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Costa Rica

Las Lajas

A rich and creamy natural by pioneering Costa Rican producers Francisca and Oscar Chacon.


  •  A base of creamy milk chocolate is joined by soft stewed red fruit and a round plum acidity.
  • Coffee expression
    A sweet & rich coffee
  • Whole Bean Coffee
    250g (8.8oz) or 1000g (35.3oz)
More
Regular price
$20.00

incl. vat/tax

Sale price
$20.00

incl. vat/tax

Regular price
$20.00
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Unit price
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Producer
The Chacon Family

Varietal
Caturra

Process
Natural

Produced by the Chacon family, one of the pioneers behind the Costa Rican Micro-Mill Revolution.

COSTA RICA

Las Lajas

Las Lajas has been a family project since 1840, being passed down through the generations until Oscar Chacon inherited 5 hectares of land when his father passed away. At only 18, Oscar initially kept the status quo, selling cherry to a local mill like many in Costa Rica at the time. After being married to Francisca in 1997, Oscar’s family was growing, and for a time cherry selling provided income and stability, but the coffee price crisis of the late 90’s and early 2000’s put a stop to this. They initially converted their entire production to organic, allowing them to demand a much higher price at the local mill, but the coffee market price continued to decline.

Together, Oscar and Francisca made the decision to process their own coffee, taking control of their own product. They were one of the driving forces behind a wider movement in Costa Rica, known as the micro-mill revolution, where many producers built their own small mills and began to process small traceable lots of coffee. At a time when the speciality coffee movement was in its infancy, this completely revolutionised the Costa Rican coffee market, creating somewhat of a mecca for these early speciality buyers. From this point, Oscar and Francisca’s attention to detail and entrepreneurial spirit led to an upwards trajectory for the project, creating new processes, separating and cultivating new varietals.

They were in fact one of the first producers to process natural coffees in Costa Rica after a 2008 earthquake led to power outages and a patchy water supply. This gave rise to their now well known ‘Perla Negra’ process, one seen in barista competitions around the world. Initially named for the small ‘black pearls’ created when coffee cherries shrivel and dry on patios, this is an exacting and careful example of natural processing, by one of the pioneers of the method. First, the cherries are floated to remove low density and defective seeds. Francisca feels that when coffee is dried in direct sun on a patio, it dries too fast and loses its brightness and liveliness, so Perla Negra lots are dried under plastic drying tunnels. In the humid Costa Rican harvest season, this creates an almost sauna effect, so the tunnels are removed at intervals to allow the moisture to evaporate. After 5 days of this cycling, the coffee is moved to raised drying beds inside an open ventilated greenhouse, lengthening the overall drying time and leading to an even moisture content; allowing more intense and distinct flavours in the cup. This leads to a particularly clean cup profile, but with the layers of complexity and richness that we value in naturals. Here, we’re finding a deep and creamy milk chocolate base, with soft stewed red fruit and a round plum acidity.

Their exacting ‘Black Pearl’ natural process leads to a very clean cup.

COSTA RICA

Central Valley

We buy coffees from a long spine of Costa Rica, running through the country’s capital San Jose. This spine is famous for high quality coffee production the world over, resulting in high prices for farmers. One of the reasons for this is plentiful high altitude, the Talamanca Sierra runs through the region, with peaks of above 3000 masl. This spine is split into 3 regions, the West Valley and Central Valley to the north of San Jose, and Tarrazu to the south. In all of these areas, but especially in Tarrazu, agriculture and coffee growing is a main employer, vital to the economy. In fact, the population of Tarrazu is multiplied by three during harvest season, when workers flock to the region for the high wages paid to skilled pickers. The entire spine is mainly of volcanic origin, helping to provide fertile soils conducive to the production of consistently high scoring coffees, which we keep going back for.

Technical Data

  • Producer

    The Chacon Family
  • Region

    Central Valley
  • Altitude

    1500 masl
  • Varietal

    Caturra
  • Process

    Natural
  • Harvest

    March 2021

Natural Process

The natural, or dry process, is the traditional process, going back generations. When accomplished in a controlled and careful manner, dry processed coffees can produce flavour experiences not found in wet processed coffees, deep fruits and florals, normally with heavier mouthfeel and lower acidity. The cherries are first sorted, and then laid out on in thin layers (2-6 cm) on raised drying beds. These are almost always used for high quality naturals, as they aid airflow around the coffee as it dries, enabling more even drying. 

It is very important that coffees are sorted very carefully early on in the drying process, as all of the cherries quickly turn dark brown, making it impossible to separate under and overripe cherries. The cherries are turned frequently to avoid mold formation or over-fermentation, until they reach a moisture content of below 20%, and the outer cherry layer shrinks and blackens. This process takes between 2 and 4 weeks, depending on weather conditions.


Opening Hours

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La Cabra - Sharjah

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United Arab Emirates

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Graven 20

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 08:00 - 18:00

Sun: 09:00 - 17:00

Borggade 4F

8000 Aarhus C

Denmark

Opening Hours:

Mon - Sat: 07:00 - 18:00

Sun: 07:00 - 17:00

152 2nd Ave

New York

United States

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 18:00

Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 18:00

813 Charoen Krung Rd, Talat Noi, Samphanthawong

Bangkok 10100

Thailand

Opening Hours:

Mon - Fri: 08:00 - 17:00

Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 18:00

1F, House of Wisdom, Al Juraina 1

Sharjah

United Arab Emirates

Opening Hours:

Sun - Thu: 09:00 - 23:00

Fri - Sat: 09:00 - 24:00

Contact

Webshop

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Have a question?

Please write us in the chat.

Roastery

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark

Have a question?

Please write us in the chat.

Marguerite Vibys Pl. 1

2000 Frederiksberg

Denmark