Have you ever tried Honduran coffee?
It’s a full-body, sweet-tasting coffee that is famous for its flavor profile. It makes the perfect morning brew, an ideal afternoon iced coffee, or a yummy post-dinner treat.
For many years, coffee beans from Honduras were simply part of a bean blend from other well-known countries of origin. It was common for Honduran coffee to not be single-origin roasts but only added to blends such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala.
Yet, just in recent years, Honduras began perfecting their beans and became the world’s 7th top exporter of coffee.
Still, Honduras needs to keep carving its name on the coffee lover’s world. When it comes to coffee beans from Central and South America, most coffee lovers would think of country origins such as Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico, but few think of Honduras and its coffee.
For one, Honduran coffee possesses a variety of taste or flavor profiles – which ranges from chocolate and caramel, all the way to tropical fruit and apricot notes. There is more to know about Honduran coffee – and this article will discuss what we can get from their delicious coffee.
In this article, we will get to know Honduran coffee: what is it, its quality, its history, and what we can expect from it. So, buckle up as we get to know this rising and interesting coffee!
Qualities and Basic Information of Honduran Coffee
Honduran coffee is quite delicious and interesting in its flavor. Here are some of the facts you need to know about Honduran coffee beans – everything from farming to quality.
Due to Honduras’ tropical and temperate climates and other geographic features where its coffee grows, the coffee is typically sweet, mild, and robust.
Honduran beans grow at high altitudes that range from 3,600 to around 5,249 feet above sea level. Their coffee beans tend to be classified in terms of the altitude where they grow. This, alongside the region in which they grow, factor into their classification.
Each year Honduran coffee beans go through the harvesting process, between the months of November and April. Coffee farming is extremely popular in Honduras for many people. Around 2 million individual Honduran coffee farmers harvest their beans from more than 90 million coffee trees. Different from other coffee-producing countries, Honduras grows plants all over the country.
To get the best result possible, the coffee cherries go through the picking process when they hit their red berry stage. This process gives the beans time to ripen up.
Each of the six regions in Honduras dedicated to growing coffee are home to at least around two or three of the 5 major Arabica coffee-type varieties, which are:
Lastly, due to the climate and elevation, coffee beans growing in their respective regions have their own signature flavor profile and characteristics. This creates diverse flavor profiles and delicious coffee.
Honduras’ Basic Geography
Honduras is a country located in Central America, housing a population of around 9.1 million people. The small country borders two major bodies of water: the Caribbean Sea on its eastern side and the Pacific Ocean on its western side (which it barely touches due to its neighboring country, El Salvador).
When it comes to geographic land size, Honduras’ total area is roughly around 43,400 square miles. The country compromises mainly of mountains, some plains along with its coasts, a densely-populated Sula Valley in its northwest, and undeveloped jungles in its northeast.
In general, the climate in Honduras tends to be tropical in its lowland areas and more temperate in its mountains.
Honduran Coffee’s Processing and Grading System
Hondurans use wet processing or the washed processing method to filter their coffee beans. As mentioned earlier, Honduran coffee beans become classified and graded depending on the altitude of which they’re grown. The following is the grading system for Honduras’ coffee beans:
- Strictly High Grown (1,350+ meters above sea level)
- High Grown (1,200-1,350 meters above sea level)
- Central Standard (Below 1,200 meters above sea level)
Coffee beans that grow in Honduras often have coffee varieties including Bourbon (the “old Arabicas”), Caturra as well as Typica. Although there are a few to choose from, they’re all delicious!
How Does Honduran Coffee Taste Like?
Honduran coffee has one of the most attractive flavor profiles in the world. Here are some of the flavor and aromatic characteristics of Honduran coffee beans:
- Acidity – soft and balanced
- Body – medium and round
- Flavor profiles – ranging from chocolate, nuts, and caramel to apricot and tropical fruits. Its caramel undertone makes it perfect for espresso coffees.
- Aroma – often the aroma of hazelnut and vanilla.
Now, it is time we learn some history of this amazing, yet just now rising coffee.
History of Honduran Coffee
Originally, Honduran coffee production was mostly dedicated to the commercial market. Honduran coffee at these times was primarily and often seen as a low-price commodity coffee. For this reason, this coffee, as mentioned earlier, was primarily only used for blended coffee roasts for many years.
You may wonder why Honduran coffee once had such a bad reputation, which still affects it today, despite its rise in the ranks in recent years. After all, Honduras has great growing conditions for coffee farming such as the right altitude, fertile soil, and proper climate and microclimates that is conducive to coffee farming.
Despite the natural benefits given to Honduras’ coffee beans, it lacked proper infrastructure and quality control systems. This gave Honduran coffee beans a bad name to coffee buyers for a long time. This worsened when Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras in 1998, destroying around 80% of its agriculture.
During the 1980s and 1990s, their coffee, at least when it came to reputation, did not match with coffees from more prominent country origins such as Brazil and Guatemala. But in the late 1990s to early 2000s, this all changes.
During those periods, the government decided to tax coffee exports. This is to help improve Honduras’ coffee industry, specifically to help build roads that connect farms to marketplaces, as well as providing financial incentives for coffee growers and producers.
This started the gradual improvement of Honduran coffee’s performance in the coffee market. Later on, improved coffee market conditions even helped boost the status of Honduran coffee in the market. Eventually, Honduras’ coffee industry was able to focus on improving production and the quality of its coffees.
To further improve and innovate Honduras’ coffee industry, IHCAFE was created founded.
IHCAFE spearheaded the boost of Honduran coffee’s performance in the market through the following:
- Providing proper training for Honduran coffee growers and producers
- Provides low-interest loans to farmers for equipment
- Promotes and markets Honduran coffee both locally and internationally
IHCAFE serves to six main coffee-growing regions in Honduras. This ensures that its farming and production are up to the best standards as possible. It also makes sure that quality control of the coffee beans says high.
All of these factors spearheaded and lead to the gradual growth of Honduran coffee’s reputation and performance in the overall coffee market. Over time, Honduran coffee beans would eventually make a name and reputation for themselves, although still relatively less known compared to other coffee to this day.
By 2014 and 2015, Honduras rose in the ranks of coffee production, eventually, it becomes the 7th coffee grower and exporter worldwide. It is very noteworthy that all of these improvements happened in just recent years!
To this day, more than a hundred thousand families across entire Honduras are participating in the country’s coffee production. In fact, 95% of these are small-scale, rural farmers.
Honduran coffee still needs to work to reach the reputation of the big coffees such as Brazilian and Guatemalan, but that doesn’t lessen its greatness. It’s an incredibly delicious coffee that you should give a try if you haven’t yet!
Try It Out — Honduran Coffee
Honduran coffee is delicious either hot or cold. This recipe is the same way! Made with delicious hazelnut, it’s a great option for any chocolate and coffee lover. If you want to check out more of our recipes you can find “The Best Flavored Coffee Recipes” HERE.
- 1 cup of Honduran coffee
- 1 tbsp of Nutella or a similar chocolate-hazelnut spread
- 1/3 cup of milk
- Cocoa powder for garnish
How to make it →
- Brew one cup of coffee using your preferred brewing method.
- Froth your milk, making sure there is 1-2 inches of foam.
- Add the chocolate-hazelnut spread to your coffee and mix until consistent throughout.
- Pour in frothed milk. Dust foam with cocoa powder.
After learning everything there is to know about Honduran coffee, do you think its time to give the roast a try? Shop our Honduran coffee HERE.