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 among 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 nonexistent, 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 the coffee is not washed. During the harvest, Francisca will measure the Brix content in the coffee cherry to determine the optimal time to pick the coffee. 21–22% Brix content has been the maximum they’ve seen.
Las Lajas carries several distinct processes from this mill.
Yellow Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee turned hourly on the bed
Red Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee several times a day on the bed (less frequently than Yellow Honey)
Black Honey: 100% mucilage left on, coffee turned only once per day
Perla Negra: Natural process, coffee is turned normally on raised beds
Alma Negra: Natural process, coffee turned only a few times a day on raised beds
(The 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.)