The coffee classification system from Kenya is highly representative of the coffee-producing countries of East Africa. In which coffee beans are separated and evaluated according to bean size as well as some other properties such as shape, color, and weight… The general assumption is that large coffee beans have quality The higher the price, the more expensive it is. Let Helena learn about the coffee classification that is commonly used in Kenya.
Following is the classification criteria under the coffee the size of Kenya’s Exchange Coffee Nairobi in Kenya:
- Kenya E (Elephant Bean)
- Kenya PB (Peaberry)
- Kenya AA (On sieve 17/18)
- Kenya AB
- Kenya OLD
- Kenya TT
- Kenya T
- Kenya MH / ML
This scale applies to green coffee (before being roasted). Any individual coffee plant can produce all types of coffee, from E to C. This is done to ensure consistent roasting, as similarly sized beans will be roasted more evenly – while nuts of different sizes will roast unevenly.
Kenya coffee grading system
Kenya uses a grading system for all its coffee exports, regardless of whether the lot is traceable or not. As in many other countries, the grading system uses a combination of grain size and quality. The definitions are clearly defined in terms of size, and to some extent, they also assume that quality is related to the size of the beans – and this is often the case, AA lots are often premium coffees best.
The Kenyan coffee grading system is not responsible for the quality of the coffee – it is instead done by the Class system. According to the class system operated by the Kenya Coffee Exchange (Nairobi Coffee Exchange), the worst beans are classified as one (1) and the best as ten (10). A coffee bean that can be rated as AA by its size, may receive only 4 to 5 points on the quality scale – which means, it is not the highest quality coffee bean.
Elephant Grade Coffee Beans – Kenya E
Kenya E coffee beans, also known as Elephant coffee beans (Elephant grade) are Kenyan coffee beans on a 20-inch (1/64 inch) sieve, equivalent to a diameter greater than 8mm. Typically, grade E coffee is obtained from beans with two conjoined kernels (a genetic defect) – In other words, these are single-seeded coffee beans. In Vietnam, these seeds are also known as Culi, in nature this type is quite rare and accounts for 5-10% of normal seeds.
In case the mutant coffee fruit has one kernel, but the kernel is not “oversized” than normal, it is called Kenya PB (Peaberry). Or in other words if the beans Kenya PB big as elephant called Kenya E.
Kenyan Coffee AA
If a bean is not in a special group like Kenya E, it will be graded by floor size. In which, coffee beans lying on the largest floor grid 17/18 (equivalent to 7.2 mm diameter) and without defects are classified as AA. Kenya AA is normally grown at more than 2,000 meters above sea level, so it happens to be firm as well, and heavier than the lower graded beans
Kenyan Coffee AB
Kenya AB coffee beans are a mix of A and B coffee beans. Grade A are those that are 16 on the floor (about 6.8 mm) while the B grade the 15 on the floor (about 6.2 mm). Although not as high value as Kenya AA, Kenya AB is also popular and is considered a premium coffee.
Other grades of Kenyan coffee
- Kenya C coffee is beans below-grade Kenya B, separated on the 14/15 floor.
- Kenya TT coffee is the result of weight grading (lighter beans will be blown out of the air) from Kenya AB and Kenya AA.
- Kenya coffee beans T which is the coffee bean is broken, broken, too small, or debris detached from Kenya TT class.
Class M (M’buni) includes MH, ML beans (accounting for about 7% of Kenyan coffee production). These are scattered coffee beans that are collected and processed dry, so the taste is often very unpleasant.
- MH – M’buni Heavy: Large M Bead
- ML – M’buni Light: Small M particle
Finally, as emphasized before, that Kenya’s green coffee grading system is meant to be used as a guide to tell you the size of the beans – In most cases it won’t tell you the relative quality of that coffee relative to other types of coffee. Although some grades (such as MH, ML..) show markedly lower quality, so it is best to combine with the Cupping scale for assessment.
Out-of-system quality assurance
However, it should also be noted that, In addition to inheriting the high quality of the indigenous coffee tree, Kenya is well known for its well-organized network of coffee cooperatives. This system creates consistency in production from planting, harvesting, processing, and is auctioned at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange with a network of about 150,000 farmers, most of them smallholder farmers. In addition, the national Kenyan coffee board tries to coordinate purchasing activities to ensure that each resident benefits from the most coffee with certifications such as Fairtrade coffee or Organic Coffee.
Finally, after being weighed, measured, measured… Kenyan coffee from any grade level from E to C is accepted by the world market as a high-quality coffee. Although coffee history has left the country of Kenya for a few centuries, in return Kenya AA or Kenya E coffees are known on many continents as one of the best “Specialty Coffee” in the world.