Costa Rica Las Lajas - Finca Calle Liles


Costa Rica Las Lajas - Finca Calle Liles


Region: Sabanilla de Alajuela

Farmer: Oscar and Francisca Chacon

Finca: Calle Liles

Beneficio: Las Lajas Micromill

Elevation: 1450 meters

Varietal: Caturra, Catuai

Process: Alma Negra Natural Process

Roast Level: Light

Flavor Profile: Sweet cream, tropical fruit, cherry

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The Chacons are third generation coffee producers, committed to quality and innovation. They are best known for being among the very first to produce honey-processed coffees in Costa Rica. In 2008 when an earthquake cut off the mill's access to water, Don Oscar had heard that in Brazil and Ethiopia they used natural techniques to process coffees, so he decided with his harvest that year. Cafe Imports founder Andrew Miller visited the area around that time and was incredibly impressed with the flavor of the Chacons' coffee. He became one of their first buyers and a relationship has been maintained ever since.

The Chacons are serious about their environmental impact. Their micromill is one of the only Certified Organic mills in the area. Don Oscar saves water by using a special demucilaginator to depulp his coffee, using very little water at the mill since most of his coffees are honey or natural.

An incredible amount of detail goes into every step of their farming and processing, producing mostly honeys and naturals today. During harvesting, Dona Francisca carefully measures the Brix reading of the cherry, picking at the optimal reading of 22 percent. They use a Refractometer to keep the harvest at a uniform ripeness, which is important in producing high quality naturals and honeys. He believes the drying curve has a large impact on a coffee, wanting drying to happen slowly to increase the sweetness in the bean. They use three types of natural processes, depending on the weather on the day the coffee is harvested (Perla Negra, Alma Negra, or Diamonda Negra). For this microlot, the Alma Negra natural process is used. Drying starts on the patio, then the coffee is piled overnight and spread out in the sun during the day.