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22 Cafes in 7 Months? Coffee Passport Challenges Intrepid Drinkers

By Alisa Hauser | December 3, 2014 1:00pm
 The Indie Coffee Passport
The Indie Coffee Passport
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WICKER PARK  — Got a coffee lover in your life but want to give her something more original than a bag of beans or a gift certificate to just one cafe? 

The Indie Coffee Passport, which went on sale Monday, will give coffee lovers a chance to pop in at local independently owned coffee shops for the next seven months.

The passports, which can be bought online, are $25. 

Each passport, which is the size of a business card but folds out and displays a list of 22 shops, includes the addresses and phone numbers of 22 cafes, where passport holders can enjoy one drink (up to a $5 value) at each stop.

The cafes on board (see the full list here) include Atomix Cafe, 1957 W. Chicago Ave; Buzz: Killer Espresso, 1644 N. Damen Ave,  Big Shoulders Cafe, 1105 W. Chicago Ave.; Ugly Mug Cafe, 1438 W. Chicago Ave.; and The Wormhole, 1462 N. Milwaukee Ave.

The "passport" started in Toronto in 2010. It was brought to Chicago by Dori Rubin, a Wicker Park resident who went to college in Montreal and first heard about the passport when she was visiting friends in Toronto.

Rubin, who has a full-time job in market research, said she was very excited about the concept, and with the support of the founders, began recruiting local cafes for a Chicago edition.

"I took it on as a labor of love and a side project," Rubin said, adding that she has "always loved independent coffee culture and the idea of having an excuse to get together and find independent coffee shops."

Passport holders can get one drink at each of the shops and check this site in advance for eligible beverages. Passport holders have seven months to try the cafes on the list.

Plan to do some holiday shopping this weekend? Rubin has scheduled a launch party from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Firecat Projects, 2124 N. Damen Ave. in Bucktown. You can pick up a passport there.

The party will include "passport-inspired cocktails," food and photography by Art Shay, whose exhibit, "Nelson Algren's Eternal Chicago," is on display at the gallery. RSVP for the Indie Coffee Passport Chicago party here.

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