Exploring Costa Rica
In March of 2022, Izzy Calvert, the assistant general manager at our Messenger Grand location, took a trip to Las Lajas to experience coffee processing first-hand.
While there, Izzy was led on a tour of the facilities and got a chance to see coffee along all the stages of processing: from fermenting on cement patios, to drying on raised beds and finally to the sacked and stored bags of green coffee becoming ready to be shipped around the world.
“It was a real sensory experience,” Izzy reports. “The sights, sounds and smells were all so new to me and I absolutely fell in love with it.”
She was led by Francisca Chacón and the team of our importing partners, Café Imports, where she saw all the hard work and effort it takes to process coffee. All the while, it became evident how much coffee meant to the Chacóns.
“They were so humble,” she said. “You could tell their whole operation was familial, like coffee was deep in their souls.”
The Chacóns invited Izzy to cup their coffees with them in their cupping lab, looking out to the Poas Volcano outside with shelves full of coffees from roasters from the global coffee community. There, she got her first taste of the coffees we are proud to share with you. She worked remotely with our quality control team and buying team who entrusted her with choosing the best lots.
“The notes of berries, fruits and hibiscus really stood out to me when we first tasted these coffees,” she said. “I also think they’re really approachable and a great way to tell a story, like the story of how this coffee came to Messenger or of Las Lajas.”
All coffees have a story to tell, and we are so grateful that we can play a part in these coffee stories as they are being served to you.
Costa Rica Exploration Box
Costa Rican specialty coffee is renowned for its exceptional quality and unique flavor profiles. The favorable temperatures, diverse microclimates, and commitment to sustainable farming practices have contributed to its reputation for high-quality coffee.
Finca La Julia
Finca San Isidro
Flavor notes: spiced rum, Malbec, blackberry, dark chocolate, almond.
Finca Calle Liles
The Las Lajas farm is nestled in the foothills of the Poas Volcano, located outside the town of Sabanilla in central Costa Rica. The name comes from the Spanish version of an Arabic word for the indigenous-crafted stone artifacts found on the farm when it was first planted. In total, 38 hectares of land are divided into several parcels, each of which grow various shade tree species and creates unique micro-climates. In addition, different lots process coffee differently—some naturally, others either honey or washed. Las Lajas’s farming diversity allows the farm to create several distinct products with distinctive characteristics, all within a contained area.
Oscar and Francisca Chacón of Las Lajas Micro-mill are third-generation coffee producers, but the coffee is more than just in their family heritage - It is in their hearts and souls. Generations have owned and produced coffee on their land for more than 80 years. The couple is committed to quality and innovation and are among the very first farmers in Costa Rica to produce Honey and Natural process specialty coffee.
Harvesting and processing are overseen with great care by both Oscar and Francisca: During the harvest, Francisca will measure the Brix of the cherry to determine the optimal ripeness, and picking will begin when the Brix reads about 22°. Harvesting by Brix reading is also helpful as newer varieties sometimes ripen to assorted colors. Using the refractometer helps keep the harvest at uniform ripeness, which is key when producing high-quality naturals and honeys.