Equator Travel Blog

June 2008 Updates - Misty Valley, Aldea Global and Geisha!

Posted on Jun 04, 2008

by David Pohl
We have some exciting new coffees on the horizon for June and July, including a new lot of Ethiopia Misty Valley which just arrived. This coffee exceeded our expectations in so many ways and should not be missed! Blueberry notes, sweet acidity and syrupy body characterize this lot.

Misty Valley Ripe Cherries Read more >>

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Upcoming Seasonal Offerings, Micro Lots and Auction Coffees - April 2008

Posted on Apr 26, 2008

by David Pohl
Seasonal Coffee Offerings 2008 Equator Estate Coffees and Teas is bringing in some outstanding "grand cru" coffees over the next few months, so I thought I would give our customers a little peek at what we are working on and when to look for them. By "grand cru" I mean outstanding, special, micro-lot coffees, that are only available for a short time. Some of these coffees are already under contract, meaning that barring any unforeseen disaster the coffee will be in our warehouse when predicted, while other coffees are auction coffees, which means that we may in fact be outbid and may not get the coffee. We are not easily outbid, but coffees can go for well over $100/pound these days, which would put the retail price higher yet, so we do have our limits. In any case, we are very excited to offer some new, unique coffees to compliment our well-established line of blends and single origins. Below is a list of the coffees we will be featuring over the coming months, including auction, micro lot and relationship coffees. To order any of these coffees visit our website or call 1-800-809-7687.  Read more >>

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Ethiopia Limited Cupping - Boot Coffee - April 2008

Posted on Apr 10, 2008

by David Pohl
Brooke and I recently attended the Ethiopia Limited Auction cupping at Boot Coffee in Mill Valley. It has been two years since such an auction has taken place, due to the terrible harvest last year, and Brooke and I were very eager to see what we would find on the cupping table. Well, we found some incredible coffees, both washed and natural. One surprise was an Idido natural, exported by Bagersh, that was very similar to our Idido Misty Valley. In fact it was Brooke's favorite coffee on the table, and it was my runner up. My personal favorite was a coffee from Aleta Wondo, a community we were introduced to last year through Common River, a non-profit out of Mill Valley doing development work in Sidamo, Ethiopia. Both because of our previous introduction to Aleta Wondo, and because I know Willem Boot is doing extensive coffee quality work there, I was delighted to find that my favorite coffee on the table (of 12 coffees) was from that very community.Ethiopia Limited Auction 2008 Read more >>

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Western Regional Barista Championship Berkeley - March 2008

Posted on Apr 10, 2008

by David Pohl
Equator was a bronze sponsor of the 2008 Western Regional Barista Championship (WRBC) this year, held at the Gaia Arts Center in Berkeley, CA, March 28-30.  This was the third year Equator has been involved in the WRBC and it was the best competition yet.Ashlee Shell- Nugget Markets - World Class Barista! - Equator Customer Read more >>

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Kigoma Tanzania - New Arrival Coffee and Water Project - March 2008

Posted on Apr 09, 2008

by David Pohl
I previously wrote about our meeting with coffee importer Sustainable Harvest in Costa Rica last year, and the wonderful relationships that developed out of it. One of Equator's newest relationships to develop out of the meeting is with the coffee farmers living near the Gombe region of Tanzania, in a place called Kigoma. We just received the first (very small) shipment of this coffee, and we thought we would share with you some information on the good work being done there. kigoma-water-project.jpg Read more >>

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Micro Mill Revolution - Francisco Mena - Costa Rica - March 2008

Posted on Mar 08, 2008

by David Pohl
Equator had the opportunity to cup 55 unique "micro-lot" coffees from Costa Rica and Panama this week. The occasion was a visit from Francisco Mena, an exporter and friend from Deli Cafe, Costa Rica. After touring Equator's facilities, we went with Francisco to Royal Coffee for a presentation and cupping of unique "micro-mill"/"micro-lot" coffees. Alex Mason, Royal Coffee Trader Read more >>

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Nicaragua Trip - Securing Quality and Microcredit - January 2008

Posted on Mar 05, 2008

by David Pohl
I traveled to Nicaragua at the end of January to visit our main supplier there, Aldea Global. The objective of this trip was to secure quality through farm visits and evaluation of our first microcredit initiative. img_9560.jpg Read more >>

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Origin Trip – Guatemala – November 2007

Posted on Nov 08, 2007

by David Pohl
I traveled to Guatemala in November to meet with our grower partners and to donate equipment for a cupping lab. I arrived in Guatemala city on the morning of a presidential runoff, and was met by Edgar and Sylvia Lazo, owners of Finca Chipacay, our longest coffee partnership. My trip to Guatemala had been delayed by two months due to unrest associated with the first round of voting in September. Surprisingly the streets of the capital were quiet the day I arrived, and after a short rest back at the house we headed to the polling station where Edgar exercised his right to vote. The election went off without a hitch, and so our focus quickly turned to coffee. Read more >>

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Direct Trade Relationships - “Let’s Talk Coffee” - October 2007

Posted on Oct 26, 2007

by David Pohl
Helen, Brooke and I attended the third-annual Sustainable Harvest “Let’s Talk Coffee” (LTC) meetings in Costa Rica in October. LTC is the coffee industry’s pioneering “relationship coffee” gathering, intended to bring all stakeholders (farmers, coop reps, exporters, importers, roasters, journalists) together to discuss ways to strengthen coffee trade. Sustainable Harvest is a new generation coffee importer that seeks to develop the “relationship coffee” model. Sustainable Harvest’s credo is “transparency, traceability, trade credit, training and total quality.” Equator shares a commitment to each of these aspects of coffee and is delighted to be able to pursue them with a committed importer. Helen, Brooke and David with coffee farmers from El Batan, Ecuador, and Fernando Seminario, Director of Importing, Sustainable Harvest Read more >>

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About

Posted on Nov 24, 2005 Equator Estate Coffees & Teas® is a successful, women–owned company, co-founded in 1995 by Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell. We have earned an outstanding reputation as purveyors and roasters providing distinctive specialty coffees and rare teas at competitive prices with unparalleled customer service. Equator’s mission: Continue to be a growing, customer-centric company, dedicated to quality, environmental sustainability, and social responsibility. Our commitment is to procure distinctive coffees from growers who practice responsible land stewardship and bio-friendly farming techniques. We ensure quality from source to cup, through careful selection of sustainable green beans, artisan blend development, efficient small-batch roasting, and advanced brewing technology and training. Equator focuses on ways to advance sustainability practices that encourage productive relationships and an empowered chain of supply. We believe that our efforts to support growers and the environment are a competitive advantage, and we intend to remain in the forefront on issues of sustainability.
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