Even for bean fiends, it's easy to get stuck in a caffeine rut, ordering the same drink at the same café week in and week out. The Vermont version of a business called the Indie Coffee Passport, which debuts on June 15, could give them an incentive to change it up.
The concept is simple: Buy a "passport" online or at a participating independent coffee shop, then use it to purchase selected drinks at a discount. The Indie Coffee Passport started in Toronto and spread to Ottawa and Montréal, where Burlingtonian Henri St-Pierre discovered it. A business student at McGill University who has worked at various Montréal coffee shops, he saw starting a coffee-focused business as an ideal meeting of interests.
Now home for the summer, St-Pierre has recruited 10 Burlington cafés to participate. The $12 passport buys its holder one beverage from each. Each café offers five drink options, including tea at most venues. Choices range from basic coffees and espresso to specialties such as a spicy Aztec Mocha at Juniper or Barrio Bakery's Fizzy Lifter, an iced Americano with sparkling water.
"I think it's a great way to discover new places in Burlington," says St-Pierre. "Even if you've lived here for a long time, it's great to try the drinks that each location wants to offer. If you're new here, it's a way to get a feel for the city."
The passport expires on December 15, giving buzzheads six months to drink their way through the city.
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