One of our favourite farms in Costa Rica has once again delighted us with a fresh harvest and we can’t wait to get it into your cups. Yes, you guessed right, here comes Las Lajas again.The producer is Oscar Chacón Solano. In 1988, following the death of Oscar Chacón’s father, his legacy of 50 hectares of land was left to his six children. From that point on, the Chacón siblings decided to change their coffee production system, focusing their efforts on environmental conservation, providing stable employment for their workers, and keeping coffee culture alive in their family and community.
All the coffee processed by Las Lajas is produced by the Chacón family.The average size is 100 hectares and the average yield is 30 fanegas per hectare. The farm is situated at an altitude range of 1500 to 1700 meters above sea level. The majority of crops grown are caturra-catuaí, but over the last 5 years, they have started a renovation process, diversifying the variety of crops on the farm. The farm’s soil originates from volcanic activity. The harvesting period starts in December and ends in February.
Various tree species are used, predominantly legumes that help absorb atmospheric nitrogen and transfer it to the soil. Also, native trees from the area, such as bananas, plantains, and oranges, are used for family consumption. Their main fertilizer is a compost-like organic fertilizer, using the pulp from the coffee processing and other waste from nearby mills to create their natural fertilizer. This is further supplemented with liming amendments and minerals like K-Mag (potassium, magnesium, and sulfur). They have a 20% yearly renewal system, which includes pruning and replanting worn-out lots. The farm is continuously engaged in an agroecological process with the planting of shade trees. They currently have an average density of 50 trees per hectare.
Harvesting is done manually, with a careful selection of 100% ripe beans that contain a high degree of brix. This activity is carried out daily from December until the end of February. In addition, lots are separated by variety and farms at the mill, allowing the production of specialty micro lots.
Black Honey micro lot, it is a honey process where the red coffee beans must be pulped. Once pulped, they are moved to African beds. During the first two days, the beans are not moved, but after that, periodic movements (3 to 4 times a day) begin to decrease the coffee’s humidity. This process takes around 15 to 20 days.
Notes from our baristas:
We had been looking forward to Costa Rica for a long time and the black honey treatment made us even more excited. We set the grind coarseness a little finer than we are used to with washed coffees (2 clicks on comandante). Total extraction time on the V60 at 300ml of coffee was 2 minutes and 55 seconds. The cup of coffee was very juicy. The body was dominated by notes of hibiscus tea and a sweet cranberry flavour which slowly transitioned into notes on the finish that reminded us of the panela which we had the opportunity to taste 2 months ago in Colombia. The taste was very pleasantly reminiscent of caramelised honey. With certain extractions we were left with flavours of chocolate truffles on the finish. In short this is an ideal filter for the whole day.