SL28 and SL34 Kenya Coffee Varieties

This article is going to focus on two varieties, SL28 and SL34. They are the best coffee varieties in Kenya.

Let’s find out more below.

SL28 and SL34 varieties
SL28 and SL34 varieties

What are SL28 and SL34?

The abbreviation SL stands for Scott Laboratories. British established this lab by the during the colonial era back in the 1920s.

Scott Laboratories

The main goal of this lab was to improve the agricultural activities of the area. There was enough training and technical advice in the department of agriculture. This was enough to bring agricultural advancement.

During this time, coffee was already popular and a lot of farmers were already engaged in growing the beans. From this, it was a no-brainer that it would quickly become the main area of focus.

For the researchers, the focus diverted to finding the best varieties that could be beneficial for a long time. This was in terms of quality, yields, and the ability to resist pests and droughts.

The researchers would then give the seeds to the farmers, who would then grow them on a large scale. At this time, there was also another research plant in Tanganyika, Lyamungo Research Station. Together with them, the researchers identified and settled on 42 different coffee plants to work on.

SL28 variety

Well, from this, researchers selected and picked the SL28 from a single tree in Tanzania, and from there it became a hit. This is attributed to its ability to withstand droughts and produce high yields. This variety also has a great profile when you decide to try it out. This variety has since been distributed and is grown in various regions. This includes Central America and Uganda.

SL34 variety

The SL34 is another variety that was identified to be good for the region. It is part of a coffee group known as the Bourbon-Typica. Coffees in this group are popular for their complexity and sweet flavor for the cap profile.

This variety is suitable for high-altitude areas with adequate rainfall. The SL34 was also picked as a single tree that was found in a place called Kabete on private land known as Loresho Estate.

The SL34 coffee tree was labeled “French Mission.” This is because it has some historical relationship with the French missionaries. The missionaries came with the seeds from the island of Reunion and distributed them throughout the region.

Both SL28 and SL34 are quite popular because of their amazing ability to produce high yields of good quality. However, they are still not quite resistant to diseases like the coffee berry disease and leaf rust.

They both have a distinctive taste and a good cup profile. Let’s have a look at their cup profile below.

Cup Profile of SL28 and SL34

The coffee from Kenya has been established and is well-known as one of the best-quality coffees in the world. Kenya is among the nations that consistently produce great coffee beans. It’s among the best-growing origins globally.

The coffee produced in this country is known for having bright acidity, a rich body, and some berry undertones that are pretty distinctive.

These varieties contribute a lot to the cup profile. However, the methods of processing can also have a big influence on the coffee’s characteristics as well.

In most Kenyan firms, the only processing method was to wash the beans until recent years. It was quite rare to find any other processing methods. For the farmers, the only way they could highlight the acidity of the coffee beans was through the washing process.

The process also enhances the dark berry, wine-like flavor of the beans. It was through this process that they were able to manage to deliver the cup’s clarity that is associated with the SL34 and SL28 varieties.

Double Fermented Process

This washed method of processing is also called the “double fermented” process. The process starts with the pulping of the coffee beans through a few screens. They were then left to ferment on ceramic tiles for about 24 hours.

In most coffee-producing regions, just washing would be enough as far as the process is concerned. It would then be followed by drying. However, in Kenya, the farmers would keep the beans for another 24 hours.

This helps the beans soak and ferment after the process is done. After fermenting the beans for the second time, they will be washed again. This helps in removing any excess pulp that may have survived up to this point.

The beans would then be left to soak during the night. After this, the final step involved germinating the beans. This was an important step as it helps in adding complexity and sweetness to them.

Final thoughts

These Kenya coffee beans often have a full body and complex flavors, yet they are so delicate. This just doesn’t happen to any random bean.

Coffee farmers in Kenya are well-trained. On top of this, they also have a few other things favoring them. The region has a favorable climate that allows for coffee to grow. Farmers do thorough research on the type of coffee they grow, and they have well-placed commercial strategies to help with the whole process.

Kenyan coffee is among some of the finest coffee in the world. If you are a coffee lover, then you will definitely know a good cup of coffee when you have a taste. If you ever go to Kenya, make sure to have a taste of the SL28 and SL34 varieties.

Read more: Kenya Coffee Bean: Unique Flavor from Volcanic Landscape

Scroll to Top