Dona Francisca and Don Oscar Chacon of Las Lajas Micromill are the third generation coffee producers in their family. They inherited the 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.
The micromill is located in Sabanilla de Alajuela in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica, at an altitude of 1380 masl. They are the first farm in the country to be organically certified and follow strict sustainability standards.
The honey process first came about in Costa Rica in the early 2000s. During the process, coffee is dried with some or all of the mucilage remaining on the parchment encasing the seed. Coffee cherries are picked, sorted, depulped, and then moved to drying patios or beds for various periods of time.
Because there is a little bit of fermentation happening in the short amount of time it takes for the mucilage to dry, coffees processed in this way feature a little more acidity than Pulped Natural coffees, but significantly less than in that of Washed or Natural/Dried-in-the-Fruit coffees. In Las Lajas, Red Honey has 100% mucilage left on, turning several times a day. Francisca Chacon, the farm owner uses a brix meter to accurately measure the sugar content of the mucilage whilst the beans are drying after pulping. This style of processing produces a cup with a slightly wilder body and lots of intense sweetness, a direct result of the cherries fruit imparting its natural sweetness into the drying beans.