Picture shows a man standing outside the open doors of an industrial building which is stacked floor to ceiling with sacks of coffee.
March 17, 2024

Visiting Kenya's Kipkelion Coffee Mill

Producing great quality coffee isn't complete when the beans have been grown and dried. There's a whole further stage where the beans must be graded, sorting them by quality to ensure that only the best beans end up in your specialty coffee.

Image shows a table top with lots of small blue trays containing coffee beans, along with paper bags of beans, and a person's hand resting on the table.

Next each grade of bean is sorted by density to give the best flavours and roasts.

For the farmers working with Lot 20 Coffee, and many other farmers in this part of Kenya, this process takes place at the Kipkelion Coffee Mill, located in the Kericho areas in the highlands west of the Rift Valley. This is a rigorous process that begins with a representative of the mill travelling down to the washing station to ensure that the crop is up to grade before being accepted for transportation to the mill.

The coffee is then transported and weighed at the gates before being taken to the sorting section where it is then sorted by density.

Then it's given back to the farmer to be sold or, if the farmer doesn't have the connections to sell it themselves, it's sold on their behalf by the mill. This is an instance when having a middle-man is beneficial to the farmers, as they would not be able to make the sale if left to their own devices. 

People in white coats, one in a yellow hard hat, listening intently to what they're being told about the mill

The mill was one of the places Mark and Jean visited during their recent tour of the coffee industry in Kenya. They were able to tour the facility, see what huge quantities of coffee it deals with and find out how it works to ensure the farms it deals with are meeting the required standards to produce great quality specialty coffee.

Mark says: "For us, seeing the processes involved in producing the coffee we buy is great. When we're looking to build relationships with coffee farmers and producers, we want to see that they take care in the work they do. Thanks to being able to visit, we know they're doing a good job."

You can see more from the mill visit here: