New 2019/20 crop!
A glowing example of coffee’s potential in Costa Rica is Finca Las Lajas in Poas de Alajuela; in the mountains to the north of the country’s capital of San Jose. As little as six years ago there was nothing where Las Lajas now produces exceptional micro-lots. “We’re a family of six siblings, including myself. We wanted a family business that would do just that; keep business in the family. We set out to create jobs for each other and now we almost have more work than we can handle!” – Donna Chacon
Las Lajas’ reputation for quality precedes them; the care with which the Chacon family manages their mill and processing has put their Honey and Natural coffees in high demand. Doña Francisca proudly showcased the Red and Yellow Honeys – their two favorite lots drying on African beds and the different methods for drying Naturals, some of which are dried in deep layers under plastic and others that are dried on stacked beds. Doña Francisca’s husband, Don Oscar, puts it this way: “We play with processing curves the same way roasters play with roast curves: adjusting the variables of time and temperature to see what characteristics appear in the cup.”
This curiosity and willingness to experiment and find a new level of excellence is apparent in the final product: explosively fruity coffees with complex acidity and a bright finish.
This is a quality cup through and through. A little mellower acidity than last year’s red honey offering but just as tasty if not a bit tastier! Lots of cool tones to play with in the roaster. Buzzy lemony acidity, often seen in very highly rated lots. Super clean, works great for those lighter roast points – sweet hints of soft fruit; good body and almost a nutty/toffee-like cup profile. As the roast progresses the body gets a bit heavier with good sweetness in the background. The aromatics get stronger and the chocolate factor really comes out. Usually with these super highly rated guys I don’t recommend going into 2nd crack but with this cup – we still loved it. A bit rougher on the chocolaty side but the soft cherry note still popped right out and the complexity was astonishing for a dark roast.
Hard to pick a favorite roast on a coffee like this – hard not to get a good cup – best recommendation is to pick whatever roast is your general default – if on the lighter side, slow the roast down a little to build some very cool complexities. If going on the darker side, I would go quicker to make sure you retain some of the fruit coming through the cup. A very high pectin content in these beans, they will look a bit darker than they are and get a bit shiny even at light roasts. Light roasts will be marked by the beans still being a little two toned, medium roast will be when this fades and dark roast will start showing a bit of sheen to oily surface. High Chaff Coffee