Honduras - A Small Country with Big Flavor

What makes coffee good? The taste, of course! Even if you're no barista, you may notice when its flavors are lousy or your morning cup lacks the punch you want. The taste of coffee is impacted by a lot of different factors. When it comes to growing conditions, the gorgeous Central American country of Honduras, might just be the best place to grow coffee beans for complex flavors. Despite many mishaps, Honduras has become one of the top coffee producers in the world. To learn more about the fascinating history behind coffee making in Honduras and why they make some of the most special beans in the world, keep on reading this article.

 

 

The beautiful country is a small yet mighty coffee producer. The history of the coffee in Honduras began in the 18th century when it arrived from trading ships. Even early on, small farmers had planted coffee but in relatively small quantities. For many years, bananas remained the main crop of choice for farmers to export in Honduras. Unlike other nearby countries, coffee farming in Honduras didn't become widespread until late in the 20th century.

 

The path to large-scale coffee production hasn't been easy for the small Central American country. As you may know, in 1998 Honduras was hit by Hurricane Mitch – one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded. Mitch had a significant effect on the development of the country, including coffee production, as 70% of all agriculture was destroyed. This created a chain of difficulties – damages in the internal infrastructure and food shortages, which made scaling up exports much more difficult.

 

Due to these reasons, Honduran coffees were typically sent over to neighboring Guatemala. There the dark drink was sold at a higher price. In recent years, however, things have started to look brighter. Thanks to the investments of the government, as well as improvements in the infrastructure and general education of the farmers, Honduran coffee has become famous and well recognized all around the world. In just a few years, backed by the quality of their product, the country has managed to become one of the world's top coffee producers.

 

That is no surprise, though. The stunning country has all the conditions to foster premier specialty coffee production. Fertile soils, excellent growing conditions as well as soaring altitudes – it is no wonder Honduran coffee is so delicious. Since the early 2000s, coffee in Honduras seemed to have become better and better. That is because the industry began to focus on quality. In addition, incredible technology, infrastructure, and education have had an enormous impact. But, of course, the generational shift and global market demand has had its effect too. Overall, coffee producers in Honduras are younger on average than previous generations. Therefore they have innovative and creative ideas to achieve the common goal – better coffee. Thanks to the effort of these hardworking and creative people, the reputation of Honduran coffee has improved and now is considered one of the best in the world.

 

The Big Six

 

In Honduras, coffee is mainly grown in six primary regions. Copan, located on the western side of the country, is know for producing sweet flavors like chocolate and caramel. Agalta, which is located in the Southeast, produces fruitier flavors due to higher humidity and warmer climate. El Paraiso, which has been more popular in recent years due to winning some global awards, is known for other fruity varieties with hints of green apple, peaches, and blueberries. Montecillos, home to colder nights, generally has berries that ripen less quickly because of the temperature. This leads to very concentrated but sweet flavor. Opacala, which is 1.5km above sea level, boasts complex flavors very common to other producers in South America. And lastly, Comayagua. This central region is famous for having coffee with sweet, citrus, and acidic notes. Compared to other regions, Comayagua doesn't have a large diversity in growing altitudes but this leads their beans to have a more consistent flavor profile.


Coffee production in Honduras

 

On the large scale, Honduras is known for using wet processing (also known as washing) during coffee production. This method uses water to quickly remove the fruit before it has started to dry. Since water resources can be limited in South America, farmers and coffee producers constantly look for ways to use them more efficiently. After this step, coffee is graded based on the elevation it was grown at.

 

Our coffee is grown in Marcala – the only Protected Denomination of Origin in Honduras. The area is known for exceptional soil quality, which, of course, has a positive effect on the taste of coffee. Thanks to the relative humidity and perfect temperature, this is one of the best places to grow coffee in the Central American country.

 

Best Honduran coffee

 

Even for the biggest coffee expert identifying Honduran blends might seem like a challenge. Why? The beautiful country produces it in all kinds of flavors and taste profiles. Our coffee is Strictly High Grown Grade, which is widely considered the best rating Honduran coffee can get. The farmers we partner with plant in higher altitudes, therefore the coffee has time to grow and develop a more richer taste. Due to these conditions, the coffee beans themselves tend to have more nutrients as well. When in Honduras, look out for Bird-Friendly or Shade-Grown varieties which tend to have similar characteristics as coffee beans planted at higher altitudes.

 

Lovers of sweet things will surely enjoy our coffee as you may notice notes of caramel, spice, and brown sugar in our blends. Grown at the altitude of 1300-1700 meters, our coffee embodies all of the great things that make Honduran coffee so special.

 

Honduras coffee today

 

As we have already mentioned before, in recent years, coffee production in Honduras has rocketed. In the gorgeous country, you will easily find specialty coffee that can be compared to the quality of other Central American countries. Honduras has had a long path towards becoming one of the finest coffee producers in the world. Over the years many forms of adversity have stood in its way – even nature itself. But through it all the people have prevailed and now we are all able to enjoy delicious Honduran coffee!