Women's History Month Feature
Lauren West is Associate Lead Roaster at Equator Coffees, based out of our roastery here in Marin. She connected with us this week to talk coffee roasting, role models, and what Women’s History Month means to her.
Hi, Lauren. Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hi, I’m Lauren West, the Associate Roaster- Lead at Equator Coffees. Bringing people together and seeing the joy that a cup of coffee can evoke in a person is what made me fall in love with this industry. I love a funky natural coffee - tasting things I wouldn’t dare to imagine in my morning cup continues to fascinate me.
What does it mean to work at a women founded company?
Working at a female founded company is empowering, especially in a male predominant industry.
What is it like being a woman in coffee?
Being a woman in coffee is, honestly, a blast! I have been challenged physically and mentally, but I consistently surprise myself with my accomplishments. From lifting heavy burlap sacks of green coffee to tinkering with tools and doing maintenance on a roaster - work I never imagined myself performing - yet I’m having so much fun doing it!
What does Women's History Month mean to you?
To me, Women’s History Month is a time to shine a light on the trailblazers who made it possible for myself, and millions of others, to do the things we love. We are just as capable and, in some ways, even more so, than our counterparts.
Who is a female role model that inspires you?
A female role model who inspires me is Jennifer Lopez. She uses her fame as a platform to advocate for women, girls, and the Latino community. She really is still Jenny from the Block.
What advice would you give to other women looking to build their career in coffee?
Advice I would give to other women wanting to build their career in coffee is, don’t ever underestimate yourself. Follow that spark of interest and run with it.
What's the best advice you've received?
The best advice I’ve ever received was, do what makes you happy!
Associate Lead Roaster Lauren West and Head Roaster Michelle Fleming at the Equator Coffees Roastery in San Rafael, CA.