Eugene, Oregon has a rich Specialty Coffee history. From the late “Coffee Corner”, the city’s first coffee house, to its first Starbucks store that cropped up in the 1990s on the corner of 18th & Pearl, and countless other espresso carts and coffee shops that have come and gone over the last three decades. Eugene is also home to more coffee micro-roasters (small coffee roasting companies) than you can count.
Equiano Coffee Tasting Room. 300 Blair Blvd. Eugene, Oregon.
Best Coffee? Ask SIRI
If you’re driving past Eugene, Oregon along the I-5 corridor in need of a good cup of joe and ask SIRI where to find Eugene’s best coffee, she’s likely to tell you “Equiano Coffee Company”. That’s exactly how one traveling coffee lover from California, on his way to Portland, Oregon reported that he found the Equiano Coffee tasting room in the heart of Eugene’s historic Blair Business District.
Okon Udosenata Roasts Organic Brazil At The Equiano Roasting Warehouse. Eugene, Oregon.
And SIRI’s not the only one talking about this unique local coffee roaster. Word has trickled back down from Portland, through the chain of specialty coffee professionals that Okon Udosenata, roastmaster at Equiano Coffee is all the buzz among the coffee roasting community in Oregon’s largest city! Certainly, this is due in no small part to Udosenata’s high placings in Portland’s last regional coffee roasting competition. You can read about the competition by clicking (here).
Eugene’s Coffee Diversity
But Equiano Coffee Company isn’t alone anomaly in this cozy Northwest college town. The Eugene specialty coffee scene is exploding with small coffee roasters and some truly amazing coffees!
While Udosenata, who also owns Equiano Coffee along with his wife Gloria was originally inspired to begin roasting coffee after reading an article on the Ethiopian coffee ceremony in Fresh Cup Magazine, he has gleaned further inspiration for his roasting business from the city’s oldest coffee roaster, “Cafe Mam”(pronounced “Mom”).
Cafe Mam is not only one of Eugene’s first commercial roaster but was also a pioneer in the organic coffee and direct trade movements, blazing a trail for quality and fair pricing along the “coffee chain” which many in the industry now follow after.
“They’re an original, everybody tries to copy & capitalize on what they’ve been doing in the coffee supply chain all along. I was inspired to develop relationships with the small, independent farmers that grow the coffees we roast at Equiano”, says Okon Udosenata.
Cafe Mam, a more traditional style roaster with many dark-roasted blends of beans all sourced from a single coffee farming and production co-op in Chiapas, Mexico are well known throughout the Willamette Valley of Oregon and can be found in the whole bean coffee section of many local groceries and highly recommended if you enjoy a more traditional, dark roasted coffee or espresso.
Finding great coffee at the other end of the roasting spectrum in Eugene is easy if you visit the fledgling micro-roaster in the historic 5th St. market district, “Tailored Coffee Roasters”. A “third wave” style roaster specializing in single-origin coffees is known for producing roasted coffees with unusually sharp, bright and acidic qualities popular among so many new roasters and coffee professionals. Tailored’s coffees are sure to delight the palates of the coffee aficionado that leans towards the winey, fruity coffees of Specialty’s “third wave”!
Okon Udosenata Sampling Some Of Eugene’s Best Coffees At Equiano’s Tasting Room.
And then there’s Udosenata at Equiano Coffee. A seasoned and accomplished coffee roaster, Udosenata’s true genius may lie in his ability to find and source some of the world’s most delicious single varietal beans. From Equiano’s ever-popular Organic Brazil to their fruity Colombians and chocolaty Guatemalan coffees to their uniquely delicious Organic Vietnamese with its Chinese five-spice characteristics to its earthy, chocolaty finish, Equiano’s coffees are a real treat for the coffee lover that stumbles upon this little gem of a purveyor.
Taste A “Flight” Of 3 Small Farm, Single Varietal Coffees At The Equiano Coffee Tasting Room.
Eugene, Oregon, known as “Track Town USA” is home to the University of Oregon and the Oregon Country Fair. And with such famous movies as Animal House and Shenandoah having been filmed here, Eugene has of late, become a popular city for craft beer breweries and specialty coffee roasters alike.
And in the heart of Eugene’s Whiteaker neighborhood, you’ll find some of the stand-outs like Ninkasi Brewing and Equiano Coffee Company’s coffee tasting room. And if you don’t believe all of my accolades about Equiano’s coffees just take a look at all of their reviews on “Yelp”!
“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 turn-table and new receiver and learning about the coffee farmers he buys from.” -James R., Olala, Wa.
Macchiato with in-store made organic Cashew milk.
“Bold flavored coffee delivered with precise customer service. I love having the option for store made cashew-milk. A lovely one of a kind coffee shop with a beautiful outdoor sitting area. Prepare to be wowed with flavor whether you are having a single shot or enjoying a flight of coffee. Cheers, to divinely roasted coffee!” -Iquo I., Eugene, OR.
You can recreate the flavors of Eugene’s best coffee at home.
Equiano sells pour-over brewing kits and whole bean coffees to take home!
The Equiano Coffee Experience
The more fine restaurants and retailers that carry Equiano coffees, the more people seek out the tiny tasting room for whole-bean coffees to take home and re-create the wonderful coffee experience they’ve enjoyed out on the town.
It’s not uncommon for guests of Pastini Italian restaurant or King Estate Winery to come through the tasting room looking for Equiano’s outstanding and ever-popular Organic Brazil which you can find for sale on the company’s website at equianocoffee.com. And the coffee tasting room at 300 Blair Blvd in Eugene has even more delicious small farm coffees to choose from than you can find on the website.
So go ahead, taste these amazing coffees for yourself and decide which single varietal bean is truly Eugene’s best coffee!
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