Mystic Bean Coffee Company
470 S.R. 207       St. Augustine, Florida 32084       904-669-7610

Starting this month we thought you might enjoy learning where the coffee beans we purchase come from. Each month we will feature a different coffee bean and we hope you will find this information interesting.

flag of Kenya


Kenya is the East African powerhouse of the coffee world.

Both in the cup, and the way they run their trade, everything is "topnotch". The best Kenya coffees are not sold simply as generic AA or AB. They are specific auction lots sold to the highest bidder, and heated competition drives the prices up. Their research and development is unparalleled. Their quality control is meticulous, and many thousands of small farmers are highly educated in their agricultural practice—and rewarded—for top level coffee.

In general, this is a bright coffee that lights up the palate from front to back. It is not for people who do not like the acidity in coffee (acidity being the prized bright notes in the cup due to an interrelated set of chlorogenic acids). A great Kenya is complex, and has interesting fruit (berry, citrus) flavors, sometimes alternating with spice. Some are clean and bright, others have cherished winey flavors.

I am really proud of our consistently excellent selection of Kenyas! It takes a lot of work to sort through the many samples available to find the few that are truly complex, that alternate in the way you sense them to make the coffee more than just your standard, pleasant cup, but a real experience. When we go after an auction lot, 9 out of 10 times we buy the whole thing; it is exclusively ours. While it is possible that the same farm or co-op has more than 1 auction lot (for example, 1 early in the season, and 1 a bit later in the same harvest) I can say with certainty that I cupped them all and bought the better one. It's just a matter of effort and hard work, and when it comes to cupping Kenyas, we put a focused and intensive effort into the auctions during the Main Crop season.

Currently, the excellent Kenya auction system and coffee production in general is suffering a myriad of problems as is all of East Africa. Kenya, the former model of progress and African Independence is in disarray. For now, the coffees are still of high quality but if the auction system does not continue to serve and benefit the small farmer co-ops, they will plant other crops instead, or replace the better cultivars (the excellent SL-28 and SL-34 selections) with the disease resistant but poor quality Ruiri 11 strain.
Our Kenya AB Tutua Label

Coffee Farms

Harvest TimesCoffee WorkersProcessing Shade GrownCertified OrganicMajor Coffee Growing RegionsRank in Production Botanical CultivarsIntroduced
573,426 farms grouped into 275 cooperatives, 1,275 plantations
Main Crop: October-December, Fly Crop: June-August
6,000,000 Grading
AA (17/18 screen)=highest M'buni natural coffee for local consumption=lowest: Wet-processing
None. Localized use of chemicals is rare, due to excellent agricultural methods: mulching, pruning, mowing etc.
High Plateau around Mt. Kenya, Aberdare Zone,West: Kasii, Nyanza, Bungoma, East: Nakuru, Kericho
6th in Africa 18th in World
SL-28, SL-34, Bourbon, Kents, Typica, Riuri 11. Bourbons are sometimes called Scottish Mission and French Mission.
1800's: By the Fathers of the Holy Spirit Congregation: Bourbon in 1911 from Reunion: Kents in 1920 from the Indies.
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