Costa Rica Las Lajas Unicorn Honey
- Country: Costa Rica Las Lajas
- Micromill: Las Lajas, Finca La Julia
- Variety: Catuai, Caturra
- Process Method: Honey
- Altitude: 1400-1600 masl
- Harvest Schedule: December–April
Las Lajas Micromill is a coffee mill located in Costa Rica. It's renowned for producing some of the most distinctive and high-quality coffee beans in the world.
Las Lajas is operated by the Chacon family who are third-generation coffee producers. They've been at the forefront of experimenting with honey and natural process coffees. The mill is located in the Central Valley region, offering a unique microclimate that contributes to the distinctive flavor of the coffee.
The name "Las Lajas" comes from the nature of the landscape, as 'laja' means 'rock slab' in Spanish, and the mill is located in a rocky area.
Their unique processing methods, combined with the ideal growing conditions, result in coffees with bright, complex flavors and a rich body. The Chacons' commitment to sustainability and quality make Las Lajas a standout in the world of specialty coffee.
The Black Honey process is one of the unique methods that the Chacon family uses at the Las Lajas Micromill in Costa Rica.
In this process, coffee cherries are picked and then laid out to dry with the entire fruit still intact, rather than being washed to remove the fruit's flesh before drying. This is similar to the natural or "dry" process, however, in the Black Honey process, the cherries are turned only once a day.
The term "Black Honey" refers to the amount of mucilage (the sticky, sugary layer surrounding the coffee bean) left on the beans and the length of the drying process. In Black Honey, almost all the mucilage is left on and the beans are dried for a longer period of time, typically over two weeks. This process results in coffee with a bold, robust flavor, often with notes of tropical fruit and a heavy body.
The process is labor-intensive and requires careful monitoring to prevent over-fermentation. The result is a coffee that is complex, sweet, and distinctive. The name 'honey' is due to the sticky, honey-like feel of the beans during this process. It doesn't refer to the taste.
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