Kenya is the 16th largest coffee manufacturer worldwide by volume, and also is acknowledged today as a famous specialty coffee beginning. Expanding regions in the nation (especially its central highlands) use rich, acidic dirt, as well as optimal conditions for specialized coffee production.

Kenyan coffee is frequently associated with brilliant level of acidity, a rich, full body, and a distinctive flavour in the mug. Several of the most preferred varieties in the nation consist of K7, Blue Mountain, Batian, Ruiru 11, and the SL series.

The SL series in particular has been grown in Kenya for practically 90 years. Although it covers a variety of selections, 2 of the most preferred are SL-28 as well as SL-34.

Today, despite much conversation about more recent, disease-resistant selections and also crossbreeds, the SL varieties remain popular amongst Kenyan manufacturers. They offer great longevity, high returns, as well as exceptional mug top quality. To get more information about these varieties, I talked to a couple of professionals that work in the Kenyan coffee value chain. Continue reading to find out what they claimed.

You might additionally like our short overview to Kenyan coffee.

What are the SL-28 & SL-34 selections? If you have actually ever before attempted Kenyan specialty coffee, there’s a likelihood that itoriginated from an SL-series plant. SL represents Scott Laboratories, which is the name of the Kenyan study centre that initially established these ranges in the 1930s. While World Coffee Research identifies three “official” SL ranges (and there are supposedly a lot more), SL-28 and also SL-34 are one of the most preferred in specialized coffee.

While both varieties can be located outside the country in small focus (SL-28 has infected parts of Latin America, for example), they are most usual without a doubt in Kenya. Therefore, they are now practically synonymous with Kenyan specialty coffee manufacturing.

Francis Mwangi is a self-professed “SL professional”, that has farmed the ranges for greater than 30 years. He tells me that he thinks they will certainly “constantly be the best”.

“If well taken care of, the SL varieties return in abundance,” he states. “The return is simply unbelievable.

“Getting over 10kg per plant does not call for excessive from the manufacturer, unlike Ruiru 11 (an additional variety) which frequently demands attention.”

SL-28 trees are tall, with green tipped leaves, extremely high yields, as well as good mug top quality. They call for little nutrition, and are resistant to dry spell, yet vulnerable to coffee leaf rust, coffee berry illness( CBD), and also nematodes in the soil. SL-28 trees generate huge cherries after three years, and if looked after appropriately, they have an extremely low”milling loss”

(indicating a favpurable parchment to eco-friendly coffee ratio ). In contrast, SL-34 trees are structurally similar to SL-28. The only major aesthetic distinction is that the leaf suggestions of SL-34 trees are a dark bronze colour, instead of eco-friendly.

SL-34 trees are likewise a lot more requiring in terms of nourishment, and also have somewhat reduced returns. Just like SL-28, they are also extremely susceptible to CBD, fallen leave corrosion, and pests.

The SL selections have been cultivated in Kenya for decades. They have been around for a lot longer than other popular coffee selections in the nation, and also are naturally suited to the nation’s environment. Today, it is approximated that SL-series selections comprise as much as 80% of all exported Kenyan coffee.

“An advantage of the SL selections over various other, more recent coffees is that even after years of disregard, the coffee still proceeds generating (although at lower volumes),” Francis states. “Furthermore, when you get back to taking care of the SL, it can return to producing as though it was always remembered.

“The trees do not demand a lot of interest or fertilizers, but still offer good returns,” he adds. “However, it is a favourite for insects, especially berry borers.”

He includes that the trees are unbelievably resistant as well as sturdy, noting that he has seen some in Kenya that have actually been there for “several years”.

Cup account When expanded at medium to high elevations (SL ranges grow best at 700 m.a.s.l. and also above)these plants ripen slowly and fully, developing top quality, robust coffees with great acidity as well as nutty, fruity flavours.

David Mathenge is a Kenyan coffee (recognized in your area as a “liquorer”). He tells me that there is typically a “flower as well as spicy” fragrance when SL-variety beans are ground.

“The mug is so robust, you can feel it right now,” he proceeds. “If we would certainly have developed a more resistant SL cultivar, [the Kenyan coffee industry] would certainly have been on an entirely various level.”

While there are discussions over the high quality of SL selections when compared to others, they are still mainly recognised as providing a regularly excellent mug account. David informs me that he thinks they have a remarkable cup top quality to brand-new selections like Batian and Ruiru 11.

“This is most likely one of the reasons that they have actually been around for as long,” he claims. “They have a really complicated cup characteristic.

“Newer selections are still adjusting to the soil and also the weather in Kenya, although they are of high quality. The SL selections just have that ‘X aspect’ that a lot of cups look for.”

David adds: “Most of the coffees we [see in Kenya] are SL selections, and also they are [generally] all appreciated. The only issues we tend to see come as a result of insect damages and also condition … apart from that, the SL ranges’ huge cherries mean great costs for the farmer.”


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