Honduran coffee facts

The early days

Hondurans have been growing coffee since the colonial period - decades before achieving independence from Spain in 1821. Colonial records show that by the year 1804, a census by then Governor don Ramon de Anguiano declared: “Honduran coffee is of such quality as the one from Moka!” Coffees grown in Moka (now Mauritius) and Java (now Indonesia) were considered the best in the world in the 1800's.

The first record of coffee in Honduras appeared in the Guatemalan Gazette  published on 12 september 1799, showing an importation of "3 barrels of coffee from Havana, Cuba onboard the Queen Luisa entering Honduras in the Port of Trujillo". 

Coffee Growing Regions

COPAN Coffee Region:

Located in western Honduras the COPAN Coffee Region encompasses the Departments of Copan, Ocotepeque, Lempira and Santa Barbara.

Cup Profile: A coffee with a sweet aroma, balanced & well-rounded body, with chocolate notes, and a lingering finish

Main Harvest season: November to March


MONTECILLOS Coffee Region:

located in central & western Honduras encompasses the Departments of La Paz & Comayagua

Cup Profile: A coffee with a sweet and fruity fragrance, lively with bright acidity, a velvety body with notes of citrus and peach.

Main Harvest season: December to April

Economic Importance

Honduras is the 3rd largest grower of coffee in the world, behind Brazil and Vietnam. Coffee is extremely important to the Honduran economy, representing around 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and benefiting approximately 120,000 families. During the harvest season, the coffee industry employs 1 million people meaning that about 20% of the country’s population depends on coffee for their livelihood. 

Honduran farmers have been working very hard to improve the quality of their coffee. This strategy allows them to obtain higher market prices and even access specialty coffee markets and auctions; reducing the volatile effects of commodity coffee world prices. 

Denomination of Origin, DO Marcala

Since 2005, Honduran coffee grown in the Marcala region, in the Department of La Paz, has been recognized as Central America’s first “designation of origin” registry for a food item. This is a very significant milestone that allows coffee farmers in Marcala the opportunity to market their specialty coffee with the DO Seal. 

DO Marcala is defined as "a geographical indication of the name of a specific region designated to a product originating therein, and encompasses specific characteristics which are exclusive of that geographic region".

Coffee from the Marcala region features a special flavor that is truly unique. Learn more HERE

How is coffee grown in Honduras?

Diversity is the name of the game.  There are grand estates with more than 100 years of production history, and at the same time coffee producer co-ops utilizing the latest equipment and technology. From professional agronomists to self-taught small-scale farmers, everyone is bringing their own skills, ideas, and creativity to the table. Traditions, innovation, and modern technology live side by side on Honduran coffee farms.