Introducing: Equiano Coffee Company
Eugene, Oregon has a new Specialty Coffee roaster & retailer, and it’s something special! Okon and Gloria Udosenata, along with their young boys, Diego and Nasia, have begun roasting small farm, single-varietal coffees from Colombia and other coffee-growing regions from around the world, under the business name “Equiano Coffee Company”.
Okon brings ten-plus years of experience in the specialty coffee industry to the company including both Barista and coffee roasting experience. Gloria, who shares her husband’s passion for all things coffee, also has experience working as a barista in Eugene.
“After leaving Global Delights in June of 2015 I wanted to focus on Specialty Coffee in the Northwest. In my home town of Eugene, Oregon the term Specialty Coffee is as ambiguous and grey as the weather. With Equiano Coffee Co. I will attempt to harness and clarify Specialty Coffee in Eugene, Oregon.”- Okon Udoseneta, January 2016
Dreams really do come true, just ask Okon and Gloria Udoseneta, husband & wife owners of Equiano Coffee Co. in Eugene, Oregon. And after two years in business Okon Udoseneta, roastmaster at Equiano Coffee is doing just what he set out to do, “Making Specialty Coffee approachable, and exciting.”
After shutting the doors of their first cafe venture, “One Cup Cafe” Okon’s passion and skills landed him a business partnership and Roast Master position with a small, local coffee company. Okon turned out to be more than just a quick study when it came to roasting specialty coffee. After cutting his teeth on a Diedrich commercial roaster he entered his first Roaster’s Guild U.S. Roasters Championship in 2015 taking 6th place in the nation his first time out.
Trip to Origin: Colombia
That very same year Okon was invited along on an origin trip to Colombia to visit & work on several small coffee farms, taste amazing Colombian coffees and cultivate relationships with farmers, processors & exporters. The relationships he began to forge on that trip along with the amazing coffees he discovered in Colombia helped to set Equiano Coffee on the road to the success that the Udoseneta family is already enjoying with their new venture!
Now Okon and Gloria enjoy visits from a number of the coffee farmers that they’ve developed buying relationships with. Some farmers come from as far as Brazil and Vietnam to visit the Udosenatas at their small boutique style coffee tasting room in Eugene.
Equiano Tasting Room
In the spring of 2017, Okon and Gloria opened Eugene, Oregon’s first coffee tasting room in the newly revitalized and hip “Whiteaker” neighborhood of Eugene, nestled in the midst of several of the Northwest’s fast-growing craft beer breweries.
“I wanted to create a special place where we could showcase our more rare & exotic coffees, those that are typically too high-end or expensive for our wholesale coffee house customers to carry”, says Okon.
Since its opening day, the Equiano Tasting Room has become a favorite destination for neighborhood coffee lovers and a popular coffee rest stop for interstate travelers along Oregon’s I-5 corridor, with Google Maps and “Siri” directing drivers to where they can find “the best coffee in Eugene”.
” This coffee is the best! Roasted by the owner to perfection. Me and my wife not only drink the coffee at their tasting room, but we also buy their whole beans to brew at home in our Espresso Machine. Additionally, if you prefer drip or French press they have a wonderful assortment of beans to choose from. Love this place! Keep it up!” -Alex F., Eugene, Oregon.
“Great coffees from various world locations prepared with care and to perfection. I’m from Seattle on a visit and I would for sure visit here again. It was fun talking to the owner about his LP turntable and new receiver and learning about the coffee farmers he buys from.” -James R., Olalla, Washington
More recently, Okon and Gloria have launched their new eCommerce website, making their coffees available worldwide. To taste Okon’s coffees for yourself, you can visit www.equianocoffee.com.
As the company continues to grow, a unique cafe culture has begun to emerge from the popular neighborhood cafe. The tasting room walls feature visual works from local artists on a rotating, monthly basis, and the weekly, Sunday morning pastry pop-ups featuring fare from local chefs and artisan bakers have become a regular draw for coffee and pastry loving crowds.
Anyone visiting the tasting room can enjoy a latte or cappuccino prepared with either local dairy or organic Cashew milk prepared in-house. Add some of Okon’s hand made chocolate ganache or raw coffee blossom honey to your favorite drink. And as always, espresso lovers have a choice between either of two single varietal espressos, each with its own unique flavor characteristics, and expertly prepared on the shops new, state-of-the-art “Synesso MVP Hydra” espresso machine.
For the coffee purist that wants to enjoy the many subtle and pronounced flavors found throughout Okon’s carefully sourced and masterfully roasted coffees, your friendly Equiano barista will be happy to hand brew your choice of coffee bean pour-over style or prepare a “flight” of any three coffees side-by-side for you to taste “cupping” style.
A Growing Following
Last year, King Estate Winey switched their winery restaurant’s coffee offering from the nationally recognized Intellegencia Coffee to Equiano’s organic Brazil. Also noteworthy is Pastini Italian restaurant’s choice to offer the same Brazil from Equiano to their restaurant guests. Pastini serves coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters at their Portland, Oregon locations.
Even Market of Choice, Oregon owned natural foods store chain sells a selection of several Equiano whole bean coffees at both, their Willamette Street and Franklin Blvd locations in Eugene.
The Equiano Tasting Room is located at 300 Blair Blvd, in Eugene, Oregon and is open seven days a week.