Although many African countries such as Kenya and the famous Ivory Coast are only small coffee producers they are by no means insignificant on the world scene. Since its inception the continent of Africa has become world-famous for producing dark, large coffee beans of the highest quality and the most superb taste.
In the foothills of Mount Kenya some of the best beans in the world are cultivated on small farms. Coffee is sold by the size of the bean, with AA being the largest grade. Kenyan coffee is known for consistently achieving this rating.
Estate Kenya ranks as one of the best coffees in the world. Of course it is expensive. Sometimes the retail tag will be twice the price of other products in the range but let me assure you it is well worth the money. Their best bean has huge body combined with an astonishing winy, acidic blackcurrant flavour. The aroma alone is irresistible. From experience I can guarantee it will seduce any coffee connoisseur’s taste buds from within many meters of a brew.
The Ivory Coast is well established as one of the world’s largest producers of the Robusta variety which is specifically used to make espresso blends. Since the country has been affected by political unrest the production has fallen considerably.
Today, in the strife torn country of Rwanda, coffee growing is making a major contribution to the hope for lasting peace and economic recovery of this small nation which has been so devastated by civil war. Since 2001, A.I.D. has invested over $10 million dollars in helping Rwandan’s improve the quality of their coffee mainly by establishing farmer’s cooperatives and assisting small entrepreneurs with finance to purchase for washing stations and training in their use. The Rwanda government’s goal is to make all coffee produced in the country specialty coffee by 2008.
A little known fact is that Australia began growing coffee in 1880 but the fledgling industry was short lived and wound up in 1926. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that it sparked up again. The district of Mareeba in north Queensland claims to be the coffee capital of Australia. With a similar latitude south of the equator as San Paulo in Brazil and Hawaii are north of the equator, the Arabica beans have adapted perfectly to the climate. Also a number of smaller farms have sprung up in the northern rivers area of New South Wales around the regions of Lismore and Byron Bay.
As the world increases its desire for this beautifully flavored bean there is sure to be an array of different varieties surface on the market. Just keep a look out.