Get To Know Us- Equator Barista Trainer & Educator

Equator Coffees is made up of unique and passionate individuals.  In our latest installment of our, Get To Know Us series we introduce you to one of our Coffee Educators, Meghan Houston.

Meghan and our fantastic team of Baristas serve hundreds of cups of coffee on a daily basis. If you're drinking a cup of Equator Coffee, then there is a good chance Meghan helped train the Barista who made it. We chatted with Meghan to learn the behind the scenes of what goes into being a Barista Ninja at Equator Coffees.

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1. What is your job at Equator Coffees?

My official title is On-Site Trainer, but most refer to me as the Barista Ninja. When I first was hired someone jokingly called me Equator's "barista ninja" and like most nicknames it stuck! It even inspired my Halloween costume choice last year, and I poured lattes in a whole ninja outfit, mask and all. The essence of my role is having a broad range of coffee skills that I can share with our baristas at any of our Equator Cafes.  With knowledge of all aspects of a specialty coffee retail shop and the flexibility to be everywhere. Like a ninja. That's me! Except for I don't have a sword, but I do pull quite the espresso shot.  In a given week I will float from one Equator Cafe to another filling in for shifts as needed as well as assisting Tovara, our head coffee educator, with all of the in-store training for all the new baristas. Whether it's running the floor, helping train new baristas, making lattes, or doing dishes, I do it all. Whatever our particular cafes needs are that day, I'm there to help and support the team.

2. Where did you get your start?

I got my first coffee job at a Barnes and Noble Starbucks 12 years ago but didn't get into coffee until seven years ago when I got a job at Kean Coffee down in Southern California. At Kean, I discovered the world of Specialty Coffee, and I instantly fell in love. There was so much more to coffee than I ever imagined, and from that day on I wanted to learn all I could.

3. What is a typical day like for you?

One thing I enjoy about my role is that no two day's at Equator are the same!  As I float from store to store, I'm able to support in all positions of each of our five cafes. When a manager makes a schedule each week, he or she will look to see which shifts need coverage that week and places me in the shifts as needed. On average I'm at one or two of our Marin cafes at least three times a week, and I'm at one of our city cafes at least twice a week.

4. Why do you love working in the coffee industry?

Gosh, where do I begin?! The coffee community continues to inspire and amazes me each and every day. I have met some of my best friends and some amazing mentors throughout my years in coffee. As my desire for a career in coffee grew, and my mentors helped me grow my skills and gave me the confidence I needed to move to Marin and join Equator.  At Equator we are fortunate to have so many passionate and intelligent coffee professionals, and as you can see in our cafes, it is a fun and knowledge sharing culture.  I feel grateful every day to be part of the culture at Equator and work with these amazing professionals that I consider to be the best in the business.   The fact that I have a job that not only gives me a chance to learn something new about coffee each day as well as have fun with all my friends still blows my mind and I feel blessed to be here.

Cheers,
Meghan Houston
Coffee Trainer & Educator
Equator Coffees & Teas