A glowing example of coffee’s potential in Costa Rica is Finca Calle Lilies 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 it; the care with which the Chacon family manages their mill and processing has put their Honey and Natural coffees in steep 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 in and out. Lots of cool tones to play with in the roaster. A bit higher acidity with a strong floral aspect balanced with a full bodied nutty and chocolaty undertone. Slightly fruity especially as the cup cools but nothing like the Red Honey or Natural processed. Yellow honeys are decently closer to a washed processed coffee, where Red Honey is closer to a Natural. Super light roasts are very nutty, almost like peanut butter with some floral overtones, nutty coffee fans will love this but its unique but doesn’t quite pull together the balance. City + roasts to Full City roasts are where this cup will shine. Crisp and clean lemony floral balanced with sweet and smooth chocolaty undertones than linger on the nuttier side. Hints of fruit pop out but pretty faint.
A fun cup to play with. If you like the nuttier tones of coffee, a great one to take a little lighter. If looking for great balance and development, a nice medium roast is the way to go. Unlike the Red Honey and Natural, these beans do hold a darker roast quite well, very full bodied and potent. Roasts fairly even for a honey processed, still a bit higher chaff. A very high pectin content in these beans, they will look a bit darker then 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.