Honduran Coffee: Everything You Need to Know
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Over the years, Honduran coffee has been steadily growing in popularity and has undoubtedly made a name for itself. Honduras is now sixth in the global ranking for coffee exportation. But, how much do you know about Honduras coffee?

While most coffee enthusiasts are familiar with Ethiopian and Colombian coffee, few can make the same claim about coffee from Honduras.

Not to worry, we’ll help you remedy this.

Despite arriving late on the coffee-growing scene, Honduras has earned itself an impressive reputation as a source of exciting coffee with flavors ranging from lively acidic to complex fruity undertones. So, if you’re looking for a rich coffee that offers a depth of taste and has complex flavors, Honduran coffee may be where to look.

But what exactly is the hype all about?

This article walks you through everything you need to know about Honduras coffee — from its history to its diversity and more. So, don’t stop reading. If you want to buy this coffee online then Amazon is the best place for this.

Honduras Coffee: A Quick Overview

Honduras is a relatively small country in Central America and shares a border with Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador — all of which are coffee producers. Most of the coffee from this country comes from the small farms of more than 100,000 Honduran families. However, Honduras has become one of the world’s largest coffee producers despite its size!

That is not all.

Today, Honduras not only deals in commodity coffee but is also a leading name when it comes to specialty coffee.

Due to Honduras’s tropical and temperate climates, the country produces coffees that most experts describe as robust, mild, and sweet. However, there are also various options with Honduras coffee as the coffee beans from the country are broadly classified by the region and altitude at which they grew.

Fun Fact? Honduran coffee beans usually grow at altitudes between 3,600 and 5,249 feet above sea level. Even more, Honduras boasts six separate regions for growing coffee.

Depending on the climate and elevation of the specific region where the coffee grew in Honduras, it will have a unique flavor profile. We’ll explore the various coffee-growing areas in Honduras in a few moments. 

But, first, let us examine the history of Honduras coffee.

Coffee Beans from Honduras
Coffee Beans from Honduras

A Brief History of Honduran Coffee

Coffee from Honduras has a rich history of perseverance and a resilient spirit to achieve success despite unfavorable odds.

Records do not tell us the exact origins of Honduras coffee, but history shows that Spanish traders first introduced coffee beans to Honduras in the 1700s. A few decades later, in the 1800s, farmers in Honduras started growing coffee by themselves, although on a much smaller scale.

However, it wasn’t meant to be. At least, not yet. 

Banana quickly replaced coffee beans as the primary cash crop in Honduras as it has a much shorter duration from planting to harvest.

In the late 1900s, Honduras coffee beans seemed to be making a comeback as more small-scale farmers invested in the crop. But unfortunately, this growth was short-lived as the Honduran coffee-growing sector experienced several setbacks.

For instance, Hurricane Mitch destroyed 80% of Honduras’ coffee plants in 1998, and the rest fell to smugglers who felt they could get better prices for the beans in neighboring countries. Furthermore, other problems such as coffee leaf rust outbreaks and poor infrastructure, such as bad roads connecting coffee farms, also surfaced.

Measures by IHCAFE for Honduras Marcala

But, all of these changed in the early 2000s with the founding of the Instituto Hondureño del Café (IHCAFE). 

Although there was no way to prevent natural disasters, IHCAFE put structures and systems in place to ensure high-quality coffee harvests and ensure the sustainable infrastructure for the growth and development of the coffee industry in Honduras.

Here are the measures the IHCAFE institute took to improve the quality and production of coffee from Honduras:

  • Providing technical training for coffee farmers
  • Providing low-interest loans for farmers to purchase equipment
  • Assisting in the construction of nurseries and greenhouses
  • Promoting Honduras coffee beans within the country and abroad
  • Ensuring coffee quality control training through their national cupping school

Today, Honduras is the third-largest coffee-exporting country in Latin America, the first in Central America, and the sixth-largest exporter of coffee on a global scale.

Honduras Coffee Grades According to Elevation

Because Honduras is home to both mountainous and lowland terrains, coffee from Honduras is subject to a grading system based on the elevation where it grew.

Here are the various classifications of Honduras coffee according to elevation:

  • Strictly high-grown coffee: Cultivated at more than 4,400 feet above sea level
  • High-grown coffee: Cultivated between 3,900 and 4,400 feet above sea level
  • Central Standard coffee: Cultivated below 3,900 feet above sea level

Interestingly, high-grown coffee is not the highest quality coffee out in Honduras. So, if you want top-tier quality coffee, shade-grown coffee beans — one mark above strictly high-grown coffee — are also an option.

As the name implies, shade-grown coffee beans grow in the shade of other trees and vegetation, giving the beans more time to absorb more nutrients and mature, giving them a more profound and robust flavor.

Honduras Marcala Coffee Grades According to Region

The diversity of Honduras marcala coffee beans is also due to the various regions where the plant grows. There are six major coffee-growing regions in Honduras, and we’ll explore each in a bit.

Here are the six main Honduran coffee regions:

Copán – Honduras copan coffee

The copán region is in western Honduras and shares a border with Guatemala. This region includes three states — Copán (from where it gets its name), Ocotepeque, and some parts of Santa Barbara.

Coffee beans from Copán usually have a sweet scent with strong tones of caramel, chocolate, and citrusy tastes. It has a balanced aftertaste with a present but delicate acidic feel. Experts believe that the aroma and taste of Copán coffee are due to the region’s high temperature and humidity variations.

  • Altitude: 3,300 to 4900 feet 
  • Harvest: November to March
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai


The Montecillos region is in southwestern Honduras and lies along its border with Salvador. This region has high altitudes and typically enjoys low temperatures — the two primary conditions for ensuring the slow ripening of coffee cherries. When this happens, it results in dense coffee beans with soft, sweet notes.

Fun fact? The Montecillos region is responsible for giving Honduras coffee its first world renown recognition for its coffee with its Café de Marcala. 

Honduras marcala has aromatic notes with a velvety feel and tartaric acidity. You may also notice a peachy and caramel-like taste.

  • Altitude: 3,900 to 5,200 feet
  • Harvest: December to April
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, Pacas

Opalaca – Honduras coffee beans

This region gets its name from the Opalaca mountain ranges stretching through it and has very fertile soil.

Opalaca region lies to the east of Copan and includes the states of Intibucá, Lempira, and most of Santa Barbara. You’d typically notice very complex flavors — from grapes to tropical fruits and berries — and a well-balanced aftertaste with coffee beans. Opalaca coffee also boasts very delicate acidity.

  • Altitude: 3,600 to 4,900 feet
  • Harvest: November to February
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Catuai, Typica


Southeastern Honduras is home to Agalta, which has a more tropical climate and is predominantly lowland. In addition, most of the Algata is a dense forest. So, aside from coffee, ecotourism is also a significant part of the sustenance of their local economy.

Coffee from Agalta also offers several tropical fruit flavors but with a chocolatey aroma. It also has a sweet aftertaste but with more pronounced acidity.

  • Altitude: 3,300 to 4,600 feet
  • Harvest: December to March
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Typica


The Comayagua region is smack in the center of Honduras and contains the states of Comayagua and Francisco Morazán. According to the IHCAFE, Comayagua produces the largest volume of coffee in the country.

Fun fact? The winning lot for the best Honduran Coffee of the Year during the Cup of Excellence 2021 event came from this region. You can get this coffee here.

When you brew Comayagua coffee, you’d typically find a blend of sweet citrusy flavors and intense acidity alongside a creamy richness.

  • Altitude: 3,600 to 4,900 feet
  • Harvest: December to March
  • Varieties: Bourbon, Caturra, Typica

El Paraíso

Southern Honduras is home to El Paraíso and typically experiences high temperatures, up to 23°C. El Paraíso is also one of the more regions for coffee because this region also wins several awards during the Cup of Excellence yearly event.

With El Paraíso coffee, you should expect a sweet, citrusy, and smooth feel. It also has very delicate flavors.

  • Altitude: 3,300 to 4,600 feet
  • Harvest: December to March
  • Varieties: Catuai, Caturra

FAQs About Honduras Organic Coffee

Is coffee from Honduras good?

The answer is yes. Honduras has been producing coffee for years and has become a leading exporter of coffee within Latin America and globally. 

What does Honduran coffee taste like?

Honduran coffee comes with various options, depending on the region where it was cultivated. But you’d typically enjoy smooth chocolatey tastes and well-rounded flavors. It’s aromatic and fragrant with notes of vanilla or hazelnut.

What is Honduras coffee?

Honduras coffee refers to coffee cultivated in Honduras, a small country in Central America.

Why is coffee from Honduras good?

Honduras has rich, volcanic soil and favorable climates with a lot of sun and rain. In addition, the high altitudes in Honduras also contribute to the coffee’s high-quality taste and quality. The people’s diligent attitude to coffee cultivation also plays a role in their impressive coffee bean yields.

Is Honduras coffee arabica or robusta?

You can find arabica coffee across a number of regions in Honduras. Farmers in Agalta, Comayagua, Copán, Montecillos, Opalaca, and El Paraíso grows arabica coffee.

Wrapping It Up

Honduras coffee has come a long way from being commercial-grade beans to boasting single-origin specialty coffees. Today, it has become one of the world’s leading sources of diverse, high-quality coffee with unique flavors and complex tastes.

Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into Honduras coffee, what makes it unique, and all it offers. 

Do let us know if you have more questions about Honduran coffee!

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