Honduran coffee has long been known as the underdog of the coffee community. Historically, the beans were known to be mild and mediocre, which made them the perfect base for coffee blends. Now, Honduras is the leading producer of coffee in Central America. A versatile range of flavors are discovered in Honduran coffees, but the best rated often have complex fruity flavor notes, with a bright, juicy acidity.
Very little is known about the introduction of coffee to Honduras. The earliest record of coffee production is dated back to the early 19th century when it was transported from the Caribbean. It was introduced under Spanish ownership but gained momentum after Honduras achieved independence. At the time, it was second to banana exports, but by 2001, the production of coffee increased dramatically and became the primary cash crop.
Due to Honduras' late blossoming and lack of infrastructure, it was challenging at first to produce high-quality coffee. In 1970, the Instituto Hondureño del Café was established to improve quality by using coffee-tasting laboratories to assist local farmers. By 2011, Honduras was producing six million bags of high-quality coffee, which is more than Guatemala and Costa Rica combined! Around 110,000 families are involved in the coffee business across the country.
Sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, most of the coffee is grown closer to the central mountain regions. Although the land is opportune for producing coffee, the high rainfall often makes the beans challenging to dry after processing. For this reason, Honduran coffees are typically wet processed. The high growing elevations and increased investments in coffee growth allow for organic coffee to be easily accessed. In fact, our Honduran coffee is the only one of the two organic coffees we have in the shop right now. I wrote a blog post about organic coffee along with other certifications. You can read about it, here.
We have been enthusiastic to see the increase in availability and quality in Honduras coffee these last few years, and we are sure you will agree!