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A month or so ago, with many a barista story about the emerging Portland coffee scene, we decided that we had to make a little trip down to our quaint, pleasant neighbor to the South. And we were so glad we did! We a great, warm welcome we received. Each cafe we stopped at we ran into people we knew, including many expat Seattlites: baristas who competed at our last smack down, other industry folks, and even our former head roaster (who has helped open a roasting company and is in the process of building out his own cafe). [gallery] We stopped at nine (yes, nine) cafes. And of course, we had to try the coffee at each shop. I am sure you can imagine how fast our hearts were beating (we tried- rather unsuccessfully- to balance it all out with beer). Let's just say that for all of us who squished into the cozy leather seats on the Limo mini-bus last week, our trip to Portland was like Prom for grown-ups (or nearly grown-ups).

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