We’re continuing our series of highlighting all the amazing partners of Coffee Meets Water this year. Next up is a new partner for 2015 – Equator Coffees & Teas, based in lovely San Francisco, CA. We had a chance to connect with Ted Stachura, Director of Coffee at Equator, who was kind enough to answer some questions for us!
Q: Tell us a little bit about Equator Coffees and Teas, and your favorite part about working there!
A: Equator was founded over 20 years ago on the premise of roasting the highest quality coffee and providing outstanding customer service. The company has evolved from being solely a wholesale roaster to operating a small number of coffee houses. This experience has allowed Equator to focus on our local community in a whole new way. We also feel deeply connected to the communities where coffee is grown; in addition to the many relationships we have with coffee producers around the world, Equator also co-owns a small coffee farm in Panama called Finca Sophia, near the town of Cerro Punta. The team that takes care of the Gesha variety trees on the farm help close the loop from coffee origin to roaster to cup. As Director of Coffee, my favorite part of working at Equator is helping establish new relationships with coffee growers and bringing their stories to our customers.
Q: How do you choose what types of coffee you use, and what drinks you make?
A: In our cafes, we feature a dynamic assortment of coffees that change on a monthly basis. Along with the standard espresso based beverages, we offer single-origin coffees brewed by the batch and by the cup. We curate the coffee offerings in our cafes and feel they are a representative snapshot of the depth of our coffee program overall.
Q: Speaking of drinks, what is your favorite coffee drink?
A: I’m a purist when it comes to coffee, I tend to drink unadorned brewed coffee and espresso but, I also enjoy an occasional cappuccino.
Q: Have you done any coffee- specific travel? If so, what are some of your favorite destinations and why?
A: It is difficult to pick one coffee producing country over another. That said, visiting Kenya was especially memorable because the coffee produced there is consistently a favorite of mine. My recent visit to Colombia was also meaningful for the deepening relationships we have established with an assortment of growers. And finally, Panama, home of our very own Finca Sophia, and so many other excellent coffee farms.
Q: How important is access to clean water in regards to coffee?
A: Water plays a critical role in coffee production. Water is used to convey coffee cherries, separate dense cherries from low quality “floaters” and, ferment and wash coffee beans in the traditional wet method of processing. Perhaps most importantly, clean water is required for the health and livelihood of the people who grow coffee and their families.
Q: Why did you decide to partner with us for Coffee Meets Water?
A: Equator decided to partner with Good Neighbors because of our obsession with sustainability. The fact that this program is focused on coffee producing communities around the world helped seal the deal.
Thank you so much Ted, and everyone at Equator, for being a part of Coffee Meets Water this year! Equator has generously donated a bunch of great perks for supporters of Coffee Meets Water – such as a Latte Art class, bags of coffee, bkr water bottles and more! Check out the campaign here!