Nestled in the heart of Central America, Honduras is a country rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Known for its lush rainforests, ancient Mayan ruins, and vibrant biodiversity, Honduras also holds a less heralded, yet equally remarkable treasure – its coffee.
In this post, we explore the 6 best Honduran coffee brands that not only offer exceptional flavors but also embody the spirit and resilience of this captivating nation.
Additionally, our detailed buyer’s guide is included to assist you in understanding the subtleties of these lesser-known treasures.
This will ensure that your next coffee is not only enjoyable but also made with well-informed choices.
6 Best Honduran Coffee Brands: At A Glance
- Fresh Roasted Coffee Honduran Marcala: Best Overall
- Subtle Earth Organic Coffee Honduran Marcala: Runner-Up
- Van Houtte Honduras Extra Bold Coffee K Cups: Best For Keurig Lovers
- Clean Coffee Co. Honduran El Jaguar
- Crazy Fresh Honduran Santa Rosa
- Cafe Oro Coffee From Honduras
1. Fresh Roasted Coffee Honduran Marcala: Best Overall
Our top recommendation for Honduran coffee is the delightful Honduran Marcala from Fresh Roasted Coffee.
These Arabica beans, sourced from Marcala, are available as a whole bean or pre-ground medium roast.
You have the option to purchase them in sizes ranging from a handy 12-ounce bag to larger two or five-pound bags, all sealed for freshness.
What sets the Honduran Marcala apart is its certification as both fair trade and organic, ensuring ethical sourcing and natural growing methods.
The flavor profile is a delightful journey, starting with nutty notes and bright hints characteristic of Honduran beans, followed by a smooth, sugary-sweet milk chocolate taste.
The experience is rounded off with a zesty lemon wedge finish, without the harsh acidity or bitter aftertaste often found in other coffees.
Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Honduran Marcala supports local communities by growing these beans without chemicals.
You can find this coffee on their website or other online platforms like Amazon.
While the packaging suggests a bold body, our experience leans more towards a milder, yet equally satisfying, body.
- Fair Trade and Organic: Ethical sourcing and natural cultivation.
- Flavor Profile: Nutty notes with milk chocolate sweetness and a lemon wedge finish.
- Freshness: Comes with a seal to keep beans fresh until the last cup.
- Variety of Sizes: Available in 12-ounce, two-pound, and five-pound bags.
- Chemical-Free Cultivation: Supports local communities, grown without harsh chemicals.
- Versatility: Available in whole beans and pre-ground formats.
- Accessibility: Easily purchasable online, including on Amazon.
- Mild Body: Despite packaging suggesting a bold body, the actual taste is milder.
2. Subtle Earth Organic Coffee Honduran Marcala: Runner-Up
Our next pick from Honduras is the Subtle Earth Organic Coffee, also from the Marcala region.
This coffee, made from 100% Arabica beans, boasts an organic certification by the CCOF.
It’s celebrated for its rich, full-bodied, chocolatey flavor paired with a clean finish and low acidity, making it an excellent choice for cold brews.
Its milk chocolate notes and deep flavor profile create a luxurious, sweet aftertaste and a velvety body.
Subtle Earth delights the palate with a clean mouthfeel, complemented by hints of honey, caramel, and cocoa.
Available in Light, Medium-Dark, and Dark roasts, these Arabica beans are GMO-free and grown without any chemicals.
It’s worth noting that these beans have a lower caffeine content than typical coffee.
For freshness, we recommend transferring the coffee to a sealable container after opening.
While its low acidity ensures a non-bitter taste, some may find the overall mouthfeel slightly more subtle compared to other beans from Marcala.
- Organic Certification: Certified by CCOF, ensuring quality and sustainability.
- Rich Flavor Profile: Deep, chocolaty flavor with a clean finish and low acidity.
- Ideal for Cold Brew: Rich milk chocolate notes make it perfect for cold brewing.
- Velvety Body: Offers a sweet aftertaste and a luxurious, velvety mouthfeel.
- Variety of Roasts: Available in Light, Medium-Dark, and Dark roasts.
- GMO-Free: Arabica beans are grown without genetic modification.
- Chemical-Free Cultivation: Beans are cultivated without harmful chemicals.
- Packaging: May require transfer to a sealable container for optimal freshness.
3. Van Houtte Honduras Extra Bold Coffee K Cups: Best For Keurig Lovers
For Keurig users who love the convenience of K-Cups and want to savor Honduran coffee, Van Houtte’s Honduras Extra Bold Coffee K-Cups could be your ideal choice.
These K-Cups are celebrated for their unique velvet and woodsy flavor, a hit among coffee lovers.
The blend is extra-bold and intense, which might be a bit strong for casual coffee drinkers.
One thing to note with K-Cups is that you don’t get to adjust the water-to-coffee ratio, making the boldness more pronounced.
Van Houtte’s Honduras Coffee is characterized by its soft aroma and gentle acidity, topped with sweet notes.
They are available in different pack sizes including 24, 36, and 72 counts, compatible with all Keurig K-Cup brewers.
Made from 100% pure Arabica beans, these K-Cups offer a rich and fulfilling coffee experience.
- Convenient: Designed for Keurig users, offering quick and easy preparation.
- Unique Flavor: Velvety and woodsy taste, appealing to enthusiasts.
- Extra-Bold: Intense and robust flavor for those who prefer stronger coffee.
- Variety in Pack Sizes: Available in 24, 36, and 72 counts.
- 100% Arabica Beans: Ensures a rich and high-quality coffee experience.
- Compatible with Keurig Brewers: Designed to work with all Keurig K-Cup brewers.
- Potentially Too Strong: Might be overly intense for average coffee drinkers.
4. Clean Coffee Co. Honduran El Jaguar
Clean Coffee Co.’s Honduran El Jaguar offers a unique single-origin coffee experience, boasting both toxin-free and antioxidant-rich properties.
Available in both whole bean and ground forms, this coffee is sourced from the La Cooperativa de Horticultores Siguatepeque Limitada (COHORSIL), a cooperative established in 1980 by vegetable farmers.
What sets Honduran El Jaguar apart is its Rainforest Alliance certification, ensuring environmentally friendly production standards.
The beans are carefully hand-picked, washed, and sun-dried before packaging, resulting in a coffee that has a smooth finish and a rich flavor profile, with delightful notes of orange, caramel, and cocoa nibs.
It’s particularly suitable for those who prefer low-acid coffee, offering a smooth taste and easy digestion.
In addition to being free from agrichemicals and over 150 different toxins, it’s packed with chlorogenic acid, which is known for its potential health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, various cancers, and Parkinson’s disease.
However, during our tasting, we found it to be somewhat bland and lacking in robust flavor.
If you’re in search of a stronger coffee, this might not be your ideal choice.
- Single-Origin and Toxin-Free: Ensures high-quality and health-conscious coffee.
- Rich in Antioxidants: Contains chlorogenic acid, beneficial for health.
- Environmentally Friendly: Rainforest Alliance certified, promoting sustainable practices.
- Versatile Forms: Available in both whole bean and ground.
- Hand-Picked and Sun-Dried: Ensures quality in processing.
- Smooth and Rich Flavor: Notes of orange, caramel, and cocoa nibs.
- Low-Acid: Suitable for those who prefer smoother, gentler coffee.
- Mild Taste: Might be too bland for those seeking a strong flavor.
5. Crazy Fresh Honduran Santa Rosa
Crazy Fresh Coffee brings you their Honduran Santa Rosa, a delightful light-medium roast coffee known for its smooth, fresh, and rich taste.
This coffee shines with the natural flavors of milk chocolate and caramel.
Roasted to a “full city” or medium level, it strikes the perfect balance, avoiding the pitfalls of under or over-roasting.
This brew is crafted from 100% pure roasted Arabica beans, free from additives or artificial flavors.
Sourced from family farmers in their 4th to 6th generations, the coffee is roasted in small batches in the USA.
This process ensures maximum freshness and flavor preservation.
The Santa Rosa variety offers just the right amount of bitterness, complemented by a subtle acidity.
It’s also great for making a tasty cold brew, thanks to its crisp and bright character.
Available in larger 2 or 5-pound bags, Crazy Fresh’s Honduran coffee is ideal for those who like to stock up.
The beans are packed in a resealable bag with a valve, keeping them fresh by protecting against light and moisture.
However, it’s worth noting that this coffee isn’t organic, a factor that might be important to some coffee enthusiasts.
- Smooth and Rich Flavor: Natural tones of milk chocolate and caramel.
- Balanced Roasting: Medium roast profile ensures a balanced taste.
- 100% Pure Arabica Beans: Free from additives and artificial flavors.
- Freshness: Roasted in small batches for maximum flavor preservation.
- Perfect Bitterness: Adequate bitterness without being overwhelming.
- Versatile Use: Suitable for both hot coffee and cold brew.
- Generous Quantities: Available in 2 or 5 pound bags.
- Resealable Packaging: Keeps beans fresh by protecting against light and moisture.
- Not Organic: This may not meet the preferences of those seeking organic products.
6. Cafe Oro Coffee From Honduras
Cafe Oro is a celebrated coffee brand from Honduras, famous for its smooth yet robust flavor.
This brand prides itself on using only the best coffee grains, processed through the wet method, which is known for producing mild or washed coffees.
The result is a strong, rich, and silky smooth coffee that stands out for its lack of bitterness, a common trait in many regular coffee brands.
Available in ground form, Cafe Oro is often referred to as the “Golden Coffee” because of its strong color.
The brand collaborates with a variety of coffee producers in Honduras, earning recognition for its quality and delightful taste.
Typically sold in 16-ounce packages, Cafe Oro is a favorite among those who value high-quality coffee.
However, finding detailed information about this coffee can be challenging.
There’s limited information available, both online and on the product’s packaging, regarding its ingredients and origins.
From what is available, it’s understood that the beans include sugar, and the coffee is not organic.
Additionally, customers may find it difficult to locate roast-by or expiration dates on the packaging, which could be a consideration for those who prefer fresher coffee.
- Smooth Blend: Known for its silky smooth texture.
- Strong Flavor: Offers a rich and robust coffee experience.
- Quality Beans: Uses the best-harvested grains, processed using the wet method.
- Less Bitterness: Lacks the usual bitterness found in regular coffee brands.
- Appealing Color: Known as “Golden Coffee” for its strong color.
- High-Quality Reputation: Recognized for its quality and delicious flavor.
- Popular Packaging Size: Commonly sold in convenient 16-ounce packages.
- Not Organic: The coffee is not certified organic.
- Contains Sugar: Beans are made with added sugar.
- Roast and Expiration Date: Often missing roast-by or expiration dates on packaging.
The Rich History of Honduran Coffee
Honduran coffee boasts a storied past, tracing back to as early as the 1700s when coffee exportation began.
Fast forward to the present, and Honduras has emerged as a key player in the Latin American coffee industry, rivaling renowned producers like Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Colombia.
The country’s coffee industry is a cornerstone of its economy, with over 120,000 coffee farms making up a third of its agricultural GDP.
Known for its robust and distinctive flavors, Honduran coffee is often characterized as full-bodied, sweet, fruity, and well-balanced.
This unique taste is largely attributed to the high-altitude conditions where it’s grown, a factor that significantly influences its flavor profile.
Particularly noted for its sweetness, Honduran coffee is a favorite in espresso-based beverages.
In recent years, Honduras has focused increasingly on producing specialty and differentiated coffees.
This shift towards high-quality, specialty exports reflects a growing commitment to elevating the country’s coffee reputation.
Honduran coffee is cultivated across six primary regions, each contributing its own unique taste and aroma, further enriching the diversity of coffee that Honduras has to offer.
A Tour of the Honduras Coffee Regions
Honduras, celebrated for its exquisite coffee, is home to six distinct coffee-growing regions.
Each region offers a unique taste profile and micro-climate, contributing to the country’s rich coffee diversity.
Nestled in the western part of Honduras, bordering Guatemala and El Salvador, this region includes Copán, Ocotepeque, and parts of Santa Barbara.
The dominant coffee varietals here are Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai.
Coffees from Copán are renowned for their sweet taste, with delightful notes of chocolate and caramel.
Situated in southwest Honduras, Montecillos is another hub for Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai varietals.
The coffee here is celebrated for its fruity essence blended with chocolate and vanilla tones.
In the northwest, Opalaca stands out for producing high-quality coffee.
Like its counterparts, it focuses on Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai varietals.
The coffee here is known for its complex flavor profile, mingling chocolate, vanilla, and fruit notes.
This region, located in the north and east, grows Bourbon, Typica, and Caturra varietals.
Agalta’s coffee boasts a sweet flavor with harmonious notes of chocolate, vanilla, and fruit.
Central-western Honduras is the home of Comayagua, where Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai are predominant.
The region’s coffee is known for its balanced flavor profile, featuring chocolate, vanilla, and fruit.
In the southeast, El Paraíso’s coffee, primarily from Bourbon, Caturra, and Catuai varietals, offers a complex flavor profile with chocolate, vanilla, and fruit notes.
Honduran coffees are generally cultivated at high altitudes, between 1,000 to 1,600 meters, which plays a crucial role in shaping their unique flavors and aromas.
The harvest season extends from November to April, meaning the optimal time to purchase Honduran coffee falls between December and May.
Honduran Coffee Flavors
Honduran coffee is celebrated for its diverse flavor profiles, shaped by the region and micro-climate where it’s grown.
Common across these varieties is a pronounced sweetness, well-balanced acidity, and a full, rounded body.
The tasting notes often span a spectrum of delightful flavors, including caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and hazelnut.
Here’s a closer look at the distinct flavor profiles from various regions:
- Copan: This region is renowned for its pronounced sweetness, enriched with chocolate and caramel notes, and often accompanied by a citrus zing.
- Agalta: Here, you’ll find a harmonious blend of caramel, chocolate, and fruity flavors, creating a rich and complex profile.
- El Paraiso: Notable for its fruity essence with an interesting twist of jasmine.
- Montecillos, Opalaca, and El Paraiso: These areas are known for producing some of the fruitiest coffee varieties, where the sweetness and fruitiness really stand out.
- Comayagua: This region is distinguished by its citrus notes, coupled with a subtle acidity.
When it comes to the coffee varietals, Bourbon is often the most sought-after Arabica variety, but you’ll also find Caturra, Typica, Pacas, and IHCAFE 90 in Honduras.
It’s noteworthy that IHCAFE 90, a hybrid developed by the Instituto Hondureño del Café (IHCAFE), is generally considered a lower-quality variety.
The flavor profiles can further vary depending on the specific farm.
However, the most common and beloved flavors in many Honduran coffee brands tend to be rich chocolate and caramel, often accentuated with hints of honey or cinnamon.
Understanding the Honduran Coffee Grading System
The grading of Honduran coffees is intricately tied to the altitude at which they are cultivated.
This system, akin to those used in El Salvador and Guatemala, classifies coffees based on the elevation of their growth.
One of the key categories in this grading system is “Strictly High Grown” (SHG), reserved for coffees grown at altitudes above 1,200 meters above sea level.
In Honduras, coffee varieties include traditional Arabicas like Bourbon and Typica, as well as Caturra. Among these, the SHG grade is particularly coveted.
Being grown at higher altitudes allows these beans to absorb more minerals and nutrients, contributing to a richer and more robust flavor profile.
This makes SHG coffees a top choice for those seeking the finest quality in their Honduran coffee experience.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Honduran Coffee
When delving into the world of Honduran coffee, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you’re getting the best experience.
Honduran coffee is known for its rich flavors and diverse profiles, but knowing what to look for can significantly enhance your coffee experience.
Here’s a guide to help you make an informed choice.
Origin and Single-Origin
Honduran coffee often boasts a unique flavor profile depending on its region of cultivation.
Look for single-origin labels, which indicate that the coffee is sourced from a specific region in Honduras.
This not only supports local farmers but also guarantees a distinct flavor characteristic of that area.
The roast level significantly impacts the coffee’s flavor.
Light roasts typically have a milder flavor and higher acidity, while dark roasts offer a stronger, more robust taste.
Medium roasts are a balance between the two, often highlighting the coffee’s true flavor profile.
Honduran coffees can vary greatly in roast, so choose according to your taste preference.
Most high-quality Honduran coffees are Arabica, known for their sweet, soft taste and higher acidity.
Robusta, on the other hand, is stronger and more bitter.
Always check the bean type to match your flavor preference.
Fair Trade and Organic Certification
Fair Trade certification ensures that the farmers receive fair compensation.
Organic certification guarantees the coffee is grown without harmful chemicals.
These certifications not only support ethical farming practices but often lead to a higher quality product.
Always check the roast date.
The fresher the coffee, the better the flavor.
Ideally, coffee should be consumed within a few weeks of its roast date to enjoy its full flavor profile.
Packaging and Storage
Good packaging is crucial to maintain freshness.
Look for airtight containers or bags with valves that release gases but prevent air from entering.
Avoid clear packaging as light can deteriorate the quality of the beans.
Honduran coffee can range from fruity and light to rich and chocolatey.
Pay attention to the flavor notes listed on the packaging.
Whether you prefer a sweet, citrusy cup or a rich, chocolatey brew, there’s a Honduran coffee that will suit your taste.
Acidity and Body
Acidity can bring brightness to coffee, while the body refers to its weight and feel in your mouth.
Honduran coffees often strike a good balance between the two, but personal preference should guide your choice.
The caffeine content can vary.
Lighter roasts generally have more caffeine than darker roasts.
If caffeine sensitivity is an issue, look for a lighter roast or a brand that specifies lower caffeine levels.
While price doesn’t always equate to quality, extremely cheap options might be indicative of lower-quality beans or unethical farming practices.
Consider investing a bit more for a significantly better coffee experience.
The Verdict: What Is The Best Honduran Coffee?
Our top pick, Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Honduran Marcala, stands out for its exceptional balance of flavor and sustainability.
This coffee impresses with its rich, chocolatey notes and a smooth, well-rounded profile.
It’s not only organic and fair trade but also maintains freshness with its special packaging.
The versatility in formats (whole bean and ground) and sizes makes it a perfect choice for a wide range of coffee enthusiasts.
As our runner-up, Subtle Earth Organic Coffee’s Honduran Marcala offers a harmonious blend of flavor and eco-conscious practices.
This coffee shines with its deep, fruity tones layered with chocolate and vanilla.
It’s organic, providing a guilt-free, delightful coffee experience.
Though it may have a milder taste compared to our top pick, it still holds its own with its rich flavor profile and commitment to organic farming.
Does Honduras have good coffee?
Absolutely! Honduras is renowned for producing some of the finest coffee in the world.
The country’s unique climate, fertile soil, and meticulous cultivation methods contribute to high-quality beans that are appreciated globally for their exceptional flavor profiles.
What are the characteristics of Honduran coffee?
Honduran coffee is generally known for its robust sweetness, well-balanced acidity, and a rounded body.
The flavor notes often include a delightful mix of caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and sometimes fruity or nutty undertones.
The coffee is typically grown at high altitudes, which imparts unique flavor qualities to the beans.
Why is Honduran coffee so good?
Honduran coffee’s excellence stems from several factors.
The country’s ideal coffee-growing conditions, such as altitude, climate, and soil, play a significant role.
Additionally, the expertise of Honduran coffee farmers in cultivating and processing coffee beans contributes to its high quality.
The focus on sustainable and artisanal farming techniques further enhances the flavor and quality of the coffee.
Does Starbucks use Honduran coffee?
Yes, Starbucks does use Honduran coffee in some of its blends.
Honduras is one of the many countries from which Starbucks sources its coffee beans, acknowledging the high quality and unique flavor profile that Honduran coffee offers.
Is Honduras coffee Arabica or Robusta?
Most Honduran coffee is Arabica.
The country is known for growing high-quality Arabica beans, which are favored for their sweet, soft taste and higher acidity compared to Robusta beans.
Arabica beans from Honduras are particularly esteemed in the specialty coffee market for their rich and diverse flavor profiles.