Press Release

San Rafael-Based Equator Coffees Wins Prestigious Good Food Award


Ethical Coffee Hits a High Note with Equator’s Fair Trade, Organic Ethiopia Watadera

San Rafael 14-Jan-2012

San Rafael, CA (January 13, 2012) — Equator Coffees and Teas, a women-owned, San Francisco Bay Area roaster of premium, single origin coffees announces that its Ethiopian FTO Watadera was chosen as the Northern California Good Food Award winner by a panel of 13 distinguished coffee experts.

Called the “Oscars” of food, the Good Food Awards were created to honor food and drink producers who have demonstrated a commitment to building a tasty, authentic, and responsible food system that honors farmers and producers. Ethics matter as much as taste. In the coffee category, not only were all winners distinguished by exemplary flavor, balance, and complexity, but all entries were required to demonstrate fairness and transparency from seed to cup, and use third party certified organic beans. Winners were announced Friday, January 13 during a star-studded ceremony hosted by Alice Waters at the San Francisco Ferry Building.

“As roasters, our passion is sourcing the best quality coffees that also embody the highest standards in environmental stewardship and social progress,” says Equator Co-founder and CEO Helen Russell. “Winning this award is testament to the years we have invested in building partnerships on the ground that benefit both coffee drinkers and coffee farmers. Ethiopian coffee farmers grow some of the best coffees in the world using traditional, environmentally friendly practices. We are proud to honor them.”

Winning entries from all over the country in eight categories—coffee, chocolate, beer, spirits, charcuterie, cheese, and pickles—were unveiled to the public during the Good Food Awards Marketplace on Saturday, January 14th, at the Ferry Building.

The Ethiopian Watadera was grown by the Watadera Farmers Cooperative Union, made up of 1,559 small-scale farmers who grow their coffee high in the mountains at altitudes over 6,000 feet above sea level. The coffee is sweet and complex with layers of honeydew-like fruit, rich floral-toned vanilla, and cotton candy brought out by a light roast. Watadera is available in limited quantities via the company website and will also be served at Café Demitasse in Los Angeles for a limited time.

About Equator Coffees & Teas

San Rafael, CA-based Equator Coffees & Teas is a coffee roaster, tea purveyor and coffee farm owner offering distinctive boutique coffees and rare teas to fine restaurants, hotels, bakeries and retailers. Obsessive attention to green coffee sourcing, uncompromising roasting expertise and a 17-year commitment to sustainability create a remarkable experience in every cup. A women-owned green business, Equator works tirelessly to empower every link of the supply chain, from growers and their communities around the globe, to the natural environment, through to coffee-lovers who savor taste and integrity in their Organic, Fair Trade Certified coffees. Ahead of the curve on climate change, Equator is proud to be one of the first roasters in the nation to utilize the Loring Smart Roaster, which reduces carbon emissions by 80% without compromising artisan quality. Equator has won numerous awards including the Good Food Awards (2012), The Association for Corporate Growth Award (2011), Roast Magazine’s Roaster of the Year (2010), the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Business (2009, 2010), National Association of Women Business Owners – Trail Blazer Award (2009), Women’s Initiative, Women Owned Business of The Year (2009), Small Business of the Year for the 6th District by state Assemblyman Jared Huffman (2009), San Francisco’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Woman Owned Businesses (9 years in a row) and the Specialty Coffee Association’s annual Roasters Choice Award (2009). Customers include the French Laundry, Bouchon Restaurants and Bakeries, Jardiniere, Morimoto’s, El Paseo, Tavern in Los Angeles, Bay Bread, La Boulange and Whole Foods.