Beneficio Las Lajas, Costa Rica

Beneficio Las Lajas ranks as one of the most progressive, high-quality coffee mills in all of Costa Rica. Francisca Cubillo and Oscar Chacón are the third generation of coffee producers in Costa Rica and the first once to process their own coffee. Las Lajas is one of the few farms in Costa Rica growing Organic coffee.

Las Lajas is located in Sabanilla de Alejela Costa Rica near the base of Poas Volcano. The west Central Valley is the location of some of the best coffee in Costa Rica. Francisca and Oscar Chacon are third generation coffee farmers since 1840. When Oascar’s father passed away he inherited 5 hectares at the age of 18. He and his mom kept the legacy alive. In 1997 Fransisca and Oscar were married. Fransisca attended University in Costa Rica for an agriculture degree in coffee. 

It all starts with their farming practices; Las Lajas is a certified organic farm. These third-generation producers focus on preserving the environment while maintaining the highest quality coffee.

In the 2000's they started their farming activity and began to explore coffee processing. In 2009 a massive country-wide earthquake caused widespread power outages and destruction right at the peak of their coffee harvest. Francisca had a crazy idea to try and dry their coffee with the cherry intact since that is how they do it in parts of Africa where there isn't electricity and running water in the dry season. So they spread their coffee cherries out on patios, flat roofs and even hastily built camas africanas (african style raised beds) and dried their coffee slowly in the sun. The results were this crazy black dried cherry that they called Perla Negra. And it was amazingly delicious! And history was made in Costa Rica.

beneficio las lajas Costa Rica coffee

Las Lajas specializes in several different types of honey-processed coffees as well as natural process coffees. Las Lajas micromill has perfected the craft of producing exceptional coffees using either method. Their Natural coffee process: Perla Negra and Alma Negra, and their Honey process: Yellow Honey, Red Honey and Black Honey consistently win awards for clarity and flavor. Black Honey refers to a method by which 100 percent of the mucilage is left after de-pulping and the coffee is turned once per day while drying. This technique allows the fruit more time to penetrate the coffee’s parchment layer, imparting a very sweet and unique profile.

black diamond

Natural Process: It consists of placing the coffee cherries on African beds or patios for their drying. For this process Las Lajas chooses only 100% ripe cherries which contain a high level of sugar percentage which they test daily. (brix degrees)

This drying process allowed Las Lajas to make two different process:

The first one is called "Perla Negra", which takes a slower drying process. It is one of the most known processes of the farm because of its brightness and unique flavor.

The second one is called "Alma Negra" that takes longer to dry with higher temperatures. Its process generates intense flavors of fruits such as: dried pineapple, black olive, banana and raisins.

 francisca chacon

Honey Process: For this process, the first step is to take off the outer skin of the cherries. Once this step is finished, they immediately put the coffee beans on the patios or African beds to dehydrate.

At the moment that the coffee beans are dehydrating, we start to making three different process that are modified by mechanical demuciladging:

Yellow Honey: This contains 25% of mucilage (honey). Its flavor is sweet and acid, it is very clean coffee.

Red Honey: This contains 50% of mucilage. It has balanced between sweet - acidity and it has a full body.

Black Honey: This contains 100% of mucilage. Its dehydration process is slower, allowing an intense sweetness and generating fruit flavors, with an incredible acidity.

 

beneficio las lajas Costa Rica coffee

Magical Coffees

And then for the rarest of the rare, for those special coffees where the brix level is the highest, the fruit matured the slowest and the potential is skyhigh for truly excellent results Francisco and Oscar have created to new and much more time intensive processes.

Black Diamante

  • Aerobic Natural processing
  • 50% African raised bed
  • 50% Patio drying
  • Pick of the beginning of the harvest -highest brix
  • Lower Temperatures - slower drying, continuous turning

Doble Diamante

  • Anaerobic Natural processing
  • 100% Patio drying
  • Pick of the harvest -highest brix
  • Higher Temperatures - faster drying, continuous turning

 

las lajas Costa Rica natural coffees

Producers: Francisca Cubillo and Oscar Chacón
Country: Costa Rica
Region:  Sabanilla de Alejela
Farm: Beneficio Las Lajas
Varietal: SL-28, Bourbon, Caturra & many experimental varietals
Process: Honey, Natural, Natural Aerobic, Natural Anaerobic
Altitude: 1,250-1,750 MASL
Exporter: SMS Costa Rica
Importer: Atlantic Specialty
SCA Quality Score: 87.25 to 93.5


 

Ask The Right Questions

What is Proportional Pricing?

Out of the $400 billion coffee industry, a meager 5% stays where it's grown, leaving farmers with crumbs. At Torque, we're rewriting this injustice. Our radical approach ensures equity for coffee producers, shifting power dynamics.

Here's the game-changer: Coffee producers were pre-paid a guaranteed 20% upfront based on the retail price of their coffee. Simple. Transparent. Fair. We call it Proportional Pricing©. Pay more, they earn more. This reshapes the value equation.

No more opaque systems. No more exploitation. We start with the value you see on the shelf, ensuring 20% flows back to the hands that cultivate your cup. It's called Proportional Pricing©, a seismic shift in coffee's worth chain. It's farmer equity, pure and simple.

We're breaking norms, building a fairer future. Torque Coffees reverse-engineered the chain, advocating for a balanced, equitable industry. It's time to empower those who make your coffee. Together, let's dismantle inequality in the coffee world.

torque coffee proportional farmer equity

What is Carbon Beautiful?

Since we are all on the consumption end of things we can never get to carbon neutral without stealing the carbon positive from coffee farmers. So instead of aiming for a negative, we are striving to destroy less and be as carbon beautiful as we can.

The Torque Coffee Bag

  

     

    100% Plastic Free

    100% Compostable & Biodegradable 

    100% Plant Based

    plastic free packaging

     

    We have partnered with Better Packing Co to be even more carbon Beautiful!

    Every order is packed loving in either:

    the brilliant ZeroPack mailer Made mostly from limestone quarry waste and a minimal amount of recycled resin as a binding agent. 

    YES THESE bags are made of freaking limestone!

    zero pack mailer

     The Zero Pack is a truly remarkable process! 

    CARBON NEUTRAL
    We offset any carbon emission from this already low energy production process.

    • Production of these mailers is solar-powered and uses no water, acids or bleaches. It's also 'zero waste' because all off-cuts can be put 'back in to the pot' and recycled.

    ------------------

     

     For larger multi bag orders and for wholesale orders we use the equally brilliant

    BAMBOO Box!

    These boxes are made mostly from bamboo (and some recycled wood pulp). They are just the thing to ship precious goods in. Curbside recyclable, reusable (at least a couple of times) and compostable. 

    Unbleached, FSC certified Bamboo (2/3) and recycled wood pulp (1/3).
    • Water-based printing ink.

    bamboo shipper 

     

    Do you sell Wholesale?

    YES we do!!

    Our mission is to bring you super sweet coffee from some of the best coffee producers anywhere, who share in the equity of every coffee you buy.

    1. Beautiful Coffees

    We aim to show that amazing coffees, sourced with intention & focus, roasted exquisitely, & blended culinarily, can achieve immense sweetness, clarity & balance. We deliver incredible coffees that delight your senses and that your customers can drink cup after cup and still crave more.

    Whether a beautiful coffee composition or a delightful single origin, you will taste all the nuance of the producers art and the complexity of the roasters art in every coffee. Sweetness is queen.

     

    2. Radical Equity

    We believe that coffee producers deserve a greater equity share of coffee. So we created a model where Coffee Producers get equity in the full value of coffee. Torque pre-pays our coffee producers 20% of the retail price, & 35% of the wholesale price of our roasted coffee. It’s called Proportional Pricing and it’s radical equity.

    Proportional Pricing:

    Torque's wholesale coffee pricing follows the same radical farmer equity model as our retail pricing. Wholesale prices deliver 35% equity to all of our coffee producers in both blends and single origins. The higher the wholesale price the more the producer was paid, but the ratio remains constant at 35% so both producers and you know exactly how much equity the producers received.

     

    beautiful coffees wholesale

    3. Carbon Beautiful

    We are just as intentional about environmental sustainability as we are about economic sustainability. All of our paper products are recycled, FSC certified and home compostable including shipping labels, our retail coffee bags & boxes.

    Torque bulk coffees come in a unique zero waste, reusable format that eliminates packaging waste while ensuring ultimate freshness and flavor. Combined with our 100% compostable retail coffee bags you can radically improve your carbon footprint while growing sales and making happy customers.

    Reduce, Reuse, Rad:

    Torque wholesale coffees are delivered in reusable/returnable canisters to eliminate 100% of all waste. With our patented adjustable lid with one way valve it's easy to order exactly how many pounds of each coffee you need since each can holds any amount from 3-15lbs each. Order exactly how much you need of each coffee weekly. Zero waste and always fresh sweet coffee.

    beautiful coffees wholesale

    4. Fanatical Support

    We know how hard it is to run a successful coffee bar. We empower you to connect with your customers with great coffee signage & marketing materials. We empower you to grow revenue and profit with our unique training program and help you serve coffee that tastes amazing cup after cup.

    Seed to Cup:

    We have deep experience in building quality focused coffee programs and work with your entire team to help you grow and succeed.Our comprehensive training program is custom tailored to your unique needs.

    Our mission is to build long term partnerships with our coffee producers and our coffee partners. We believe that a rising sea floats all boats and that together we can make the world a better place.

    It’s wonderful, radical, proportional and equitable. It’s what coffee should be.

     

    Let's talk about a partnership to bring beautiful coffees, radical equity and remarkable sustainability to your coffee program. 

    We can create a custom coffee program to match your budget and goals.

    Do You Sell through Faire?

    How Do I contact You?

    We are Torque

    We aim to be Coffee’s Nemesis. Our goal is to break the coffee supply chain. Break it by torquing the value balance. Give value where value is due. Its simple: we value the producers work based on the value to us. 20% of the retail price of the coffee is due the producer. 

    We put the power in your hands. You are the torque that breaks the chains and forces equilibrium. Your choices create a new triangle chain and rebalance risk and reward. No feel good stories, no comforting words. Just proof backed by data.

      What's Your Story?

      We are Coffee People.

      Torque coffees

      We are Nanelle & Andy Newbom and we are two Coffee Lifers. In our whirlwind journey through coffee over the last 21 years we have been hands-on in nearly every aspect of the industry. We have been baristas, bar backs, cashiers, roasters, machine techs, green coffee buyers, coffee trainers, barista & roaster competitors, cuppers, judges, wet & dry mill operators, exporters, importers, and coffee brokers. From co-founding the Barista Guild of America, Barefoot Coffee Roasters and IPCoffees Mexico Importers to directing the coffee programs for multiple coffee companies we have surrounded ourselves with the magic of coffee and the magic of coffee people.

       

      We are People People.

      Nanelle and Andy

      We have done many things in coffee, while visiting and even living in coffee producing countries, and having a multitude of amazing life-changing experiences. The one true constant is people. Coffee people to be exact. Coffee people are simply the best people, period. If you know us you already know that we are both madly in love with coffee. But you also know that our true love, our deepest heart, is our love for all the wonderful, crazy misfits and dreamers we call coffee people. And if you don’t know us yet, but you are here now, then we will gladly call you coffee people. Let’s get to know each other through coffee. 

      A short list of the Coffee Projects we have founded, built or developed since we first started in coffee in 2001.

      1. Barista Guild of America - Co-Founder
      2. Barefoot Coffee Roasters - Founders
      3. Tablon Coffee El Salvador - Founders
      4. Brew Revolution - Founders
      5. IPCoffees Mexico Exporters/Importers - Co-Founder
      6. Coffee Spanish for Coffee People - Author
      7. Elephant Coffee Importer - Director 
      8. Swell Coffee Co. - Director of Coffee
      9. Sleeping Tiger Coffee - Director of Coffee
      10. Equal Exchange - Worker Owner

       

       

       women owned coffee roaster

       

      Our Mission. 

      Coffee that's easy to love:

      We aim to show that amazing coffees sourced with intention and focus, roasted exquisitely and blended culinarily can achieve immense sweetness, clarity and balance. In short we aim to deliver incredible coffees that delight your senses and that you can drink cup after cup and still crave more. No guesses, no quizzes, no misses and no weird stuff. Sweetness is queen.

      Coffee that shares the love:

      We want to bring the coffee industry into equilibrium. Our goal is to break the coffee supply chain. Break it by torquing the value balance. Give value where value is due. Its simple: we value the producers work based on the value to us. 20% of the retail price of the coffee is due the producer. 

      We put the power in your hands. You are the torque that breaks the chains and forces equilibrium. Your choices create a new triangle chain and rebalance risk and reward. No feel good stories, no comforting words. Just proof backed by data.