Dona Francisca and Don Oscar Chacon of Las Lajas Micromill are third generation coffee producers in their family. They inherited their farms from their grandparents and are known for being one of the first to process high-quality Honeys and Naturals in Central America and for participating in the Cup of Excellence auction in 2009.
Las Lajas is an organic micromill located in Sabanilla de Alajuela in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica. Organic coffee in Costa Rica is almost non-existent and with this caliber of cup makes it one of a kind; they believe in the preservation of the environment hence their organic practices. Las Lajas processes coffee from their family farms’; these lots are fully traceable and separated by day. Water use is minimal since coffee is not washed. During the harvest Francisca will measure the brix contents in the coffee cherry to determine the optimal time to pick their coffee.
Las Lajas carries several distinct processes from this mill:
Yellow Honey: 100% Mucilage left on, turning hourly on the bed
Red Honey: 100% mucilage left on, turning several times a day (less frequent than yellow honey)
Black Honey: 100% mucilage left on, turning only once per day
Perla Negra: Natural process, turned normally on raised beds
Alma Negra: Natural process, turned only a few times a day on raised beds
This honey process of leaving 100% of the mucilage on in all “levels” of honey is distinctive to Las Lajas. This just shows that terminology can mean various things region to region and farm to farm
Welcome to my Table, here in the corner of this cafe. Today we’re sipping a cup of Costa Rica Finca San Luis, from Thirty Thirty Coffee Company in Peoria, Illinois, courtesy of Craft Coffee. Feel free to pull up a chair.
origin: Alajuela, Central Valley, Costa Rica
producer: Oscar Chacon
association: Finca San Luis
elevation: 1450 meters above sea level
cultivars: Caturra, Catuai
method: Hario V60
grind: 17, Preciso
coffee: 32 g
water: 500 mL
pour: 2:00 pour, 1:00 drop
The aroma of the Costa Rica Finca San Luis
Right out of the gate, this coffee is absolutely bombastic on the palate. Big time flavors of blueberry wine and strawberry milk absolutely flood the palate as they come gatecrashing out of the cup. I have to say, I’m really surprised by how much this coffee resembles a natural Sidama; if I were cupping this one blind I most certainly guess that. There are other flavors present (a lot of other flavors, actually), but then can’t even compete with that blueberry/strawberry combo; they pale in comparison. I’m picking out a tart grapefruit acidity, some honey, perhaps pear… but very little compared to those huge berry flavors up front.
As it cools off, remarkably, just about all of those big-hitting flavors from up front go away. What started out as a bomb is finishing with a fizzle. Instead of huge and powerful flavors, I’m tasting not much more than a lingering blueberry fermentation and a bit of a papery taste.
Light body; creamy mouthfeel; citrus acidity; dry finish.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
I have to admit—I really wasn’t that into this coffee. I mean, it’s a fine coffee; in fact, if you’re a lover of naturals, this is a really good coffee. For me, though, Thirty Thirty Coffee Company’s Costa Rica Finca San Luis was just too much of a natural.
It’s one of those coffees that’s almost entirely front loaded; one that really bombards the taste buds with all sorts of really wild, untamed flavors up front but mellows out to the point of dull and boring in the finish. It’s tough to really enjoy it up front because of everything it throws at you, and it’s not very enjoyable when it cools off because of how diluted it tastes by that point.
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Andrew is a husband, father, dog lover, craft beverage enthusiast, content creator, and niche market Internet celebrity. Formerly of A Table in the Corner of the Cafe and The Pulitzer Project and contributor to Barista Magazine and Mental Floss, he’s been writing on the Internet for years.