Costa Rica is a small country but the diversity of climates found there and their impact on coffee production has led to a thriving coffee trade with a great reputation for quality. The first coffee was grown in the Central Valley, a lush, fertile region influenced by Atlantic weather patterns – and this is where Las Lajas coffee, which we have been buying since 2017, is grown by the Chacón family. 6 farms , owned by six brothers and together comprising 73ha and a mill are located in the town of Sabanilla de Alajuela, on the slopes of the Poás volcano. The mill stands at 1,300 masl and the farms above at 1,450-1,500 masl. The mill, which produces about 2,000 exportable bags per year, is owned and run by Oscar Chacón and his wife Francisca, with help from their four children, the eldest of whom took the second level of the Q Processing course in 2020. The Chacón farms are mostly run along organic farming principles. However, organic principles have remained fundamental to their farming philosophy, with a chemical-free production process, pulp from the mill being used to make compost for the coffee plants, and processes that use only one cubic meter of water per day.
This coffee has been processed according to the Perla Negra (natural) method at the Chacón Solano Family’s Las Lajas micromill. The farm has since refined the process, and today they produce unusually delicate and consistent natural coffees made possible only by the rigorous standards and strict control over processing that the mill implements. Only the ripest and most perfect cherries are processed using to the ‘Perla Negra’ method. After delivery to the mill, the cherries are soaked in clean water to remove any debris or dirt. They are then immediately delivered to African beds (raised beds) or patios, where they are slowly dried for between 15 to 22 days. Due to the exacting demands of the process, a maximum of 10% of the farm’s annual production is processed as Perla Negra.
About this coffee
Cupping score: 88.00
Farm: Las Lajas
Farmer: Chacón Family
Region: Central Valley
Altitude: 1450 – 1500 MASL
Variety: catuai, caturra
Processing: natural – perla negra
Catuai – A compact plant with high yielding potential of standard quality in Central America. Very high susceptibility to coffee leaf rust.
Caturra – Caturra is a natural hybrid of Bourbon, one of the world’s most culturally and genetically important varieties of arabica coffee.
Natural sundried, also called “natural process” or “dry process,” means drying coffee cherries whole without the intervention of water or machines to remove any of the fruit. Prior to drying, the cherries are picked, floated in water, and sorted to remove any under-ripe or overripe fruit.