You’re waking up, trying to get ready for the day. You know one thing for sure– you’ll be getting a cup of coffee to jump-start your morning. Maybe, you’re in the mood to really mix things up and get something different than your usual go-to blend. But, what to get? A dark roast perhaps, different than your routine blond? Or something spiced with milk, to pivot from your usual black coffee? Maybe something altogether new, such as a delicious Honduran coffee! But what sets Honduran coffee apart from blends from other countries? In this beginner’s guide to Honduran coffee, we’ll describe what’s special about Honduras coffee beans and Honduras coffee farms, and why this blend could be your next favorite.
Honduran Coffee Farms
Honduras is a Central American country that sits south of Mexico and between Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. It's unique from other countries in this area because it's largely mountainous, yet shares its northeastern border with the Caribbean Sea and a small portion of its southwestern border with the Pacific Ocean. With its tropical location and year-round hot climate, Honduras is the perfect place to grow rich Honduras coffee beans. The soil made of volcanic ash helps grow these Honduras coffee beans in the mountainous areas.
Honduras - A Major Coffee Exporter
Honduras has become Central America’s largest coffee exporter over the past 20 years. In total, there are more than 120,000 Honduras coffee farms contributing to the agriculture of Honduras coffee beans. Coffee is the greatest agricultural export in Honduras and 95% of coffee is grown by smaller Honduras coffee farms. Farmers grow coffee for both specialty blends and commercial purposes. Between 2019 and 2021, Honduras exported more than 7 million bags of coffee! But what sets Honduras coffee farms apart from farms in other parts of the world?
Honduras Coffee Beans
It's all about location, location, location! Coffee from Honduras is so flavorful and rich because of where it grows. Noted for their nutty and even fruity flavors, coffee beans from Honduras are treasured for their unique blend of different tastes, which can be attributed to the fact that Honduras has 6 different main coffee-producing regions. Each region varies in its micro-climate, altitude, coffee-growing methods, and more, which allows Honduras to produce many different blends of coffee. To appreciate the complexities of Honduran coffee, let’s go into each of the regions and see how they produce such rich roasts.
Opalaca sits on a high attitude, and you can find a number of great flavors from this region, such as berry fruits and floral notes. Coffee beans from Honduras, specifically from Opalaca are balanced and have a slight acidity.
In western Honduras, you’ll find coffee that grows in a variety of temperatures and humidity and at a lower altitude than Opalaca. Honduras coffee beans from Copán are sweet and have notes of citrus fruits, caramel, and even chocolate.
Comayagua is in central Honduras and offers considerably the widest range of coffee flavors. Here, coffee beans can have peachy or mango notes to floral, hibiscus, and even mint notes. Coffee from Comayagua is sweet and has a velvety texture once brewed!
In southwestern Honduras, coffee grows at very high altitudes with falling temperatures at night, which makes the coffee beans grow more slowly and have a sweeter flavor than other blends. Café de Marcala calls Montecillos home and was the first Denomination of Origin of Honduras. This means that this type of coffee was the first from Honduras to be recognized because of its unique properties, owing to where it grows. Coffee from Montecillos can have notes of apricot and caramel.
Agalta lies in the southeastern part of Honduras and experiences more tropical weather. Coffee from this region has notable acidity and tastes of tropical fruits, yet smells somewhat savory with notes of caramel and chocolate.
The sixth major area for Honduran coffee production, El Paraiso, is near the Nicaraguan border to the south of Honduras. El Paraiso produces different coffee flavors such as those of blueberries, white wine, and green apples.
Coffee Beans from Honduras
Now that we’ve taken a tour through the six major areas in Honduras that are responsible for coffee bean production, how do coffee beans from Honduras go from a plant to a morning must-have? Next, we’ll describe the unique processing method that Honduran farmers use to harvest such select roasts.
Bean and Beyond
Because Honduras has lots of rainfall and vastly different weather patterns that change often, (unlike other famous areas for coffee production), coffee farmers had to develop different methods to dry and prepare the coffee beans for enjoyment. Honduras has developed solar dryers that function like greenhouses to dry coffee beans. Besides unique drying methods, Honduras coffee also needs special brewing techniques to really bring out its flavor. Because Honduran coffee is sweet, this makes it a great contender for an espresso. High heat will reveal its caramel notes as well, depending on the blend.
In this article, we described how the variation of the Honduran landscape is important in the cultivation of the country’s many different types of coffee it grows. Honduras’s six major regions for coffee production offer special notes, flavors, and textures. Understanding each region’s unique features helps a coffee enjoyer to appreciate how special different Honduran coffee is and why Honduras is a major coffee exporter. From growing in different micro-climates to being dried under new methods, coffee from Honduras has quite the adventure as it travels to become part of your day. Coffee from Honduras is highly popular and world-renowned, as it often gets mistaken for other countries’ high-quality blends. Each coffee bean that becomes part of your brew is carefully grown and taken care of so coffee lovers around the world can enjoy the flavors of this Central American country. You can experience the many regions of Honduras just by trying each region’s specialty brew!