In the heart of the Costa Rican Central Valley coffee growing regiion, is the town of Sabana Rodonda, Alajuela, home to the Las Lajas mill. Husband and wife duo Oscar and Francisca Chacón own and manage the mill and are dedicated to producing only the very highest quality microlot coffees. The family also owns over 30 hectares of coffee across 8 farms in the surrounding area, which is heavily influenced by the near Poás Volcano and advantageously receives rains from the Atlantic-ocean.
Las Lajas was instrumental in the progression of the Costa Rican specialty and microlot movement.
An earthquake in 2008 resulted in the loss of access to water. In an effort to avoid losing the harvest, Oscar produced the first honey and natural coffees in Costa Rica. The coffees turned out to be some of the best that the farm had produced. Today they are known for producing some of the world’s best honey and natural processed coffees.
Since then, Las Lajas has been at the forefront of experimental drying techniques including heaping to slow down drying time (after fermentation has finished), resting for a week in the middle of drying and alternate intermittent moving of the coffee.
Each year Las Lajas produces around 100,000 kilos of coffee with approximately 80% of this fit for export, a high percentage in the area. 90% of this is processed as either a honey or natural coffee, a far cry from 0% back before the earthquake in 2008. Core to the values of the company, Las Lajas re-invests to improve facilities and progression of their quality. In the past few years, they have refurbished their quality room, expanded office space and purchased a new roaster.