Honduras coffee is the ultimate underdog in the coffee industry. Traditionally, it received little celebration. There's always been a lot of competition out there from other coffee producers. It was usually reserved for the base in blends, rather than for the main attraction.
Things have turned around for coffee from Honduras fairly recently. It is finally getting the recognition it deserves! Let's see how everything changed. I recommend you buy Honduran coffee to make your own judgment.
Honduras has earned itself the title "The Most Dangerous Country on the Planet" in the media. But it does make great coffee! It borders on the countries of Nicaragua and Guatemala, both producers of good quality coffee beans.
Coffee cultivation made its impact on the country, paving the way for a possibly brighter future. In the face of violence and poverty, coffee became an important source of income for Honduras. In 2009, following a political coup, the country faced bankruptcy. The government discovered that coffee crops could generate employment and much-needed hard currency.
Let's go back to the beginning. Traders brought coffee to Honduras in the 18th century. By the 19th century, a few small-scale farmers dabbled with the crop. It didn't get a name for itself yet, with bananas being the number one Honduras export crop. Large-scale cultivation kick-started during the late 20th century.
Things haven't been plain sailing since then. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated the country. It lost 80% of its agriculture and many coffee growers chose to smuggle their beans over to Guatemala. There, they fetched higher prices, but Honduras received none of the benefits or the credit. The effects of this lasted for a few years, and lots of "Guatemalan coffee" actually came from Honduras.
The Industry Today
All of the histories of Honduras coffee has led to this point today. Now, the country takes the title of being the 7th largest grower of coffee on the planet.
You can be sure that you get just what you pay for. Coffee beans from this country are wet-processed before they are graded based on their quality. This grade takes into account the growing altitude and it looks like this:
Coffee beans grown at higher altitude are generally considered to be of better taste and quality. Higher up, temperatures are usually cooler and this allows for a slower maturation process. The slow cycle gives the sugars more time to develop, giving richer and deeper flavors. That being said, some of the world's best coffee is grown at less than 2,000 feet. (I'm talking about Hawaiian Kona coffee here, guys!)
Most of the coffee grown in Honduras comes from classic Arabica varieties, the "old Arabicas". This includes varieties like Bourbon and Typica. The result is a straightforward, perhaps predictable cup. Honduras farmers tend not to experiment with more modern types of coffee development. The consumer gets a distinctive, recognizable and classic cup of coffee.
The Honduras coffee flavor profile is an attractive one. It's easy to see why consumers are now seeking out the little brown beans. Here's what you can expect when you brew a cup of coffee from this controversial country:
Still looking for some reasons to buy Honduran coffee? Honduras is a major game player in the coffee industry, and here's why you should jump on the hype.
A cup of Honduras coffee comes with a complex story and challenged history. The taste of those classic Arabica beans may be predictable, but the story sure isn't!
Coffee from Honduras has only recently emerged for its high quality, and I'm confident that it still has a long way to go. Honduras coffee beans have been proven to be some of the best. Now it's time for the public to jump on board!