Quality Report - Costa Rica Las Lajas Alma Negra Natural
About This Coffee
Oscar and Francisca Chacon, the visionary owners of Las Lajas Micromill, are renowned for their commitment to quality and innovation in coffee production. They made a significant impact in Costa Rica by introducing the honey process, possibly being pioneers.
Their journey with the honey process began in 2008 when an earthquake disrupted the water supply to the mill. Oscar, inspired by the natural and pulped techniques used in Brazil and Ethiopia, decided to experiment with these methods on his coffee crops that year.
Since then, Oscar and Francisca have meticulously supervised the harvesting and processing at Las Lajas. During the harvest, they continuously measure the sugar content of the cherries using a Brix refractometer to ensure optimal ripeness. Hand-picking only begins when the desired sugar level, typically 22° Brix, is reached. This precise approach ensures a uniform maturation, which is crucial for producing exceptional natural and honey coffees.
Oscar also recognizes the significant impact of the drying curve on coffee flavour, similar to the influence of temperature profiles during roasting. Hence, at Las Lajas, the coffee drying process is intentionally slow and carefully controlled, albeit limited in quantity.
Regarding the natural process, Las Lajas offers three distinct types: Perla Negra, Diamante, and the selected Alma Negra, which we have for you! These variations are distinguished by their specific drying methods. For Alma Negra, drying takes place on a patio. Instead of using a rake to create rows, they flip the crust that forms, resulting in more consistent lots. To conserve water, they use only one cubic meter per day, which is later cleaned and reused. Throughout the day, the cherries are regularly turned and piled up at night, aiming to achieve an intensely sweet and fruity aromatic profile.
Las Lajas' meticulous approach to coffee production, along with their innovative techniques, has established them as leaders in the industry, pushing the boundaries of flavour and quality.
Origin: Costa Rica
Region: Sabanilla de Alajuela, Central Valley
Farm/Coop/Mill: Calle Lajas
Producer: Oscar and Francisca Chacón
Variety: Caturra, Catuai
Process: Alma Negra Natural
Altitude: 1450 - 1600masl
Harvest: January - March
Sourcing Partner: Bennetts
Quality Report: (87.5/100)
Roast Level: Light
Aroma(8/10): Dried plum, black tea
Sweetness(8.5/10): Plum jam-like sweetness
Flavour(8/10): Plum, cascara, red wine, cinnamon, dark chocolate
Aftertaste(8/10): Long lingering cascara note finish
Acidity(8.5/10): Medium, malic acidity like red apple / tartaric acidity like wine when it cools down.
Mouthfeel/Body(8.5/10): Juicy mouthfeel and medium-heavy body
Balance & Overall(8/10): Love its intense sweetness with rich fruit notes. Let it cools down a bit and enjoy its winey acidity too.