Following the success of their brewing guide, the nonprofit hopes to donate $100 every week to a different barista in need through the end of 2021.
BY KATRINA YENTCH
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of I’m Not a Barista
When Micky Wang of I’M NOT A BARISTA first conceptualized a nonprofit for baristas in need during COVID-19, he chose the statement as a way to start a conversation between coffee workers and coffee lovers—for example, “You’re not a barista? What are you then?!” Just over a year later, the organization has become a passionate global coffee community, which mostly consists of volunteers who are baristas and coffee lovers across Europe, Asia, and beyond.
In addition to highlighting baristas with unique stories on their website (which is nearly everyone, right?), I’M NOT A BARISTA has also launched several campaigns to boost donations, support local roasters, and raise mental health awareness. After an enormously successful response to the group’s goal of creating a coffee-brewing card deck, they want to continue donating to baristas in need through this project.
For this campaign, titled “1 week, 1 barista, 1 story,” I’M NOT A BARISTA (IANAB) is hoping to get more roasters and coffee equipment companies to be a part of the brewing guide. By including their own products as add-ons to the card deck, IANAB hopes to add an extra $2 of every sale to the cause. The goal is to raise $4,800 for 48 baristas for the next 48 weeks, which begins in September. This amount will increase if donations exceed expectations.
Some examples of items that roasters can contribute are coffee bags, brewing equipment, and coffee tools like cupping bowls and spoons. The items that coffee companies contribute will not be donations. Rather, their products will be sold as packs along with the card deck, and sales will go straight back to these companies. Some roasters currently on board include Café con Jiribilla from Mexico, Pacamara from Italy, and Bristol Twenty from the U.K. If you are a roaster or coffee company that wants to be a part of the collaboration, you can express interest here.
As more of the world slowly gets access to COVID-19 vaccines, it’s clear that many folks are still experiencing the hardships that the initial onset of the pandemic created. “We are talking about hard workers, people who may have lost their jobs and may not be able to pay for rent or provide a secure income for their families,” says Nicole Hilton at IANAB. “They deserve some aid in such a challenging year. $100 might not be life-changing to many, but it could change harsh working or living conditions for people around the world and give some peace of mind.”
To apply, baristas will be able to fill out the form on IANAB’s website, so stay tuned for the announcement on Instagram when applications open. “Each week, we will read their stories and choose one person based on their needs, their professions, and the country they come from,” explains Nicole. “We all know that the world is facing some tough times, yet there are some countries that need our help more than others.”
All baristas who apply will be considered to receive a $100 donation through the end of the term—not exclusively for the week they are applying. This way, they hope to increase accessibility and get as many folks as possible to apply. These recipients will also be featured on I’M NOT A BARISTA’s website and podcast, where they will share their coffee journeys to the community.
To buy the brewing guide or contribute to the cause, you can check out the Indiegogo campaign here.