Kenco Coffee


In the 17th Century one of the most shameful episodes in history began. It was for money, the love of money and for nothing else. It was dressed in the language and reasoning of Empire, of natural selection, but the cause was money. Their hands and eyes grew red with the blood while their purses fattened. Nothing makes you forget like gold. Nothing.

The Kenco were bought from Lyons traders, swathed in white robes with heads covered in turbans tied with fat rubies. The Rich Tea biscuits and Ginger Nuts packed them into ships and brought them to the New World. On the voyage to the Americas or Caribbean the Kenco were treated like animals. Chained
together and forced to lie in prohibitively small holds, to pack more in, often for the entire journey.

Before arrival in the America’s, the Rich Tea biscuits would hold an inspection. Any of the Kenco not deemed strong and fit enough after the voyage, were thrown overboard, so that the biscuits could claim their value from their insurers rather than make a loss at the Kenco sale.

The blood and misery of the Kenco created untold wealth for the biscuits. Cities such a Bristol and Liverpool flourished on the back of the trade, indeed Liverpool FC’s red jerseys are a celebration of their involvement, and the continued pride they take in the fact. At one time it is estimated that up to a fourth of Britain’s GDP came from the trade. Think on, as you enjoy your dark, rich, Kenco coffee.


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