An Excellent Ethiopian Coffee Roasted by Equator Coffees & Teas

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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.

Equator Ethiopian coffee

Equator’s Ethiopian Sidama Ardi

The Ethiopia Sidama Ardi is from the Guji area of Southern Ethiopia. Specifically, the Borena Hagermariam District.

For the approximately 3,000 people living in the Guji area, coffee farming is their main source of income.

The Equator coffee team has a working relationship with the farmers in the Guji area, and has been purchasing beans from them for the last three years.

This naturally processed coffee was grown at an elevation of 1,775 meters and consisted of Ethiopian heirloom varieties. 

Also, the cherries underwent a natural sun-dried process.

This brewed coffee is fantastically juicy, dominated by berries and lavender notes, with citrus and chocolate undertones.

Equator Coffee & Teas

The coffee came from my Mistobox subscription and arrived in a colorful, foil-lined 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, and on the light side of medium to my eyes.

Watch 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.

Brewing this Ethiopian Coffee

I brewed my first taste of this wonderful smelling coffee as a pour over by setting-up my Hario V60 and adjusting  my Porlex grinder to the fifth setting with a 16:1 ratio.

The aroma of the ground beans was intense and very fruity. I couldn’t pick out any particular fruity notes but when ground the beans 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.

The complex flavors draw me to Ethiopian coffees.

Hario V60 Equator Ethiopian coffee

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 and I didn’t notice any bitter notes.

There was 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.

The Hario V60 does a great ob bring out the flavor of this Equator Ethiopian coffee.

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.
Equator-Ethiopia-sidama-ardi coffee beans

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.

Equator coffee and tea

Summary of Equator's Ethiopian Sidama Ardi

Equator Coffee & Teas

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.


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