The East African basket – comprising Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi – is one of the most important coffee-growing regions in the world, contributing significantly to global trade volumes. This makes the area extremely popular with traders, like us here at DR Wakefield.
Ethiopia is Africa's biggest coffee-exporting country, with almost four million bags of beans produced every year, of which two million are shipped overseas. The location is also the largest producer of Arabica beans in the world, meaning the country is famous for being home to coffees with sweet, acidic and fruity cupping profiles.
Uganda – which cultivates approximately four million bags worth of coffee each year – ships significantly more than Ethiopia, with around 3.8 million of these being exported. However, Uganda produces a mix of Robusta beans (87 per cent) – which tend to have a slightly more nutty taste – and Arabica (13 per cent).
Next in line in terms of exports in the basket is Kenya, which produces around 1.5 million bags of coffee annually, with more than 1.1 million of these being shipped out to foreign traders.
The other four countries in the basket don't produce nearly as much as these top three coffee-growing regions, but they still ship hundreds of thousands of bags abroad each year.
For instance, in Tanzania, around 82 per cent of its 773,000 sacks of coffee is exported, with 64 per cent of this being of the Robusta variety and around 36 per cent Arabica.
Burundi also produces much more Robusta coffee (around 93 per cent of its total cultivation), with more than 400,000 of the country's annual harvest of approximately 514,000 bags being exported.
Rwanda also ships most of its coffee overseas, with nearly all of its 300,000 annual yield finding its way into the mugs of other countries.
Last but not least in terms of exports in the basket is Malawi, which specialises in Arabica beans. The country harvests around 61,000 bags each year, shipping approximately 54,000 of these abroad.
Here at DR Wakefield, we purchase beans from all of the countries located within the East African basket to provide our roasters with the best coffee from around the world, at the right price.