The Good News File: Coffee, Music, & Community

Albuquerque, NM (KKOB) – Many of us orchestrate our mornings to the tune of caffeine, but this spring, a local cafe is orchestrating its employees around music. Every other month independent coffee shop, Rust is Gold, off Eubank and Comanche, allows one of their baristas to craft a drink for which a portion of the proceeds will go to a charity of their choice. For co-owner Steve Mayes, it’s just another opportunity for the community-centered business to give back to those who support them. “It’s that interpersonal thing where you have a vested interest in creating something that you know is going to benefit people outside yourself,” said Mayes.

This cycle the chosen barista, Mia Nakagawa, has created a Bluemoon Tea for her charity special. The electric blue iced drink is made from a floral butterfly tea shaken with coconut syrup. Nakagawa says it’s perfect for spring, but it also helps represent the vibrant organization the drink will support: Rock 101. 

“Giving our baristas the ability to create something that is a reflection of themselves is fun for them and it also gives them the opportunity to reach out to their favorite charity and give something back from themselves – we just give them the outlet to do it,” Mayes said.

Nakagawa chose Rock 101 because of both a family connection and a personal one – her love for music. The group operates out of her parent’s church teaching kids and adults alike how to play everything from the piano to the electric guitar. It’s run by local musician Kevin Herrig who started the program more than a decade ago when he was just 21-years-old. “Albuquerque is small, we’ve made a lot of connections since we started 12 years ago, and Rust is Gold is a great example. We have a summer camp every year and the donations from this drink will help provide a scholarship to give more kids a chance to learn to play music and find community through it,” said Herrig. 

You can try Bluemoon Tea for yourself through April. Summer sessions for Rock 101 begin in June, to learn more, click here.