is typically well-balanced, with tones of citrus, perhaps lemony or peppery, or even hints of blackberry fruit.
The pleasant aroma may have a slight lemony-zest finish, and often a notable spirited winy aftertaste that may have light black currant undertones, and the aroma also may have sublime notes of black currant.
Known for its excellent balance of body, acidity, and flavor, Kenyan coffee is considered the “Connoisseur’s Cup.”
Upper elevation high plateau regions of Kenya including the Aberdare Range, Mt. Kenya, Nyanza, Kasii, Bungoma, Kericho, and Nakuru where acidic soils provide optimal growing conditions. The botanical Arabica varieties were introduced from Ethiopia.
In general it is true that larger beans usually contain more of the precious oils that create flavor and aroma, though there are also other factors besides bean size that may be just as important to the beans’ quality.
The screen size Kenya AA (the highest available) sorts beans that are a bit more than ¼-inch in diameter, yet the slightly smaller Kenyan AB beans are sometimes rated higher for flavor and taste.
The Coffee Board of Kenya also uses a rarely advertised class system for rating quality of coffee beans—class 1 is best, 10 is worst. Even though a bean may be rated AA, its class may be 3 or 4, denoting a less than stellar bean quality.
CoffeeMan Dan says, “As some of the world’s finest gourmet coffees, the Kenyan coffees are separated and rated by bean size with the assumption that bigger beans are higher in quality.”