All About Coffee from Honduras
What is the history of coffee in Honduras?
The Central Bank of Honduras reports that coffee is the country's top agricultural export, with 6.1 million bags from the 2015/2016 harvest. However, low prices and a reputation for lower quality have prevented farmers from gaining the capital needed for investment. Drying is a challenging part of the processing chain that has limited Honduras' ability to become a specialty coffee origin. Some producers are turning to fully mechanical drying due to the climate, which can contribute to instability in moisture content and water activity, leading to quality concerns over time.
The Cup of Excellence and other quality competitions and auctions have inspired larger and wealthier producers to plant new varieties, improve processing, and enhance their technique and infrastructure. The increased research and extension services by IHCAFE have raised awareness of the specialty-coffee market among Honduran producers, and there is continued potential for growth as media and social media attention increases on the country.
What coffee processing methods do they use in Honduras?
The most common method of processing coffee in Honduras is the Washed process but many producers are experimenting with Natural and Honeyed processed coffees.
What are the common coffee varietals in Honduras?
In Honduras, the prevalent coffee varieties are Bourbon, Caturra, Catuai, IHCAFE 90, Lempira, Typica, and a few experimental types.
How is coffee in Honduras graded?
In Honduras, coffee is graded into three categories: SHG (Strictly High Grown), HG (High Grown), and CS (Central Standard).
Where are the most common coffee growing regions in Honduras?
Coffee is grown in 15 of Honduras' 18 departments, with the most prominent regions being Agalta, Comayagua, Copan, Mentecillos, Opalca, and El Paraiso.
When does the coffee harvest begin in Honduras?
In Honduras, the harvest period is from November to April, with the typical arrival of the coffee taking place from May to July.