May 22, 2017

A Specialty Coffee Shop Tour of Copán, Honduras


Honduras! This small yet beautiful country has become a fantastic source of specialty coffee for the world. In fact, it’s the largest exporter of coffee in Central America. But it’s not just its coffee beans that have gained worldwide recognition – it’s also the plentiful tourist activities.

Today, I’m taking a look at two cities in western Honduras: Copán Ruinas and Santa Rosa de Copán. Two charming travel destinations, they offer plenty to see and do. Copán Ruinas is also the location of two famous Mayan archeological sites. And, what’s more, you’ll find great coffee in both these spots.

In fact, Copán is one of Honduras’ six coffee-producing regions, known for its beans’ sustained aftertaste, round body, chocolate notes, and balance. So if you’re looking for an exceptional coffee, worry not! I’ve hunted down six must-visit cafés, so you can try an exquisite cup of local brew.

Spanish Version: Un​ ​Recorrido​ ​por​ ​las​ ​Tiendas​ ​de​ ​Café​ ​Especial​ ​​ ​de​ ​Copán,​ ​Honduras 

copan honduras

The Mayan ballcourt in Copán. Credit: Adalberto H. Vega

Why These Six?

When it comes to Copán, it’s very hard to choose just six coffee shops! What’s more, it would be impossible to choose the six “best”: this is far too subjective.

So instead, I’ve picked six personal favourites. Every single one on this list is owned by a coffee producer, allowing you a real insight into Copán coffee, seed to cup. They are also located in great spots for travelers, and have good vibes for café-goers.  

That being said, getting around Copán is relatively easy, and you can find an immense variety of coffee shops in the region. If you’re traveling here, I encourage you to explore further afield as well. You might just find your own favorite coffee shop.

So, in no particular order, let’s get started.

cafe welchez copan honduras

Great coffee in Copán. Credit: Cafe Welchez

1. Café Welchez (Copán Ruinas)

Located just off the Parque Central, Café Welchez offers a beautiful city view to go with its fantastic coffee. The coffee is grown on their farm, Santa Isabel, and roasted in-house. You can also tour Santa Isabel, if you want to learn more about the coffee you’re sipping on.

They also serve a range of national and international dishes, perfect for breakfast or brunch. And if you’ve got a sweet tooth, their dessert menu won’t disappoint.

Where:On the corner of Avenida Centroamérica and Calle 18 Conejo, looking onto the Parque Central
Atmosphere:Vintage style with modern facilities, such as AC   
Espresso Machine:Rancilio
Roaster:Finca Santa Isabel/Café Welchez
Coffee Offerings:Espresso-based drinks, all using coffee from Finca Santa Isabel
Must-Try Drink:Maya Frozen (cold coffee over ice)
Food & Other Drinks:Brunch, desserts, frappes, and lassi  
Nearby Sights:The archaeology museum, cathedral, and Parque Central
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Café Welchez’s coffee and homemade desserts. Credit: Cafe Welchez

2. Café San Rafael (Copán Ruinas)

The highlight of any visit to Café San Rafael is sitting in its relaxing garden, sipping on a great coffee and nibbling on some gourmet cheese.

Established 10 years ago by a local family, the coffee house harvests, roasts, and cups their own coffee up at Hacienda San Rafael. They also produce several other artisanal foods, including Italian wine (which you can buy by the bottle in their delicatessen).

Where:Ave Centroamerica, two blocks south of Parque Central
Atmosphere:Relaxing, with quiet mornings and jazz-filled afternoons
Espresso Machine:Expobar
Roaster:Hacienda San Rafael
Coffee Offerings:Espresso-based drinks as well as manual brew methods
Must-Try Drink:Coffee infused with cardamom
Food & Other Drinks:Grilled cheese sandwiches, cheese platters, wine, frappes, and smoothies                                    
Nearby Sights:La Calle de los Artesanos
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Café San Rafael. Credit: Gisselle Guerra  

3. Casa Ixchel (Copán Ruinas)  

Relax in Casa Ixchel’s peaceful garden, as you enjoy a delightful cup of coffee from Finca San Isidro. The owners will be happy to explain how they harvest, process, and roast the coffee – and that’s not all they can tell you. They have a passion for pour over, and offer continental and vegan food offerings. Feel free to pick their brains on either topic.

You can also visit Finca San Isidro to learn about coffee processing, enjoy beautiful sunsets, and experience traditional Mayan therapies in their spa. What better way to unwind than after a hot day exploring ancient ruins?

Where:Avenida Sesesmil, a few minutes’ walk north-east of Parque Central
Atmosphere:Romantic and free-spirited
Espresso Machine:Expobar
Roaster:Casa Ixchel
Coffee Offerings:All coffee from Finca San Isidro, served as espresso-based drinks or V60
Must-Try Drink:Cascara tea
Food & Other Drinks:Frappes, teas, breakfast, and pastries
Nearby Sights:Located on the outskirts of the town, this is the perfect place to stop off on the way to/from the Mayan ruins of Copán; you can also get to Macaw Mountain and Bird Park relatively easily from here
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Belgian waffle with fruit and syrup. Credit: Casa Ixchel  

SEE ALSO: Origen San Marcos: What Are the Coffee Profiles of West Honduras?

4. Café Rural Seis Valles (Santa Rosa)

You’ll find Café Rural Seis Valles just outside of Santa Rosa, Copán’s departmental capital, on the coffee farm itself. The friendly Valle family will happily give you a tour of the farm as well as serve you food and coffee.

This is the perfect place to try traditional homemade Honduran food – whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And the coffee house itself is beautiful, thanks to its farm views.

Where:10 km outside of Santa Rosa on CA4
Atmosphere:Traditional and welcoming
Espresso Machine:Expobar
Coffee Offerings:Natural processed coffee served as espresso-based drinks
Must-Try Drink:Whichever drink you choose, savor the taste of natural processed coffee                                       
Food & Other Drinks:Traditional Honduran food, frappes, and smoothies
Nearby Sights:La Entrada, Mall UniPlaza, and of course the farm itself!
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Scenic views and delicious drinks at Café Rural Seis Valles. Credit: Sophia Valle

5. Plaza Café (Santa Rosa and Copán Ruinas)

Plaza Café is an emerging specialty coffee shop chain in Copán, with cafés in Gracias, Copán Ruinas, La Ceiba, and Santa Rosa. They produce their coffee at Finca Santa Elena, where they offer farm tours and many other outdoor activities. You can also snack on light sandwiches and pastries.

Where:Santa Rosa de Copán, Copán Ruinas, Gracias, La Ceiba
Atmosphere:Trendy and modern (has AC)
Espresso Machine:La Marzocco
Roaster:Finca Santa Elena  
Coffee Offerings:Coffee from Finca Santa Elena served as espresso-based drinks                                                      
Must-Try Drink:Cappuccino Plaza  
Food & Other Drinks:Sandwiches, pastries, and fruit smoothies.  
Nearby Sights:La Entrada and Mall UniPlaza
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The newest Plaza Café in Copán Ruinas. Credit: Gisselle Guerra

  1. Kaldi’s Koffee Shop (Santa Rosa)

Kaldi’s Koffee Shop is a street-side café right next to the Catholic cathedral at the heart of Santa Rosa. Jorge, Owner and Head Barista, is an excellent host. He’ll guide you through tasting both Honduran coffees and international ones.

But Kaldi’s isn’t just about coffee: it’s also about the atmosphere. This place regularly comes alive with Latin jazz and other live music.

Where:On a pedestrian pathway just off of Calle Real Centenario, and to the right of the cathedral     
Espresso Machine:Expobar
Coffee Offerings:Beans from across Copán and abroad
Must-Try Drink:Coffee infused with with cardamom and ginger
Food & Other Drinks:Bruschettas, frappes, and smoothies
Nearby Sights:The cathedral and Santa Rosa de Copán’s town center
coffee copan honduras

Kaldi’s Koffee sits next to the Cathedral. Credit: Kaldi’s Koffee Shop

So if you’re planning your next trip to, or within, Honduras, don’t miss out on Copán! This is a magical place: full of wildlife, rich culture, history… and the coffee won’t disappoint either.

Didn’t see your favorite Copán coffee shop on the list? Share it with us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Instagram!

Feature photo: Cathedral from the Central Plaza in Santa Rosa de Copán. Feature photo credit: Adalberto H. Vega  

All views within this opinion piece belong to the guest writer, who is a local of Copán. They do not reflect Perfect Daily Grind’s stance.

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