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Recently we hosted an epic in-company latte-art throwdown event.  Baristas from all our store locations - Greenlake, University District, and Kirkland - participated in a round-robin style competition to see who poured the best latte art, based on the criteria of symmetry, color, and creativity.  Camaraderie and competition came together as pairs of our skilled espresso specialists gave it their all under high-pressure conditions.  The energetic evening concluded with two winners: Brittany Benson and DeVoni Lent.  The prize was a 300 dollar, expenses-paid roadtrip to Portland to explore some of the cafe culture and delight in the great work of the coffee community south of Seattle.

The throwdown champions were accompanied on the Portland roadtrip by our three in-store trainers: Prestin Yoder, Nik Virrey, and Anjuli Grossmeyer.  The band left our headquarters in Seattle and ventured south to Olympia Coffee Roasters.  After talking shop with Oliver and Robbie, the team headed further south to Portland, Oregon.

Upon arrival, the first shop on the list was Heart Roasters where the "swanky" atmosphere revealed innovative siphon coffee brewing systems.  Afterward, stops at Barista II and Coava highlighted the extreme passion and enthusiasm for coffee preparation.  The band had to ask themselves:  "What would a trip to Portland be without making a visit to Stumptown?" So a final Chemex at the downtown cafe was in order.

After extreme overcaffeination, our baristas grabbed some pizza, hit the road, and returned to Seattle, having enjoyed their trip out into the larger coffee world.