We're bringing back a couple of different coffees from Francy Castillo this year! First up is this beautiful washed lot which is an excellent example of the quality potential of highly-grown Caturra and demontrates why we love the variety so much. In the cup we get articulate red apple and bright red currant reminiscent of Kenyan coffee, along with lingering hints of apricot in the finish.

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Francy Castillo


Producer     Francy Castillo

Farm             El Uberrimo

Region         Buerrecos, Arbodela, Nariño

Varieties       Caturra

Process       Washed

Altitude       2200 masl

Importer     Shared Source


Francy Castillo

Francy comes from a humble coffee producing family (we purchased coffee from her father Fidencio as well), and she’s also the oldest of five sisters. Though it was a financial stretch that required a lot of hard work, she recently graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering, and she’s worked with the Colombian Coffee Federation- at just 27 years old, she represents a generational change in coffee. She’s a pillar of strength of her family, and she has always liked working in the field- first she worked as an agricultural products technician for SENA , and then worked several other jobs to pay for her university studies. She did an internship with the FNC and became even more interested in coffee, especially after taking a coffee on green coffee physical analysis with Catholic Relief Services- that’s where she got a job at a local cooperative as an assistant. Francy and her family work hard to manage their farm in a way that protects soils and keeps her trees healthy without requiring the use of too many synthetic chemical inputs- she has planted her trees in a way that protects the soil from erosion, she has implemented a compost system for coffee pulp, and she doesn’t use chemical herbicides or fungicides, preferring to manage pest outbreaks with organic methods and healthy farm practices as preventative measures.

The coffee plot is the work of the entire family- her parents Fidencio Castillo and Esmeralda Guerrero, along with her sisters Viany, Nevis, Yoheli, and Darly. Her father gave her a small parcel to manage- which she calls El Ubérimmo, which means something loosely translated to “place of abundance and fertility”, and she works on the plot alongside the oldest of her sisters, Viany and Nevis.


Nariño is characterized by steep slopes, and extremely high altitudes as well as a unique climate. Warm, humid air makes its way up from the valleys during the evening hours, allowing for coffee to be grown at higher altitudes than in the rest of Colombia, without risk of frost. Producers are small, biodiversity is traditional, soils are nutrient rich and well-drained.


A natural mutation of Bourbon, originally discovered in Brazil in the early 20th century; Caturra derives its name from the Guarani word for “small,” a reference to its diminutive stature that results from a single-gene mutation causing dwarfism. It was this small size- allowing for more trees to be planted closer together- that led to mass selections of Caturra being made by the Instituto Agronomico (IAC) of Sao Paulo State in Campinas in the 1930’s. Caturra then made its way to Guatemala during the 1940’s and then was widely adopted in the 1970’s by the rest of Central America, where it is now one of the most economically important varieties. At high altitudes Caturra has strong quality and yield potential but unfortunately, is quite susceptible to disease.


Her processing starts with picking ripe cherries, using a brix meter to measure ripeness, aiming to pick cherries when they’re at 24- the color is usually close to a red wine. After picking, the cherries are left for an initial cherry ferment (where the fermentation process begins with native bacteria entering through the point where the cherry was picked), before de-pulping the coffee with the hand-cranked de-pulper. Their de-pulper is up on the farm, and they de-pulp the coffee into Grain Pro bags. From there, they take the bags of pulped coffee to their house (several hours hike down the hill)- either carrying the coffee on their shoulders or occasionally making several trips with a horse- and from there, they ferment the coffee in sealed pickle barrels in a low-oxygen environment, for around 48 hours. A few quality tools have shown that sugar levels drop down to about 10 on a brix meter, and the pH drops down between 3.4 - 3.6. From there, the coffee is washed with just one wash, and it’s left to dry for about 20 days. The family hopes to eventually build a dryer to improve the processing infrastructure- for now, they’re careful to cover the coffee with some shade for slow drying on a small patio that they built near their house.



Shared Source - Shared Source exports from Colombia and Guatemala and imports into the US. They are farmgate purchasers,
paying in-full directly to producers or their independent associations, upon delivery of parchment, in local currency.

Farmgate Pricing

What's this?

FOB: "Freight on board," usually the price paid to the coffee exporter for coffee ready to ship. This includes price paid to the producer as well as milling, warehousing and transportation costs plus any intermediaries' fees and export costs.

Farmgate: the price paid by the exporter or other buyer to the producer or producer organization.

2.9 million COP per carga (125kg) of parchment.

Lot Size

During the main harvest season in Nariño, Shared Source purchased 1,644kg of parchment from Francy. For this coffee, three of her Caturra lots were combined. Subtext purchased 276 kg of Francy's coffee.

Relationship Length

Shared Source has been working with Francy for four years and this is the second year we have purchased coffee from Francy.


Subtext cupping score of 86.25