“We plan on bringing barista’s to our stores from all over the world,” co-founder Helen Russell says.

Barista Dan Sibomana, second from right, at the Let’s Talk Coffee summit on Oct. 15. Dan is joined by, from left, Equator Director of Retail Devorah Freudiger, Equator Green Coffee Buyer Nate Breckenridge, Equator VP Maureen McHugh. Courtesy image.


Barista Dan Sibomana and Equator Coffees & Teas co-founder Helen Russell at the Let’s Talk Coffee summit on Oct. 15. Courtesy image.

Equator Coffee and Teas regulars might notice a new barista at a pair of the burgeoning brand’s shops this week – one who’s traveled more than 9,400 miles to brew up your morning latte.

Dan Sibomana, a 28-year-old coffee professional from Kigali, Rwanda, will be serving as a guest barista at Equator’s Larkspur shop all day Friday and at its downtown Mill Valley shop from 9am-12pm Saturday. The venture is part of Equator’s ongoing efforts to connect more deeply with coffee-producing nations around the world, and to bring “producers deeper into the value chain, and in the overall promotion of quality from seed to cup,” according to a recent story in Daily Coffee News.

“We plan on bringing barista’s to our stores from all over the world,” Equator co-founder Helen Russell says.

Sibomana is the manager of the Question Coffee Café in Kigali. His journey to the United States came via a partnership between Equator, Sustainable Harvest and Boot Coffee, with Equator spearheading a crowdfunding campaign to offset the costs of bringing Sibomana to Sustainable Harvest’s Let’s Talk Coffee industry summit in Mexico and then to the Bay Area. 

“He’s so bubbly, laughs all the time, makes everyone feel comfortable and involved. He’s like an extreme barista,” Equator Director of Training Devorah Freudiger told Daily Coffee News. “He’s outgoing and friendly and wants to tell you the story of the coffee, but also just loves being that host, welcoming people to the café.”

Freudiger says that having Sibomana in Equator’s cafes “and working with our baristas is going to help give them that connection. It’s always important to us to inspire our staff, like ‘Hey, you’re part of something bigger.’ Here’s this window of what coffee’s like on the other side of the world in a producing country. Or what it can be like, because of his unique experience.”

The 411: Equator’s downtown Mill Valley shop is at 2 Miller Avenue. More information about Sibomana and the fundraising efforts is available here.

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