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. Very buzzy lemony acidity, often seen in very highly rated lots. Super clean, even just barely finishing first crack – sweet hints of soft fruit; good body and almost a lemonade style cup profile. As the roast progress 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 a bit 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 you tend to default to – 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 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.