Africa is considered by many as the birthplace of coffee. According to legend, coffee was discovered in Ethiopia around 800 AD, by a herder whose goats stumbled across some stimulating berries. Check out our history page for the whole story.
The warm temperatures, rich soil, and high elevations of Africa make it the perfect environment for growing and cultivating some of the best coffees in the world. There are many different countries in Africa that produce amazing coffee, but we'll take a closer look at the three most popular -- Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania -- to give you a more detailed picture of what this lush, wild continent has to offer.
On top of being the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia is home to the most valuable plant in the coffee world, Coffea Arabica. That's just a fancy way of saying Ethiopia has a surplus of Arabica coffee on hand. In fact, it's the number one exporter and number one consumer of Arabica coffee in all of Africa.
Many people describe Ethiopian coffee blends as tasting, "the way coffee is supposed to taste." This is a valid description, as Ethiopia also boasts the most diverse range of coffee varieties than anywhere else in … you guessed it … the world. The conditions for coffee are so perfect here, that the plants still grow wild all over the country.
Crisp, bright, and citrusy. If we took a global survey, that's how the majority would describe the highly sought-after coffees of Kenya. Because of its approachable yet distinct flavor profiles, Kenyan coffee is widely popular and seemingly loved by all coffee drinkers, novice and connoisseurs alike.
The Kenyan Coffee trade operates within a unique business model. Every week, on Tuesdays, coffee is auctioned at the Nairobi Coffee Exchange. This free-market approach to coffee production allows farmers to dedicate more focus on cultivating top-quality coffee, as they know they'll get a fair price from numerous eager buyers.
Kenya started utilizing the auction system in 1933 and still use it today to sell most of their nation's coffee.
In Tanzania, most of the nation's coffee is grown under banana trees at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro … Sounds gorgeous, right?
Tanzania has developed a unique specialty in the coffee world: peaberries. Peaberries are different than typical coffee beans, and are typically hand-sorted as they go through processing. Inside the coffee cherry in which peaberries grow there is only one rounded bean as opposed to the typical two, flat-sided beans.
At Tinker, we offer a decaffeinated Tanzanian Peaberry coffee. This particular lot of coffee is decaffeinated through the mountain water process, which is a chemical-free decaffeination technique that produces a sweet and balanced flavor profile. Learn more about that particular roast here.