Dona Francisca and Don Oscar Chacon of Las Lajas micromill are third-generation coffee producers in their family. They inherited their farms from their grandparents, and are known for being among the first to process high-quality Honeys and Naturals in Central America, and for participating in the Cup of Excellence auction in 2009.
Las Lajas is an organic micromill located in Sabanilla de Alajuela in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica. Organic coffee in Costa Rica is almost nonexistent, and with this caliber of cup makes it one of a kind; they believe in the preservation of the environment hence their organic practices. Las Lajas processes coffee from their family farms’; these lots are fully traceable and separated by day. Water use is minimal, since the coffee is not washed. During the harvest, Francisca will measure the Brix content in the coffee cherry to determine the optimal time to pick the coffee. 21–22% Brix content has been the maximum they’ve seen.
Las Lajas carries several distinct processes from this mill.
Yellow Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee turned hourly on the bed
Red Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee several times a day on the bed (less frequently than Yellow Honey)
Black Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee turned only once per day
Perla Negra: Natural process, coffee is turned normally on raised beds
Alma Negra: Natural process, coffee turned only a few times a day on raised beds
(The honey process of leaving 100% of the mucilage on in all "levels" of honey is distinctive to Las Lajas. This just shows that terminology can mean various things region to region and farm to farm.)
Café Imports is excited to bring you, once again, high-quality and traceable microlots from Costa Rica.
Café Imports bought its first Costa Rica microlot container at the end of the 2006/2007 harvest; at that time, microlot offerings were basically nonexistent. In six years, the Costa Rican microlot market has grown, and now Costa Rica is one of the most popular origins, delivering very consistent quality year after year.
The Costas Café Imports is carrying are all sourced directly from micromills, and producers were paid at the farm-gate level. We managed local transportation, dry-milling, consolidation, and exportation of the coffees. This experience is extremely valuable, as it gives us a better understanding of what it takes to get coffee from cherry to export quality in GrainPro and jute with its corresponding marks.
— Piero Cristiani