Located in Central America, Honduras is one of the leading coffee exporters in the world. It is known for its commercial and specialty Arabica beans grown in its mountainous regions.
Honduras has quickly risen to become the largest coffee producer out of all the Central American countries in the last few decades. Here you’ll find sweet coffee beans with tasting notes of tropical fruit and chocolate and delightful aromas.
Check out everything you need to know about this country’s beans and top Honduran coffee brands to try!
About Honduran Coffee
The agriculture industry has played a major role in supporting the economy of Honduras for decades. Bananas and other fruits used to be the top export of Honduras before coffee came onto the scene.
Coffee arrived in Honduras sometime in the 18th century, but the industry didn’t spread as rapidly as in other neighboring countries.
Honduran coffee started to become a significant cash crop at the start of the 21st century. Coffee farms were negatively affected by a hurricane and the global coffee crisis that caused prices to crash in the 1990s. After these events, Honduras’ coffee industry made a huge comeback.
In recent decades, the Honduran coffee industry has exploded. It is now fourth in the global export rank, and there are more than 110,000 coffee farms across the country. Between February 2021 and January 2022, Honduras exported more than six million 60-kg bags of coffee.
Honduras grew commercial-grade coffee for quite some time, but it has recently started to focus more on specialty coffee as well. Approximately 95% of Honduran coffee farmers are smallholders that produce different Arabica bean varieties.
Honduran Coffee Regions
Many of the coffee farms in Honduras are spread throughout its mountainous regions. This is especially beneficial for growing Arabica beans that develop well in high-altitude environments.
Honduras is split up into 18 departments and 15 of them are major coffee-producing areas. There are six main regions where Honduran coffee is grown. These regions include:
- El Paraíso
Honduran coffee flavor profiles and Arabica varieties may differ depending upon the region. Harvesting typically takes place between November and April for each of these regions. This means that the best time to buy Honduran coffee can be anywhere between December and May.
Honduras is a very mountainous country, but it is one of the only Central American countries without any volcanoes. Coffee farms are scattered along the mountains and grow between 1,000 and 1,700 meters above sea level.
This is highly beneficial for locking in the flavors of the Arabica beans.
Honduran Coffee Flavour Profiles
Most Honduran coffee grown in the six main regions has some fruity tasting notes and sweetness. Creamy chocolate flavors are also common in Honduran coffee beans, especially from the Copán region.
If you’re looking for rich chocolate and caramel-tasting notes with a velvety body, you might want to try Honduran coffee beans. Another common flavor profile you’ll see is sweet beans with notes of tropical fruit and brilliant acidity.
Common bean varieties grown throughout the main coffee-producing regions of Honduras include:
Some regions also have Caturra, Typica, Pacas, and IHCAFE 90. Bourbon is generally the most desired Arabica varietal. IHCAFE 90 is a hybrid created by the Instituto Hondureño del Café (IHCAFE), which is considered to be one of the lower-quality varieties.
The regions of Comayagua, El Paraíso, and Montecillos produce coffee with a creamy body and sweet fruity fragrances, and citrusy notes. Agalta and Opalaca grow beans that have pleasant acidity and tropical fruit-tasting notes.
Copán is known to produce coffee that has sweet chocolate and caramel flavors with a creamy and well-balanced body.
Flavor profiles can also vary depending on the farm they are grown. Chocolate and caramel notes with hints of honey or cinnamon are typically the most common flavor profile you’ll see in many Honduran coffee brands.
Benefits of Honduran Coffee
Honduran coffee has several benefits. Its specialty coffee is generally higher quality, but still very affordable compared to other single-origin specialty coffees around the world. It offers rich and lively flavors that are well-desired.
One of the biggest benefits of Honduran coffee is the sweetness of the beans. You may find fruity, chocolatey, or caramel sweetness in most Honduran coffee beans.
Another great benefit to buying Honduran coffee brands is the type of roasts available. Some countries produce beans that fit well with a specific roast.
You can enjoy a light to dark roast with Honduran coffee. It has fruity flavors that pair well with lighter roasts and more rich flavors for medium to dark roasts.
Coffee beans are consistently grown at higher altitudes in Honduras. This means that it’s easier to find higher-quality Arabica beans across the country.
Most of the beans are also shade-grown, which provides ample nutrients to the coffee plants and is more beneficial for the environment.
What to Look for When Buying Honduran Coffee Brands
Honduras has very fertile soils and favorable climates that allow its bean varieties to develop well and create a good quality cup of coffee. Since the beginning of the 21st century, it’s become more common to see specialty coffee come from this region.
To find the best Honduran coffee brands, you’ll want to keep an eye out for the altitude and origin of the beans.
Most coffee plants are grown at higher altitudes, which classifies them as High Grown or Strictly High Grown. Beans that are given one of these labels are generally considered higher quality than Central Standard coffee, which is grown 900 meters or lower.
Coffee beans that are grown in the main mountainous regions tend to be more flavourful and have a brighter acidity. This pairs especially well with light to medium roasts that allow fruity flavors to shine through.
5 Honduran Coffee Brands to Try
Subtle Earth Organic Coffee – Honduran Marcala
Grown in the Montecillos region, Honduran Marcala is a medium-dark roast with a smooth and velvety body. It has rich chocolatey notes with hints of honey and caramel. There is a slightly sweet aftertaste.
This darker roast draws out some of the acidity that Montecillos coffee is known for. This may be a good option if you’re looking for a Honduran coffee that isn’t too acidic.
Pure Origin Coffee – Honduras
Pure Origin Honduras coffee is a single-origin medium roast from the Intibucá Department of the Opalaca coffee region. Coffee from this region is known to have a citrus aftertaste and balanced flavors.
This is a specialty High Grown coffee that offers pleasant acidity. It is slightly sweet with subtle notes of caramel that produce a smooth cup.
Camano Island Coffee Roasters – Honduras
Camano Island Coffee Roasters Honduras coffee is a full-bodied dark roast. These organic and fair trade beans are grown in the Copán region at altitudes above 1,200 meters.
The beans are shade grown and produce a rich cup with notes of chocolate, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Although it has some rich flavors, the long roasting time draws out the intensity of the notes.
City Girl Coffee – Honduras
City Girl Honduras is an organic and fair trade medium roast coffee. It has fruity and floral notes that Honduran coffee is known for. It also has hints of milk chocolate and caramel that give it a sugary sweetness.
This coffee is roasted in small batches, which helps with even roasting to prevent any bitterness. It is a little dark for a medium roast, so this may not be a good option if you’re expecting a lighter roast.
BLK & Bold – La Guadalupe, Honduras
BLK & Bold La Guadalupe, Honduras coffee is grown in the Francisco Morazán Department of the El Paraíso region. It is a creamy-bodied light roast with notes of honey and subtly sweet caramel.
This specialty coffee has a nice aroma with a well-balanced taste. It is also Strictly High Grown between 1,400 and 1,600 meters.
Overview: Honduran Coffee Brands
Honduran coffee is becoming one of the world’s top coffee producers. It is the largest coffee-producing country in Central America and has much to offer.
You can find two main coffee flavor profiles in this country: tropical fruity flavors with lively acidity and deep flavors of rich chocolate and sweet caramel. If you want to experience the best tropical fruity flavors from Honduran coffee, it’s best to get a lighter roast that holds the natural flavors.
If you’re looking for more rich flavors that have some depth, you might want to try the velvety chocolate and caramel beans in a darker roast.
To get the best of both worlds, we suggest you try City Girl Coffee Honduras beans. It’s a darker medium roast that doesn’t hide the fruity notes and has hints of chocolate and caramel that give it a subtle sweetness.
It is also a small batch roasted, so the beans are roasted evenly and don’t have a bitter taste.