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Have you ever wondered what goes into producing that hot cup of coffee you drink in the morning? For most, the process is simple: buy the coffee, put it in the coffee maker, add water, and drink the coffee. But there is much more to it. This past Monday, Andy, Steve O., Brandon, and myself were given the opportunity to learn all about the newest sponsor of Team Mike’s Bikes p/b Incase: Equator Coffees & Teas ­­­­­­– a Marin-based coffee roaster with major focuses on quality and sustainability. Our tour began with a brief introduction to the company and its history by the company’s co-founder and CEO, Helen Russell. As she spoke about how the company was started in a garage, Ted Stachura (Director of Coffee at Equator) began brewing and pouring samples of the new TMB Speed Blend and their single-origin Don Pepe Bourbon for side-by-side comparison.

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We continued the tour though the facility with Ted, as he thoroughly explained the process Equator takes in establishing long-term relationships with its growers around the world, and the life of the coffee bean from fruit to brew.

Equator is proud to be one of the first roasters in the nation to possess a Loring SmartRoaster, a sophisticated machine that reduces carbon emissions by 80% without compromising their artisan quality.

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After taking a short look at their operations for packing and shipping, Ted and Caitlin took us through Equator’s cupping system of tasting coffees in small batches, from beans in green form, side by side. It’s a very delicate process, and allows them to try several different samples from potential suppliers in a timely manner.

To finish the tour, we were each given an Equator t-shirt and a freshly roasted bag of TMB Speed Blend before it hits the shelves at Mike’s Bikes stores around the Bay Area.

Equator’s commitment to producing their coffees and teas at the highest quality, and in such environmentally responsible methods, is beyond cool. This was an incredible learning experience, and we’re stoked to have such an awesome company on board to help support our racing and development.