Oscar and Francisca Chacón are third-generation coffee producers, and are committed to quality and innovation. They were among the very first farmers in Costa Rica to process specialty coffee using Honey and Natural methods.
The Chacóns joined the “micromill revolution” In Costa Rica in 2005, buying their own depulper. After years of delivering their coffee to a local cooperative for market price, they decided they wanted more control over the quality of - and thereby the price they could receive for - their coffee lots.
While already committed to experimentation, necessity bred more innovation for the Chacóns when an earthquake in 2008 wiped out electricity and water to their region during the coffee harvest. As they were unable to use the depulpers or wash the coffee, Francisca took inspiration from her knowledge of African coffee production. She built raised beds to process the coffee using the Natural method.
Now, the Chacóns are renowned for their Honey and Natural processed coffees. They skillfully modulate the drying time to create different outcomes in the cup.
This coffee is special to us here at Sow, as Charlie Wade was lucky enough to meet the Chacons and visit Las Lajas back in 2019. You can read more about his time in Costa Rica on our blog.
About the Processing
The Black Diamond process begins the same as all Natural processing at the Las Lajas micromill. First, the coffees are harvested using rigorous standards, then sorted and left to dry on raised beds for one day. Then they are moved to the drying patio. The intentional curing process makes the Black Diamond processing different to normal natural processing. The drying period lasts between 15-22 days, and requires more attention than the other Naturals, as it’s such a slow process; the beans must be constantly monitored as they are aiming for a very controlled dehydration without large spikes in temperature. This allows the sugars in the mucilage to cold crystallise, obtaining a sweeter, brighter cup with more clarity.
This information and images have kindly been shared with us by our import partners Cafe Imports.