Costa Rica Finca La Julia - Las Lajas MicromillContrabean Roasting Company
A new offering from the Las Lajas Micromill just landed!
Lots of berry flavor with apple cider, caramel, chocolate and citrus fruit
flavors; balanced and sweet with winey fruit acidity and a heavy
Las Lajas is an organic micromill located in Sabanilla de Alajuela in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica. It is one of the only certified organic mills in the area.
Oscar and Francisca Chacon of Las Lajas Micromill are third-generation coffee
producers who are committed to quality and innovation, and are probably best
known for being among the first to produce honey coffees in Costa Rica. The Chacons take their environmental impact very seriously.
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.
Harvesting and processing are overseen with great care by both Oscar and
Francisca: During the harvest, Francisca will measure the Brix of the cherry to
determine the optimal ripeness, and picking will begin when the Brix reads about
22°. Harvesting by Brix reading is also helpful as newer varieties sometimes ripen to different colors: Using the refractometer helps keep the harvest at uniform ripeness, which is key when producing high-quality naturals and honeys.
Las Lajas began producing honey coffees in 2008, after an earthquake cut off the mill's access to water for several weeks. Oscar had heard that in Brazil and Ethiopia they use pulped-natural and natural techniques to process coffees, so he tried it with his harvest that year. Around that same time, Cafe Imports founder and president Andrew Miller visited the area, and was so impressed by the flavor of the Chacons' coffee he became one of the first buyers of the new process. Oscar believes that just as the roast profile will change the flavor of a coffee, the drying curve also has an impact. He wants the drying to happen slowly, which means that production is necessarily limited.
For the Perla Negra processing of this natural coffee , the cherries dry directly in the sun for 10 days, rotating constantly. They are then transferred to bags and left for 2–3 days before being finished on raised beds.
This video from Cafe Imports, the importer of this wonderful coffee, provides a great overview of the Las Lajas Micromill.