- Origin: Costa Rica (Single-Origin)
- Tasting Notes: Malt chocolate, umami, clove, red grapes
- Roast Level: Light
- Cultivar: Catuai, Caturra
- Elevation: 1400 - 1600 MASL
- Producer: Francisca and Oscar Chacon
- Process: Double Anaerobic
The defining and evident thing about the work of Francisca and Oscar Chacon is earnest pride in their work. This has been the driving force behind the amazing coffees and reputation of the Las Lajas micromill for the last decade. Their micro-lots are sought after by roasters and competitors alike for their high quality, and on visiting their mill it's all clear why this reputation and pride exists. Francisca and Oscar Chacon greet you in the driveway with huge smiles and a willingness to show you their stunning operation. It all starts with their farming practices; Las Lajas is a certified organic farm. These third-generation producers focus on preserving the environment while maintaining the highest quality coffee. Their micromill is immaculately clean, keeping the processing standards they are well known for; the Chacons were some of the first to do high-quality naturals and honeys in Central America. Going into the 2020 harvest, they completed a renovation of their mill, complete with a corkscrew conveyor belt that transports depulped coffee to a custom trailer, which transports it to their drying facility. Strict size and density separation happen at the mills, even the naturals are passed through the mill to separate the less ripe and small size cherries after selective harvesting. During the challenging times of COVID-19, the Chacons made an investment in a post-harvest cherry sorter, which has aided them in the optical sorting process of sorting under ripe cherries out of their pickings before fermentation. This level of innovation is essential to who they are, as they see each challenge with a fresh perspective. During the 2008 harvest, they experienced an earthquake that cut power to their operation, rendering them unable to process cherry. Facing that challenge head on, they decided to process that harvest in full cherry fermentation, and they've been famous for naturals ever since.
The last step of quality and care takes place on the drying patios and beds. This is where we believe Las Lajas is truly advancing coffee. Oscar told us that he strives to focus on drying the green coffee the same as a roaster focuses on roasting by paying close attention to curves and data. They have become so precise in their processing that they have been able to produce several offerings under various monikers; this particular coffee is their Perla Negra, a natural-process coffee by which whole cherries are turned hourly on raised beds.