This profile is part of a new series by San
Rafael Patch on local businesses.
Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell
How Equator got started:
San Rafael-based Equator Coffees & Teasis a coffee roaster, tea purveyor and coffee farm owner offering distinctive micro-lot coffees and rare teas to fine restaurants, hotels and retailers. Obsessive attention to green coffee sourcing, uncompromising roasting expertise and an 18-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 Shade Grown, Organic, and Fair Trade offerings.
Ahead of the curve on climate change, Equator is proud to be one of the first companies in the U.S to utilize the Loring Smart Roaster, which reduces carbon emissions by 80% without compromising artisan quality.
In 2012 Equator was certified by B Benefit Labs as a B Corporation, the first coffee roaster in California to do so.
Why we chose our location:
Mill Valley was our first choice to open our first retail store... When I arrived in San Francisco in the Summer of 1989 the first coffee shop I visited was Spinelli’s on 24th Street in San Francisco. I then made my way to Mill Valley and resided on Throckmorton Avenue visiting what was then, the Coffee Roastery on a daily basis.
Now we have our first retail location in Tam Valley and our 2nd location in downtown Mill Valley at 2 Miller - our pop up will open Nov 22nd and the cafe sometime in February
What Equator is known for:
Equator’s ethos is simple.
Our passion for quality and sustainability drives everything we do.
We think about the impact of our business on the people who grow our coffee, on the people who drink it and on the planet.
We’ve built an intensely loyal following among chefs and others who are entirely serious about taste, as our deep commitment to these issues translates into an unforgettably authentic experience for people who drink our coffee.
Our new retail location at Proof Lab Surf Shop has given us the platform to share our love of coffee, connection and art.
In October of 2007, Equator Coffees purchased Finca Sophia, a coffee farm in Cerro Punta, Panama in partnership with Mill Valley coffee entrepreneur Willem Boot.
Purchasing a farm is a long-term investment to fulfill a desire to experience every element that goes into producing the best coffee possible.
The first crop of rare Geisha coffee beans won’t be harvested until first quarter 2014. As part of its investment in the people growing the coffee, Equator completed construction of permanent worker housing that is eco-friendly, spacious, dry, and equipped with clean-burning Onil cookstoves from Guatemala, and flush toilets.