Coffee Origin: Honduras

Country Overview

Coffee Production Size 2018

390 000 tonnes

Coffee Production Global Ranking 2018


Key Regions

Agalta, Comayagua, Copan, El Paraiso, Montecillios, and Opalaca

Harvest Period

December to April

Most Common Cultivars

Lempira, IHCAFE-90, Red Catuai, Bourbon and Caturra

Most Common Processing



The microclimates of Honduras are among the most ideal for growing coffee in Central America. When you visit the farms there, you can understand why - the weather that rolls in over El Salvador from the Pacific supplies steady moisture and shades the trees from the sun. There, the well-nourished cherries are allowed to ripen slowly, producing coffee that is highly developed and complex. 

These conditions are perfect for growing coffee, but they make drying a challenge. Elevated rainfall levels mean that producers have to build covered drying beds in order to process their coffee properly. For many farmers, this is no easy task - Honduras is the second poorest country in Central America, and the dire economic situation there makes it difficult for producers to invest in their farms. This challenge means the best coffee tends to come from the most resourceful and experimental producers.

History of Coffee

Coffee arrived in Honduras around the turn of the 19th century, but went largely uncultivated as the nation endured severe political unrest. The next 150 years would see Honduras pass from the Mexican Empire to the Federal Republic of Central America before falling under the control of US fruit corporations. (The term “banana republic” actually derives from this tragic era in Honduran history.) 

It wasn’t until Juan Manuel Gálvez’s presidency in the early 1950s that coffee began to be seen as a valuable export. Countries like Guatemala and El Salvador quickly became famous around the world for their high quality coffee, overshadowing the slower progress coffee was making in Honduras. While Honduras had the ideal soil and climate to grow great coffee, it lacked the infrastructure that was necessary to take advantage of it. 

Eventually, though, the country built the infrastructure it needed, and went on to found the Honduran Coffee Institute (IHCAFE) in the 1970s. The IHCAFE is responsible for releasing new coffee cultivars to the nation’s farmers, including the extremely popular Lempira and IHCAFE-90. Those cultivars helped Honduran producers survive the roya fungus crisis that destroyed countless plantations across Latin America, and gave them crucial tools to start creating specialty coffee. Today, Honduras exports more coffee than its neighbours, and its farms are internationally lauded for their quality, winning some of the highest scores in Cup of Excellence competitions. 

Kiss the Hippo & Honduras

In 2019, Honduras became the second country that we buy coffee from directly. We wanted to start working with Honduras early because we recognize the remarkable potential of the land there. That potential is currently being met by a number of ambitious coffee producers who strive to create coffee that is truly special. Farms we work with in Honduras include: La Cumbre, La Diana Montecellos, the El Jilgero Co-operative, and Cerro Azul.

← Older Post Newer Post →

Recent Posts