Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023


Photo Courtesy :
Photo Courtesy :

Any Kenyan living abroad will tell you that real pride and happiness lies in stumbling across a Kenyan product. As most say, the feeling is unmatched. Take Coffee for instance, in most American grocery stores, you are likely to find ‘Kahawa’. This happened to one, Mukurima Muriuki, a Kenyan living in Los Angeles.

But to Mr. Muriuki, the coffee he bought tasted nothing close to the Kahawa he was used to back here in Kenya, “You walk into a grocery store to buy coffee and you smile when you see that it is sourced from Kenya. However, after brewing a cup, you find it tasteless. Now two things could have happened: First, that coffee could have gone stale because of being on the shelves for too long, or it is probably a blend, mixed with other bad coffee.” said Muriuki during an interview with a local TV station.

“At that time I did not realize I could do much with coffee until someone asked me where they could find Kirinyaga or Kenyan coffee!” This is when it dawned on him that he could actually act as a bridge between this demand and coffee lovers, and that’s how African Coffee Club was born.

According to Muriuki, the initial idea was to tell African stories through Coffee and at the same time ensure that Coffee enthusiasts have a fresh product to enjoy. Last year, Arican Coffee Club received a grant from Facebook which cemented Muriuki’s success in the Coffee industry. This brings us to the question; Why hasn’t Kenyan Coffee received the recognition it deserves in the U.S despite being the best Coffee in the world?

 “For two reasons; one, the companies that own the production and marketing process get more profits from blending small quantities of high quality coffee from Kenyan and Ethiopian with large quantities of low quality coffee from around the world and two, products in the US are sold to retailers in portfolios which ensure that if one product is facing what is perceived as ‘unnecessary’ competition, the seller just withdraws the whole portfolio or a product in the portfolio that drives store sales,” said Dr David Amakobe, a Kenyan businessman based in Middletown, Delaware.

However, Muriuki holds the view that these impediments are impactless as the market for Kenyan Coffee is expanding, “Kenya should fine tune its methods of marketing coffee. This should be done in collaboration with the more than 150,000 Kenyans living in America. Most Kenyans living abroad either do not drink coffee or have limited understanding of the premium product grown in the motherland”.


Juma Ouko

Juma Ouko is a Performing Poet and Illustrator ready to change the world through Art.