Bright & Lively
About this coffee
A farm of near legendary status, Las Lajas has been producing coffee since 1840. Nestled in the foothills of the Poas volcano in the Sabanilla of Alajuela region of Costa Rica, the farm has been passed down from generation to generation. Oscar Chacon and his wife Francisca currently head the farm and are the third generation of coffee producers preserving the legacy of Las Lajas.
In 2000, Las Lajas became one of the first farms in Costa Rica to be officially certified organic—the history of their organic practices, however, stretches back to 1980, the year that Oscar’s father passed away due to pesticide-related illnesses. Despite there being no premiums paid at the time for organic coffee, Oscar and Francisca knew they needed to make the change to organic and sustainable farming for the health and longevity of both their family and Las Lajas. They have been champions of organic farming ever since.
In recent years, the Chacóns have made a name for themselves as some of the first farmers to push the boundaries of natural and honey-processing in Costa Rica and Central America. Their revered micromill opened in 2006, producing 25 bags of coffee; today, the popularity of their coffee has seen production rise over 2000 bags a year.
Oscar likes to compare himself to roasters or baristas when it comes to drying and processing. He is precise, meticulous and data-driven, and, like roasters, he has finely 'dialed-in' his processing to produce the immaculately clean and expressive naturals and honeys that have built a reputation. At Las Lajas, 38 hectares of land are divided into separate parcels, each of which grow various shade trees, creating unique micro-climates. From growing to processing, Oscar and Francisca run a truly diverse farming operation at Las Lajas, allowing for unique, terroir-driven coffees that can’t be found anywhere else.
Honey processed coffees are not what it sounds like. No, coffees are not mixed with honey, but instead honey processing gets its name from the thick and 'honey-like' substance and consistency the mucilage produces while drying. It's a tricky processing method that oftentimes doesn't result favorable flavors, or doesn't result in any noticeable differences from its washed counterpart. But when it's done correctly, like the Chacons have dialed in, the results are stunning.
The process begins much like washed coffee, where the cherries are depulped, but then the process is halted. Instead of being sent down to fermentation tanks where yeast and microbes help break down the sticky mucilage, the honey processed coffee is sent straight to drying beds, where the mucilage is left on to stick to coffees. This leaves some of the coffee fruit left partially on, imparting some sugars (sucrose and fructose) as it continues to ferment.
The Honey lot is composed of Caturra, Catuai, Bourbon, Villa Sarchi, SL 28, Kenya, and Obata varieties. The mill is located in the Desengaño slump, formed by the Barva and Poas volcanos. During the harvest season, cold winds unique to the area pass through, creating a special microclimate that aids in flavor development during honey processing.
This is truly a special coffee. We hope you enjoy!
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