Baristas for Bikes

By now most of you are familiar with the nonprofit, Bikes to Rwanda, based here in Portland, Ore., which has successfully delivered hundreds of custom-built bikes to coffee farmers in the highlands of Rwanda, where they are used to get cherries to the mill faster and easier than the old way: on foot.


It was no surprise that Bikes to Rwanda was embraced by the specialty coffee industry, but what was unexpected was the way baristas around the country jumped in wholeheartedly to help with the cause, sending their tips, pooling resources to sponsor latte art throwdown fundraisers, and volunteering to help Clara and the BTR Board of Directors spread the word about the program. In the photo below, Justin Teisl of Alterra Coffee in Milwaukee pours in a latte art fundraiser for BTR coordinated by Espresso Parts and held at Espresso Parts’ booth at Coffee Fest Seattle last November.


In response to this remarkable support from the barista community, BTR introduces an offshoot of the program, Baristas for Bikes. Clara sent me this info to post here about the new program, and some background about BTR. Check it out and see how you can get involved!

Bikes to Rwanda is challenging baristas around the country to be a part of something really incredible: improving the quality of life for Rwandan coffee farmers.
As the first point of contact, you have an opportunity to reach the consumer and really pass on the message of the Bikes to Rwanda program.

Our Mission: Bikes to Rwanda’s mission is to provide cargo bicycles to co-operative coffee farmers in Rwanda. The goal is to improve the quality of life in these communities through a bike workshop and maintenance program that provides transportation resources for basic needs and enhances production of quality coffee.

In 2008, we are looking to raise funds to build as many small bike shops as we can to support the bikes already in country. These shops will help to promote the spread of maintenance practices and resources for the farmers involved in the bike program. You can help us do this!

Baristas for Bikes
Be part of something “ get involved on the ground level, raise awareness, funds, and be a part of the solution.
What will you do?

If you want to be a barista for bikes, or if you have any questions, email Bikes to Rwanda,, noting subject, Baristas for Bikes.
We’ll provide you with all the tools you need to make an impact in your community.