About Sequential

Our mission is to celebrate coffee at each step along its journey from the farm to your cup, culminating in a memorable specialty coffee experience. 

Our whole bean coffees are thoughtfully cultivated, freshly roasted and carefully prepared to highlight their unique, individual qualities. We work directly with the farmers and workers that raise and harvest the beans to understand the nuances specific to that farm and that crop.

The art & science of a very special specialty coffee

Specialty roasting is both a science and an art. Each crop requires a unique roast profile in order to highlight that bean's individual notes, ranging from exotic fruits and dark chocolate to floral and citric aromas. When ushered thoughtfully through each stage of the process from the farm to the cup, coffee can culminate into a special experience for both our customers and our growers.

We love science. Preserving the earth that gives us coffee plants and clean water is vital to our mission. Being intentional about our environmental impact is as central to our cause as paying our farmers and employees fairly. We’re committed to reuse, bio-friendly materials, and environmentally conscious roasting practices.

Title sequence

“Sequential” is a reference to “sequential art,” most commonly found in comic books. The sequential artist's vision is conveyed by a sequence of framed illustrations. The space between these frames, called “the ditch,” is where the reader’s mind fills in the details. What happens between the frames is just as important as what’s in the frame, because that’s where your mind participates in the experience and makes it your own. Just like a cup of Sequential Coffee, that journey it took to get to you is only half the story; what you do with it is what makes it yours.

Artwork by Jason Wright representing the specialty roasted process of Sequential Coffee

Origin story

Sequential Coffee started as a graphic book that Stephen Ezell designed to help teach farmers and coffee producers of all languages how to produce great coffee. Because when it’s done right, coffee can make big differences. In some parts of the world, it helps family farmers improve their quality of life by learning how to sustainably farm top-quality beans, which also earns them economic clout in their region. Meanwhile, in our community, on its way to your cup, this coffee provides reliable work for a fair wage and the opportunity to learn equitable trade skills.

The Founders

Jon Shepard and Stephen Ezell met while renovating homes in between gigs in 2004 and have remained close friends even as their work took them different directions. Now they're bringing their respective expertise to produce the most delicious coffee in the southeast region by working with the best coffee producers around the world and anyone else who wants to come along for the ride.

Stephen Ezell

Stephen Ezell, founder and specialty roaster at Sequential Coffee
Stephen Ezell is a musician and a coffee roasting artist. When Stephen moved from Jacksonville Florida to the San Francisco Bay Area, he got a job at a small coffee shop and started his love affair with coffee. Before long, he was being personally taught to roast, cup, and process coffee by world-renowned coffee expert Willem Boot, founder of Boot Coffee, a leading training institute in the Bay Area, where Stephen also eventually taught.

Since then, Stephen has worked with coffee farms around the world to gain a deep understanding of the agriculture and cultivation of coffee. His work with The San Franciscan coffee roaster manufacturing plant honed his passion for roasting high-end natural coffees and modulating flavor profiles. Sequential Coffee brings together everything he’s learned about planting, producing, roasting and presenting the world’s most sought-after coffees to put it all into your cup.

Stephen has served on the Membership Council for the Coffee Roasters Guild, been a guest on the Opposites Extract podcast, taught classes to students in Panama, worked with Mokhtar Alkanshali on his Yemen coffee project and is mentioned in the book about that project, 'Monk of Mokha,' by Dave Eggers. His consultation with farmers, roasters and enthusiasts around the globe, continues as an integral part of Sequential Coffee.

Jonathan Shepard

Jon Shepard is a filmmaker with 20 years of professional experience running high paced, high demand operations in the areas of film, marketing, distribution and branding. His first career in the high tech sector instilled skills and interests that followed him into the film and television production world and subsequently into the advertising and branding arena. He brings his inclusive leadership and business acumen to his passion for coffee and the people who produce it.

To learn more about Sequential, check out our digital publication, Notes from the Lab.