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Free shipping on orders over $59 | Updates on Covid-19

  • COVID 19
  • Drive Thru
  • General
  • Coffee
  • Sourcing

Help/FAQ

COVID 19

  • What precautions are being taken to limit the sharing of germs?

    All staff at the roastery and the drive thru follow specific instructions as provided by public health authorities. This includes regularly sanitizing all surfaces with any contact; regularly and properly washing hands; wearing gloves where needed; keeping a distance of 6 feet or more with colleagues; limiting all social contact outside of work. Staff showing any symptoms of illness will be excused from work. Staff who worked in close quarters with an ill colleague will also be asked to self-isolate at home as public health authorities have advised.

    At the drive-thru, payments will be made with contactless tap; if the payment processor is touched by a customer, it is immediately sanitized before the next customer comes to the window.  No cash payments are accepted.

  • Are the Ottawa Equator cafés open for takeout?

    No. Our Westboro and NAC locations are closed until further notice. We have been closely following the news and will open again when it is deemed safe by health officials.

  • How can I buy you beans?

    You can purchase our beans at many grocery stores across the city - to find a store near you, email outreach@equator.ca. You can also purchase our beans from our online store and we offer free shipping over $59 (that’s 1 x 5lb bag or about 4 x 340g bags).

  • Are you still open?

    Our cafes in Westboro and at the NAC are closed until further notice. Our drive-thru in Almonte is open (7-4 on weekdays; 8-4 on weekends). Our roastery is still open and pumping out coffee!

Drive Thru

  • What are your Drive Thru Hours?

    Our Drive Thru is open every day! Monday to Friday from 7 am to 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm

  • Can I order Pizza in the Drive Thru?

    Not yet. As we work through this new system, we may make changes to our menu. For now, the menu will have treats, wraps and sandwiches, and your favourite coffee and tea drinks. 

  • Can I walk through the Drive Thru?

    No. The Drive Thru is made for cars and it is unsafe to have folks walking in a driving lane.

  • Can I buy a bag of beans from the Drive Thru?

    Yes! You can order a bag of beans at the menu board along with your order!

General

  • Where are you located?

    Our roastery is located at 451 Ottawa St. in the friendly town of Almonte, Ontario. We also have two cafés in Ottawa - one at the National Arts Centre and one in Westboro. 

  • Can I take a tour of the roastery?

    Yes, we offer free roastery tours on Saturday mornings at 11am.

  • Do you serve food at your cafés?

    Almonte: in Almonte we have a full kitchen and make a mean breakfast. We also serve pizza, salads, and sandwiches. We have many gluten-friendly and vegan options, just ask the barista!

    Westboro: we serve a great lunch, delicious pastries, and sandwiches for on the run. We have many gluten-friendly and vegan options, just ask the barista!

    NAC-CNA: We have a small but mighty food menu at the NAC, including sandwiches, salads, and sweets.

  • Where can I buy your coffee for at home?

    You can purchase our beans at our cafés and at many grocery stores across the city - to find a store near you, email outreach@equator.ca. You can also purchase our beans from our online store and we offer free shipping over $59 (that’s 1 x 5lb bag or about 4 x 340g bags).

Coffee

  • How is coffee roasted?

    Roasting coffee is a cross between science and art. During the roasting process, the time and temperature for each batch is measured and recorded by the roastmaster on computer software. This is to determine the "roast curve" (think of it as a recipe) for whichever origin he might be roasting. We roast each origin differently, depending on its flavour profile, its moisture content, the density of bean, and other aspects of its composition. It's up to the roastmaster to determine what the optimal conditions are (temperature, time, airflow, etc) for each coffee, hence the name "master". Establishing a roast curve allows us to guarantee consistency and quality, time after time. Many of the roast curves for our classic blends date back to when Craig first got started on his 10kg Toper. But two roaster upgrades and over twenty up-and-down years later, we’ve made a lot of changes and improvements.

  • Which type of grinder should I buy?

    There are grinders for every budget, and every level of coffee lover. Ideally, you would go with a burr grinder, hand or electric. Burr grinders do a much better job at grinding coffee consistently (i.e. same size particles which means same level of extraction which means smoother coffee).  A blade (the zip-zip ones that beat the beans around until they pulverized) grinder will do in a pinch but doesn’t do as well on the consistency front. Learn more about our top picks for coffee grinders here.

  • How fresh is fresh?

    Coffee tastes best when it’s fresh - the fresher the better! Ideally, you’re getting your beans fresh The coffee will taste great within a month of roasting, but after six weeks it starts to lose it’s sweet and smooth notes and becomes bitter and stale. Treat coffee like a loaf of bread, not a shelf-stable product.

  • What is naturally decaffeinated coffee?

    There are two forms of decaffeination that are natural (as in no nasty chemicals) and acceptable to organic certification: the well-known “Swiss Water Process” and the less well known but just as natural Carbon Dioxide Process. Equator’s decaf coffee is processed almost 100% in the CO2 process. We prefer this to Swiss Water because we have found that it helps preserve the flavour of the coffee better than the Swiss Water process where the flavour components are often removed and then put back in again at the end of the process..

    The way the CO2 process works is that the green coffee beans (the raw, pre-roasted product) are soaked in compressed carbon dioxide, which acts more like a liquid than a gas in that state. Carbon dioxide, when compressed, combines with caffeine so that when the CO2 is filtered, the caffeine is actually removed. Because carbon dioxide is what we humans produce and what plants need to survive, it’s obviously a natural and harmless product thereby making this process of decaffeination natural and harmless!

Sourcing

  • What is Fair Trade coffee?

    Make no mistake: “Fair Trade” is a loaded term. But at its basic core, it’s an alternative way of doing business with the goal of improving life for the producer who has historically gotten the short end of the stick to put it mildly. Improving life can mean a variety of things but better trading conditions, higher wages, and improved social and environmental standards are a good place to start. Fairtrade Certification is the international system that uses Learn more here

  • Where does Equator coffee come from?

    We purchase coffee from over 20 different producer groups located in a wide range of coffees located on or around the equator (hint hint!)  From Mexico to Colombia, Ethiopia to Indonesia, our warehouse is filled with fair trade organic coffee that has traveled thousands of kilometers and passed through countless hardworking hands. For specifics (producer profiles, contracts, invoices, shipping docs), please visit www.fairtradeproof.org.

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