Kenya Coffee History. The birthplace of coffee is relatively close to Kenya but getting there was not an easy. Thousands of Kenyans were enslaved by the Arabs who controlled coffee and forced them to work on coffee plantations in Kenya and Arabia. This was followed by British settlers around 1900, who quickly took control of the country, resulting in even more bloodshed.
Kenya Coffee History origins of can be traced back to the country’s time as a British colony. Missionaries brought Brazilian coffee into Kenya in 1893, introducing the country to the popular beverage. Following the British colonization of Kenya in 1895, the British took control of all crops, including coffee.
Farmers’ power had grown enormously by the 1930s. Despite the fact that over one million Kikuyu tribe members lived there, the Europeans considered them to have legitimate land claims.
To protect their interests, wealthy Europeans prohibited them from growing coffee, imposed a hut tax, and paid them ever-decreasing wages for their labor. In order to survive, the Kikuyu were forced to leave their land and migrate to the cities.
This legal enslavement of the population lasted until the British relinquished control in 1960. Despite all of this bloodshed and slavery, Kenyan coffee has thrived and is now regarded as one of the world’s finest cups.
All Kenya coffee is Arabica coffee grown on the country’s rich volcanic soil in the country’s highlands. Coffee production employs approximately 250,000 Kenyans today. Small landowners who are members of cooperatives that process their own coffee produce the majority of it.
Despite Kenya coffee’s specialty status, the country’s coffee farmers are among the poorest in the world.