Coffee as a commodity is largely farmed in many parts of Africa continent as a cash crop with the bulk of production originating from smallholder farmers and total production accounting for about 12% of the world’s production. The continent however records low coffee consumption levels as most of the producing countries purely grow it for export. According to Ecobank, sub-Saharan Africa’s leading coffee drinking nations are Ethiopia and Madagascar, annually consuming 2.27kg and 1kg per capita respectively. This is still much lower than other emerging markets such as Brazil (6kg) and Algeria (3.2kg). In the European Union annual per capita consumption is close to 9kg.
Kenya produces about 50,000 ton of coffee per year and only 3% for domestic consumption with the rest of the production mainly for export. However there is a notable increase of approximately 2.5% annually as a result of coffee houses in the town centres and partly due to small scale roasting plants in the rural areas.
The foundation and growth of the coffee culture in majority of African countries need to be further cultivated for full realization. Producers don’t really know what goes on in making a good cup of coffee or even the meaning of cup quality being sought after by the buyer. The youth miss out on the numerous opportunities brought about by coffee farming. In order to compete successfully in the coffee markets, it is vital for all players in the value chain to know and understand the needs and requirements of the players involved so as to meet their needs/demand satisfactorily. A producer needs to know what the consumer needs and this cannot happen where awareness as to what makes that good cup lacks.
A comprehensive knowledge regarding the coffee journey from farm to cup is necessary for the industry to thrive as expected. Various brewing techniques that are sought after by the consumer world ought to be well understood from the producer level. The different coffee brews enjoyed in different parts of the world will enhance the producers’ knowledge as to where to seek market for their products. How to ensure high quality production from farm and recognize it as recognized by experts will allow them fetch better prices and premium for the produce. With more awareness, knowledge, skills and exposure, advancement of a coffee culture will be probable hence improvement on the local consumption. This will also ensure that the culture of the present and the future clients is taken care of.
Beanstitute is one of a kind institution based in Kenya on a mission to promote a coffee consumption culture and coffee quality through offering internationally recognized coffee education to students with global linkage. Training on various coffee programs in barista skills, brewing, green coffee, sensory skills, Q grader training and calibration, coffee logistics, coffee marketing, coffee trading including price risk management and coffee cooperative management are offered.