Ethiopian Coffee Roasted by Equator

An Excellent Ethiopian Coffee Roasted by Equator Coffees & Teas

8.18 Weighted Score Out of 10
The Buzz
  • Bold, complex aroma
  • Evenly roasted
  • Sweet taste with pleasant aftertaste
  • Little to no bitterness
  • The Dregs
  • Flavor changes with small variations
  • Not the easiest to dial in with all brewing methods
  • My Thoughts...
    A well roasted Ethiopian coffee with complex aroma and flavors. No bitter notes and the aftertaste drives you to brew more once you've finished your cup. Equator cares for the coffee growers and the processes involved from farm to cup. See the video at the bottom of the post.
    Ease of Use

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    Ethiopian coffee is on the top of my list right now.

    So I was excited when I received an Ethiopian Sidama Ardi roast by Equator Coffees & Teas from a monthly delivery by Mistobox.

    Equator Coffees & Teas

    Equator Coffees & Teas is located in San Rafael, California and is owned by partners Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell. The women started roasting coffee in a garage, growing the business into a thriving wholesale and retail provider as well as opening several local cafes.

    By building relationships with farmers, paying quality incentives, and helping them in times of need, Equator receives top-notch coffee beans from their suppliers.

    For more information about the origins of the Ethiopia Sidama Ardi beans I have included a blurb from Equator website.

    The Ethiopia Sidama Ardi is from Southern Ethiopia in the Guji area.and was carefully roasted by Equator Coffees & Teas.

    For the approximately 3,000 people living in this area, coffee farming is the main source of income. Through persistent dedication to coffee quality, Nados Coffee produced a spectacular crop of coffee.

    This naturally processed coffee was grown at an altitude of 1,775 meters and consisted of Ethiopian heirloom varieties. This cup is fantastically juicy, dominated by berries and lavender, with citrus and chocolate undertones.

    Also, the cherries underwent a natural sun-dried process and the Equator team has a working relationship with the farmers in the Guji area, purchasing beans from them for the last three years.

    Equator’s Ethiopian Sidama Ardi

    The coffee arrived in a colorful, foil lined bag with a one-way degassing bag. It arrived 3-days after roasting and the aroma from the bag was immediately intoxicating.

    There’s a strong fruity aroma with some floral aspects.

    The beans are evenly roasted on the light side of medium to my eyes.

    Brewing this Ethiopian Coffee

    I brewed my first taste of this wonderful smelling coffee as a pour over.

    ethiopian coffee brewingI set-up my Hario V60 and adjusted  my Porlex grinder to the fifth setting with a 16:1 ratio.

    The aroma of the ground beans was more intense and very fruity. I couldn’t pick out any particular fruit notes but when ground I also got a vanilla and chocolate aroma not present with the whole beans.

    There’s a floral-fruity aroma in the freshly brewed cup, more floral at first but as the coffee cools the fruit notes take over. I didn’t notice any of the chocolate or vanilla notes in the brewed coffee at first.

    The complexity continued as the coffee cooled as I noticed a nutmeg aroma as the coffee neared room temperature and sweet chocolate notes also creep into the flavor profile. Complex flavors draw me to Ethiopian coffees.

    The aftertaste was on the floral side, again, adding to the complexity of the brew. I couldn’t put a particular floral note to the taste, but the aftertaste made me want to drink more. I didn’t notice any bitter notes at all. None of those dry aftertaste feelings in your mouth that say I’ve had enough. No, this coffee will get you up to brew another mug.

    The body of the coffee is light at first; then there is a slight heaviness that settles on the back of the tongue, not a bitter or dry feeling at all.

    Other Brewing Methods

    French Press

    Using a 16:1 ratio in the French Press with a coarse grind produced a slightly weaker cup of coffee than I like. There was no sour taste, though, with the citrus notes standing out.

    The chocolate notes are more pronounced as the coffee cools using the French Press. The aftertaste was also heavier than with the pour over, but not to the point of being bitter.

    I only brewed this coffee once in the French press as I thought the taste was better with the pour over. If I tried it again, I would grind the coffee one or two settings more fine before I would adjust the ratio.

    Moka Pot

    On a whim, I tried brewing a Moka pot with Equator’s Ethiopian coffee. I knew the roast is too light, but I had a hankering for a Breva.

    The resulting brew was fresh and clean, but it wasn’t rich enough to stand up against the foamed milk.

    Other Brewing Variations

    Changing the ratio even to 15:1 produced a bolder coffee, but it lost a lot the flavor and complexity. Same with a finer grind setting, the coffee had more of a bitter note in the taste, although the aftertaste still was pleasant.

    I would stick to a 16:1 ratio with a pour over method with this coffee. If you like the taste of a bolder coffee, I would reduce the ratio but keep the grind setting the same.

    Bean & Roasting Info

    Roast Level: Light side of Medium
    Producers: Nados Coffee
    Country of Origin: Ethiopia
    Region: Borena Hagermariam District
    Variety: Sidama heirloom
    Processing method: Sun-dried natural
    Growing altitude: 5,800 ft-amsl
    Roaster tasting notes: Dark Chocolate, vanilla, sweet lemon, lavender, and a creamy berry melange.



    Drinking a great cup of coffee is an enjoyable part of life. To me, it’s even better when you know that the people that produced the coffee care about their product and those involved in the process.

    Equator Coffees & Teas is one of those companies, they realize the relationships they build by caring about the farmers and those involved in the processing not only provide their customers with a better product but they’re making the world a better place for many people.  Watch the video below and read their mission on the website to see what I mean.

    I realize this is a coffee review, but a review should be more than about the coffee itself, it’s about all of the people that bring a single 12-oz bag to my home. Both Equator Coffees & Teas and Mistobox have done a great job here.

    The Coffee

    I completely recommend this Ethiopian coffee. The aroma will draw you in and the complexity of flavors will have you brewing additional cups of coffee.

    Tinkering with grind settings and brew ratios will produce a great cup of coffee regardless of your preferred method, but I’d use a pour over brewer at a 16:1 ratio and a grind setting finer than medium.

    This light roasted Ethiopian coffee has great flavor from fruity to floral, with cocoa notes as well as a hint of spice, this sweet tasting, non-bitter coffee is worth ordering!

    Equator’s Ethiopia Sidama Ardi is available on their website at the time this post publishing.

    Below are buttons that will take you to the specific coffee, Equator’s website, and Mistobox.

    Equator’s Video

    Watch the video to learn more about Equator Coffees & Teas and to see how a coffee roaster can help the coffee industry from the farm up.


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    The Coffee Pragmatist

    No-nonsense advice on artisan and speciality coffee. From bean to cup, though I prefer mugs. Get how-to advice, reviews, recommendations, interviews and discounts on coffee beans from roasters around the country. 

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