Chain Of Well-Being
Equator’s philosophy on coffee is built from a question: how do we create value from our perch in the coffee supply chain, standing at the intersection between local and distant coffee communities?
This question that continues to frame our narrative as we strive to grow a business that values the stakeholders in both communities with respect for the people, the process, and the product. Equator believes that quality underlies economic and environmental sustainability, and this is the pillar of our approach. We support environmentally sound certifications, as well as practices that produce the highest quality coffee while securing a dignified life for those who produce it.
The relationships we have nurtured with producers through the years remain at the heart of our coffee program. We pay quality incentives to farmers, support farming community initiatives, and extend micro credit loans and grants to coffee producers to help make quality improvements but also for food security and other social needs. We advocate for certifications that accommodate a variety of cultural and growing conditions including Certified Organic and Fair Trade. The results of these relationships yield rewards beyond outstanding coffee, friendships focused on a common goal of bringing a product we all love to coffee drinkers everywhere.
We are committed to procuring distinctive coffees from growers who practice responsible land stewardship and sustainable farming techniques. We travel to coffee producing countries to speak with individual farm owners and cooperatives to gain insight into the unique challenges and conditions of specific coffee-growing regions and discuss ways to improve quality and encourage experimentation with variety separation and new methods of coffee processing. By securing direct purchase relationships with coffee producers, we gain access to coffees that are otherwise not available on the open market. We also work with importers such as Sustainable Harvest that are on the ground in origin countries connecting us to producers with the highest quality coffees and we continue to buy from the same producers year over year to create sustainability.
We’ve always taken a holistic approach to our business by considering the impact of our decisions— not just the bottom line— on our employees, suppliers, community, farmers, and the environment. B Corporation certification is a third party certification for companies like us that want to use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
Equator’s dedicated and experienced roasting team transform the farmers’ efforts into the raw materials needed to prepare the highest quality cup of coffee so that you can enjoy the results of all the farmer’s hard work. We put in the time and effort to bring out all the flavor potential inherent in each coffee. For blends, we combine coffees from different growing origins to create complex flavor profiles. We taste coffee multiple times before purchase, prior to shipment and upon arrival to ensure our quality expectations are being met. We then test roast on our production roasters to determine a roast profile that flatters the coffee before presenting a new coffee to our customers. Our strict quality assurance procedures include sensory evaluation of production roasts via cupping, pour over, batch brewing and espresso to ensure quality.
We are uniquely positioned at the center of four communities—the farmers cultivating the coffee, the customers buying the coffee, the employees helping to grow the business, and the local communities supporting Equator cafés. Learning how to be a good partner to each community became, and continues to be, a motivating force for doing business. At Equator, we love interacting with our community. Whether its partnering with like-minded organizations, hosting films, specialty coffee events, or group rides and runs, we always have lots going on! Coffee is our connection; be sure to check our social media accounts for upcoming events on the Equator Calendar.
Equator is committed to producing a great cup of coffee, whether at one of our seven Bay Area cafes or at our many wholesale partners. Equator’s account managers work with our wholesale partners to determine what coffee equipment and water filtration needs will work best for each location. Our team of barista trainers are active in the field, visiting wholesale customers to make sure managers and baristas receive the training needed to brew great tasting coffee. All of our cafe staff go through rigorous training before they are allowed to make drinks for our customers. Our dedicated retail trainers give everyone on our retail team the tools needed to ensure that everything from grind size to water temperature is perfect before coffee is brewed. Our management team in retail consists of Barista and Brewers cup competitors, former coffee roasters, and SCAA certified instructors.
Our commitment to a sustainable, transparent approach spans more than two decades. Since our founding, we have been a leader in sustainability and social responsibility. We minimize our footprint by using a Loring Smart Roaster that reduces carbon emissions by 80%, by composting all of our coffee chaff and grounds, by delivering beans in a biodiesel-fueled truck and by using Prius Hybrids for service vehicles. In 2011, we formalized our commitment to sustainability by becoming a certified B Corporation, making Equator the first California coffee roaster to do so.