News

Finding Something Special For La Calle



From time to time, people ask us to find a special coffee for their programs and when Chef Valentino Sandoval said that he was opening a new Mexican restaurant with his brothers and he wanted us to be their coffee purveyors, we were incredibly honored. After a long career in Philadelphia, Chef Valentino came to Baltimore to helm the kitchen at The Corner restaurant before decided to stake his claim.

And what a claim he has made. La Calle is beyond the expectation of "Mexican restaurant." More in the vein of Enrique Olvera, La Calle is in a class...


Spro Hampden

  

Come visit us at Spro!
851 West 36th Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
410-243-1262

The Hampden store on 36th Street "The Avenue" is our flagship store that opened March 2010, where were welcome our guests in an informal environment to enjoy our hand-prepared coffees and house made pastries. All of our drinks are prepared to order and we offer both indoor, as well as outdoor seating under the front awning, back deck or rear garden.

Our store offers a relaxed and quiet environment for work, study or conversation. We do not offer Wi-Fi or Internet access. Electrical outlets are available and we...


From Seed to Brew: Humans of the Coffee World

to arrive at a profound realization: the making of coffee involves real human beings. I know. This is such an obvious fact that I was completely stupefied when I suddenly opened my eyes to it—why hadn’t I thought of it before? My oblivion to this simple fact was unforgivable on multiple levels. On one hand, one of my favorite activities at any coffee house (alongside sighing and pulling my hair out over whatever that I might be working on) is barista watching—I ought to have known that coffee was not brought forth by magic. On the other hand, as an incidental hipster, I’ve been aware of fair trade, which is all about people! But as I reflect on it, I do come to see that phrases such as “fair trade” only manage to generate an icon of a tanned farmer on a coffee plantation against the backdrop of a tropical sun. It’s almost as if concrete human beings are forgotten when images of them only serve to illustrate ideas.

New House Arrival: Kapchorwa, Uganda

Kyagalani Kapchorwa Washing Station
Kapchorwa, Uganda

Those of you who have been with us for a while know that we change up our coffees on a regular basis. While most coffee places tend to go with blends that have mass-market appeal, we love to showcase the vibrancy of the coffee and the potential that each farm can produce. Because of this, we switch throughout the year from coffee to coffee for our “House” coffee. And while we do change it around we tend not to go too extreme and stay with coffees that have classic coffee notes of nuts, chocolate and...


Introducing Xiaxun Ding!

Introducing Xiaxun Ding!

Every once in a while, one of the regular guests catches our eye. Xiaxun (Shia-shin) Ding is one of those people. Not because she was boisterous but rather because she was exactly the opposite. Ordering her cappuccino and taking it into the back room, next to the window and working towards her Masters in Literature from The Johns Hopkins University. I would go back to check on her every once in awhile.

A few months later, Xiaxun approached me to see if we would be interested in her contributing to our blog with articles about coffee. Since maintaining a blog...