Costa Rica Las Lajas Perla Negra Natural Organic 2011


Bean name Costa Rica Las Lajas Perla Negra Natural Organic 2011
Country Costa Rica
Region Los Angeles, Sabanilla de Alajuela, Central Valley
Other info Varietal(s): Caturra and Catuaí


The Chacón Solano Family has been growing coffee at Las Lajas for over 80 years. The current generation, headed by Oscar and Francisca Chacón, began farming organically around 30 years ago and in 2000 became one of only a handful of farms in Costa Rica to be officially certified organic. The family strives not only to farm in an environmentally and socially responsible way, but also to produce coffee of the highest quality.

Las Lajas is located at 1,300 to 1,500m in the foothills of the Poás volcano, in prime specialty coffee country in the Sabanilla de Alajuela region of Costa Rica’s Central Valley. This lush, fertile area is characterised by heavy and regular rainfall of around 3,000mm for 150 days of the year.

The farm produces 100% Arabica coffee, Caturra and Catuaí varietals, which is grown in the shade of native trees. Organic composts are produced on site using vermiculture (worm composting), and the production process is entirely free of chemicals and agro-toxins.

The harvest starts in December and runs until February. The cherries are selectively handpicked, to ensure that only fully ripe and good quality cherries are collected. These are then sun dried on African beds (raised screens) for about 10 days and then transferred to dry in a polytunnel until the coffee reaches 11.5% humidity. The dry cherries are then rested, before being milled and graded using a gravitational sorter.

The Chacón family’s hard work and attention to detail was recognised in the 2008 and 2009 Cup of Excellence competitions, with the farm placed in the top 25 both years.

In the cup this coffee is a Jeckyll and hyde personality. It starts of all sweetness and clean crisp acidity, then it remembers its a natural and turns into figs, and prunes and dried fruit. A super complex cup that delivers one of the most confused but interesting cups I've enjoyed in a while.

Coffee: Las Lajas ‘Perla Negra’ natural organic
Farm: Las Lajas
Varietal(s): Caturra and Catuaí
Processing: Natural, sun dried on raised African beds, patios and polytunnels
Owner: Chacón Solano Family
City: Foothills of the Poas Volcano
Region: Los Angeles, Sabanilla de Alajuela, Central Valley
Country: Costa Rica
Certification: Organic certified (UK4)

Roasting Information:
Medium to medium dark roast. My preference is just into second crack, first few pops then drop.

"Quick Look" Guide:
Sweet, clean, figs, prunes, dried fruit, huge body.

Good Filter: Yes, Good Espresso: Yes

Cupping notes

Clean cup 7/8
Sweetness 7/8
Acidity 6/8
Mouthfeel 7/8
Flavour 8/8
Aftertaste 7/8
Balance 7/8
Overall 6/8
Correction +36
Total 91

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