Although the country is relatively small, there are six distinct coffee growing regions in Honduras. As a matter of fact, coffee is grown in 15 of the 18 departments in Honduras! There are only 3 departments where coffee is not grown: Gracias a Dios, The Bay Islands and Valle, on the Pacific coast. This means that if you are visiting any of the remaining 15 departments, you will find coffee grown close to your destination!
Coffee from each of these six distinct regions has its own characteristics. They each produce high quality export coffee, and you cannot really say that one area is better than another. Yet it is true that some areas have a stronger reputation for excellent quality coffee than others.
IHCAFE, the Honduras Institute of Coffee has set apart different coffee growing regions. There is a total of six coffee growing regions in Honduras. These coffee growing regions in Honduras are the following:
- Copan Coffee Growing Region
- Opalaca Coffee Growing Region
- Montecillos Coffee Growing Region
- Comayagua Coffee Growing Region
- El Paraiso Coffee Growing Region
- Agalta Coffee Growing Region
Each of these coffee growing regions in Honduras has a unique and special characteristic. Yet there is one thing that they all have in common: they are all Arabica coffee. In addition, they are all high-altitude coffee regions. As a general rule, coffee in Honduras is planted between 1,000 and 1,600 meters above sea level (3,300 and 5300 feet above sea level). Most of the coffee in the country is shade grown. This means that there is respect for the original forest in these areas. By planting coffee under the shade of the native forests, Honduras insures a sustainable approach to coffee plantations.
There are two different forest coverages in Honduras. The broad leaf tropical rain forest dominates the Agalta coffee growing region. The Copan coffee growing region offers a combination of both broad leaf forest and pine forest. The other 4 coffee growing regions in Honduras are predominantly pine forest coverage.