Equator Travel Blog

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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Equator's Travels to Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica

Posted on Jan 01, 2005

by David Pohl
Helen Russell, Maria Cleaveland and David Pohl recently returned from a two week tour of Central America. Read more >>

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Equator's Exciting Fall Line-up

Posted on Jan 01, 2005

by David Pohl
We are just now reaching the peak of our Central American offerings, with only one more micro-lot coffee to feature. The Guatemala "Flor de Antigua" comes to us from one of the most esteemed coffee growing regions of the world and is produced by the boutique coffee producer-exporter "La Minita" company based in Costa Rica.  This coffee is full of jazmine and bergamot, as well as the rounded chocolate notes typical of this region. Read more >>

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Costa Rica Montes de Oro

Posted on Jan 01, 2005

by David Pohl
We received the long awaited Montes de Oro this week and immediately dove head first into the evaluation process.  After innumerable sample roasts and cuppings we have come up with a pitch perfect roast profile for this very nice coffee. We are roasting it light, that is, just into the second crack, where we believe the coffee comes to its fullest without imparting much if any roast flavor.  What is left is a coffee that in the nose is fragrant and sweet - lemon and toast.  In the cup we repeatedly noticed both sweet lemon and toasted grain flavors. The finish is sweet and the body is medium.  Here I am posting some pictures of the Montes de Oro bags which came to us lined with "Grain Pro" bags, an inexpensive and easy to use plastic bag that can be hermetically sealed.  The benefit of Grain Pro liners is that the coffee suffers much less from the temperature fluctuation during ocean transport, which can last a week to six weeks depending on country of origin.  The Grain Pro also protects the coffee once it is in our warehouse, which can see temperatures over 100 degrees in the summer.  We will also receive some vaccuum packed Montes de Oro that we will compare with the Grain-Pro version.  Vaccum packaging is much more costly and uses more packaging than Grain Pro so we hope to prove the benefits of Grain Pro with this experiment.  Of course Grain Pro bags will be reused in our facility for garbage collection.    Read more >>

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