Honduras coffee, to this date, is popular in brewing a cup of excellence all over the world thanks to the optimal environmental factors of the country. It makes up a major portion of South American total exports and ranks third in Latin America after Brazil and Columbia.
From Copan to Santa Barbara, each grows a unique flavor of coffee and, unlike other Central American coffee growers, gives the cup a less acidic character with a distinct level of caramel sweetness. So, the question is, compared to other popular options, is Honduras coffee good? Can it beat Guatemala and Costa Rica’s high-quality coffee profiles?
Honduras round medium-bodied coffee beans, available in an array of flavors, are getting increasing worldwide acceptance. With time, the country has made steps to keep a quality check and assure a proper milling process. Honduras coffee tasting nodes are sweet, mild, and robust, with flavors ranging from chocolaty to nutty, making it one of the best coffees available in the world.
A cup of Honduran coffee is what you need to understand the value of this commodity. Read on to unlock what you have been missing out on Honduran coffee.
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Honduras is known for its fertile land, which can cater to high-quality coffee beans, sugar cane, and topical fruits. Even though initially Honduras was underestimated because of the environmental challenges, it all changed with the formation of Instituto Hondureño del Café (IHCAFE) to look over the concerns. The organization is working hard in nurturing farmers and promoting Honduras coffee worldwide.
Honduras ranks sixth number globally for producing quality beans, contributing almost 3.9% to the total production. Where Santa Barbara is the largest region of Honduras to grow coffee, Copan, El Paraiso, Comayagua, Agata, and Montecillos follow the lead. Each of the six regions, based on its climate and elevation, produces coffee one of its kind.
The perfect blend of coffee from Honduras is believed as a major rival of the famous Guatemala coffee beans because of its range of signature flavor profiles. The major types Hondurans master in growing are Arabica (91%) and Robust (9%). You can find Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon, Pacas, and Typica as the five main varieties of Arabica in the land of Honduras.
Honduran coffee, in general, has quite an intense and strong scent with hidden undertones of chocolate and caramel. The sweet vanilla and hazelnut aroma balance the coffee flavor perfectly. Where some Honduran coffee has lively zesty acidity some are soft and balanced, depending on the region they are grown in.
The region has more of an effect on taste than the whole milling process. The body is medium rounded and equips a nutty and fruity taste. After Ethiopian and Columbian coffee, Honduran coffee is quite making its name for its unique and distinct flavor.
Honduras has more of a temperate climate in the mountains and goes tropical in the lowlands, favoring the grading of Honduran coffee based on the elevation of the land. The Central standard coffee is grown below 3,900 feet above sea level, high-grown coffee ranges from 3,900 to 4,400 feet above sea level and the strictly high-grown type is 4,4000 feet above sea level.
There is a step above the strictly high-grown grade too where beans are matured for a longer period under the shade of trees, giving off a more intense and robust flavor to the cup. This shade-grown coffee is the finest quality Hondurans produce and absorbs most of the minerals of the land to give a refined flavor.
What makes Honduras coffee special is its distinct coffee flavor profile that comprises of fusion of fruity, floral, and clean flavors, as a result confusing the consumers with African coffee.
The sweet honey flavor characterizes Honduran coffee, making it perfect for hot steamy espresso. The steady heat can bring out the warm golden color with hidden brown sugar and chocolate caramel notes.
The savory and chocolate nutty flavor runs in the majority of Honduran coffees but every blend tastes different. Honduran coffee promises a broad spectrum of flavor profiles ranging from balanced nutty flavor to zesty citrus flavor.
Contributing as the largest exporter of Central America, every region is blessed with a unique flavor profile. This is why it is hard to select the Honduran coffee base in a blend. Here is what each region has to offer:
This region is near Guatemala, almost 1000 to 1500 meters above sea level. Copan is marked for Caturra, Bourbon, and Catuai Arabica species.
The coffee grown here has a hint of fruity, strong chocolate and caramel flavors. The region produces low-acidity, bold and creamy coffee beans.
Opalka, 1000 to 1600 meters above sea level grows Typica, Catuai, Bourbon, and Caturra Arabica species.
This region has stronger aromatic notes and is known for producing more citrus flavors with stronger acidity. Farmers here are awarded for growing some best coffee crops with berries, grapes, and mango notes.
Montecillo, 1200 to 1600 meters above sea level and near the border of El Salvador, grows most of the crop annually. It has cooler evenings giving the beans time to ripe and incorporating a sweeter flavor. The region is known for growing Cattura, Bourbon, Pacas, and Catuai species.
You can unlock the true citrus flavor of Honduran coffee beans from this region. With slight acidity, velvety body, and fruity aroma, it has peach, caramel, orange, and apricot notes to offer.
El Paraiso is only 1100 to 1400 meters above sea level, located on the Nicaraguan border. These soft-bodied coffee beans don’t contribute much to the output and are mainly Catuai and Caturra Arabica species. Their coffees are reviewed for having balanced flavor and acidity.
Agata in the southeastern zone of Honduras is 1100 to 1400 meters above sea level. The region specializes in Bourbon, Typica, and Caturra. The sweet tropical stonefruit and caramel notes and chocolatey aromas sum up the unique flavor of Agalta coffee beans.
To reap the best undertone of caramel and chocolate flavors, the beans are only harvested from December to March. The tropical sweetness of coffee beans gives pronounced acidity a classic finish.
Comayagua offers Bourbon, Catuai, and Caturra Arabica species 1,100 to 1,400 meters above sea level. The cup tastes similar to that of Montecillos, and the crop is grown in similar months. The vibrant acidity matches the sweet citric flavors perfectly giving the body all over a creamy look.
Honduran coffee has some significant nuances and flavors that mark its identity. One of the reliable sellers of Honduran coffee is Subida Coffee as they excel in picking the perfect coffee cherries during their red berry stage, giving them enough time to ripen perfectly.
The brand harvests from November to April and employs millions of Hondurans to cultivate almost 80 million coffee trees every year. Subida Coffee follows sustainability and sells its coffee in multilayer packaging to ensure the high quality of the product from roaster to cup.