Media Archive, Pre-2011

Top 10 Tuesday – The Most Commented Upon Dining@Large Posts of 2010
December 28, 2010
In April, a guest review about Spro in Hampden got some readers boiling.

City Paper
Top Ten – The Year in Food
December 8, 2010
Did you hear the collective sigh of relief when Spro opened on the Avenue in Hampden earlier this year? Finally, not just a good cup of coffee in Baltimore, but a reliably great cup.

Solar Gecko
November 29, 2010
So we came back, determined to experience Spro as it was meant to be experienced: high end coffee.  (To be fair, the barista was very nice even in the face of my ignorance, and did not in fact sneeringly direct me to a Starbucks, as I might have been tempted to do, had I been in her situation.)

Fresh Cup Magazine
Chris Ryan, EditorFrom The Editor – Critical Thinking - November 2010
Jay Caragay, owner of Maryland-based Spro Coffee, has developed a reputation as one of the more outspoken members of the specialty coffee industry. He has long been calling for more criticism within the industry.

Style Magazine
Freshly Brewed - November 2010
These are coffees approached the way Robert Parker approaches wine. Notes of strawberries and red grapes, spiced apple cider and vanilla, buttery finishes and lingering cloves roll across the palate.
Dara Bunjon – Spro Coffee, October 18, 2010
Spro Coffee on The Avenue in Hampden. Lunching in Hampden.

Baltimore Magazine
Martha Thomas – Hampden Coffee Shop Perks Up Serious Brews, October 2010
Jay Caragay takes the notion of coffee geekdom to an entirely new level. The daily menu lists five to eight varieties of beans, each brewed to order with one of seven methods—including the AeroPress, an immersion technique, and the Vac Pot, a two-chamber contraption that looks like it belongs in a science lab.

City Paper
Best Precious Coffee 2010
September 22, 2010
No sooner are you glossy-magazine reading about artisinal micro roasters in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver servicing cafés that specialize in individually prepared handmade coffees than Jay Caragay opens his Spro “progressive American coffee” house in Hampden this March.

Gizmodo Australia
Chasing The Perfect Cup of Coffee with Science
 – September 21, 2010
Inevitably, the speciality coffee business - or what I would call "progressive coffee", a tagline borrowed from Baltimore's Spro - is populated by obsessives. - Barista Culture
Spro Coffee – Baltimore, Merry Maryland
August 10, 2010
Today I visited Spro Coffee, and felt my soul leap from my chest into the upper chambers of my throat…
Matt BuchananChasing the Perfect Cup of Coffee with Science - September 20, 2010
Spro owner Jay Caragay tells me about a dude who won’t taste coffee without checking it on MoJoToGo first. “There’s a place for MoJo,” he says, but in the end, the only question that should matter is, “does it taste good?”

CRS Coffeelands Blog
Carrie Stickel – Find Your Bliss at Dreamland and Spro, p. 4- June 2010
The bad news: the good folks at Spro waited until after I moved to Guatemala to open a café just blocks from the house where I used to live!

Hampden Happenings
Michael Sheridan - What I Did This Summer- July 9, 2010
Owner and Baltimore native Jay Caragay is serious about the coffee business and proud of his dedicated staff. If it’s a coffee adventure you crave, check out Spro…

Barista Magazine
Jason Burton – There’s a Barista In the Kitchen, p. 45- June/July 2010
What I find interesting is that there are a lot of similarities between baristas and chefs, especially among the younger generation. I consider Jay Caragay, of Spro in Maryland, one of the most entertaining and talented baristas to watch in competition.

bmore media
Clare Lochary
May 17, 2010
“It’s very symbiotic,” says Jay Caragay, 41, owner of Spro, a coffee shop with a controversial $13 cup of Joe. His shop, which opened in March, stocks food from Puffs & Pastries bakery and soap from Sevi salon.

This Is Gonna Be Good
May 4, 2010
I think Baltimore has finally caught up with the idea of good coffee places. Spro Coffee opened up a branch on the Avenue in Hampden in March. They got a lot of press because they have a cup of coffee that costs $13 from Aida’s Grand Reserve coffee.

Michelle GienowThe Farm Report - #71 – May 2010
One of the trendiest trends in eating out these days is “farm-to-table” dining—that is, tracking the provenance of the food presented on a restaurant plate every step of the journey, from field to four-top… The Spro coffee shop, with locations in Towson and Hampden, buys all its milk, cream, and eggs from local dairy farms where the cows are grass-fed.

April 20, 2010
Just wanted to promote Baltimore’s exciting new coffee shop Spro Coffee Hampden to the at least two other coffee drinkers who frequent this blog from time to time. I had a great time checking out the Spro this morning and can attest to the quality of my two initial selections: a cup of VacPot brewed Aida Grand Reserve from El Salvador and a traditional macchiato.

bmore media
April 20, 2010
Spro Cafe, a new coffeeshop in Hampden, offers a $13 cup of coffee. Two CNN writers wonder in these economic times, what’s up with that!

The Baltimore Examiner
Tamar Alexia Fleishman
April 15, 2010
Oh, you’ve read the controversies on Dining @ Large, you’ve read about Spro HERE, but face it… don’t you secretly want to know what one of the best coffees in the world tastes like?

Donna Beth Joy Shapiro
April 13, 2010
My calculator shows Spro’s $13 tab for a 12 ounce cup of Aida’s Grand Reserve coffee isn’t unreasonable considering the beans cost four times as much as regular joe. Still, it’s not a casual cup of coffee, so I was delighted to be someone’s guest.

Taste of Baltimore
April 7, 2010
Wow! Good job, Jay! You made it to the front page of CNN with this article! Jay Caragay just opened up Spro, a coffee shop in Hampden, and also has a location in the Towson library.
John DeVore & Steven Stern
April 7, 2010
So what could possibly make a cup of joe worth $13? According to Jay Caragay, speaking to The Baltimore Sun, it’s “very fruity, juicy, good mouth feel, [and] full bodied.” And Caragay should know, because it’s his Baltimore coffee ship Spro that’s selling a 12-ounce cup for $13.

City Paper
Mary Zajac
April 7, 2010
Billed as “Progressive American Coffee,” Spro is not for the indecisive, however. The shop’s menu features an ever-changing selection of coffees prepared in one of seven different brew methods.

The Baltimore Examiner
Tamar Alexia Fleishman
April 3, 2010
A while back, I interviewed Scott Conary, World Barista Champion judge. He mentioned that since I was in Maryland, I had access to one of the finest baristas in the world – Jay Caragay – and his shop, Spro. Spro has opened a new branch in Hampden.

Laura Vozzella
March 24, 2010
Could scoring a little pick-me-up get any more complicated? In fact it has, at the new Hampden coffehouse Spro (which earned a mention here yesterday for offering a $13 cup of joe). Spro offers customers a choice of seven brewing methods.

Laura Vozzella
March 23, 2010
You know your city has arrived when somebody can charge $13 for a cup of coffee. That day comes for Baltimore Saturday, when Spro in Hampden (Hampden!) starts offering 12-ounce servings of Aida’s Grand Reserve for $13.

Osmosis Online
Jeremy Nisen
March 23, 2010
Spro Coffee, a new coffee shop, has just opened in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood. The establishment will be serving coffee in an unmatched combination of product and methods. It’s the vision of proprietor, Jay Caragay, who’s a bit of a serial entrepreneur, as well as as a nuanced thinker with interesting views about where coffee is . . . and where it’s going.

Baltimore Magazine
Suzanne Loudermilk
March 22, 2010
Spro Coffee is now open in Hampden, as of Friday (March 19). I stopped bytoday to check it out and talked to owner Jay Caragay, who also operates the coffee bar at the county library in Towson.

Towson Times
Larry Perl
March 10, 2010
Awaiting final Baltimore City approval before opening, Caragay gave coffee lovers a taste of things to come, when Spro hosted Baltimore’s first “barista jam” on Feb. 13.

bmore media
Julekha Dash
-March 2, 2010
Would you pay as much as $9 for a cup of coffee? Jay Caragay is hoping you will to get some java grown by El Salvador farmer Aida Battle, known for producing small batches of award-winning coffees.

Baltimore Messenger
Larry Perl
February 19, 2010
Ten people gathered in a small “coffee lab” on The Avenue, in Hampden, to sniff ground coffee in glasses and fill out forms on their impressions.

the onion-bean
February 15, 2010
The eagerly anticipated opening of Jay Caragay’s second Spro location in Hampden, Baltimore, was pre-heated with a dawn to dusk Barista Jam last Saturday. The day was the organizational brain child of Lindsay Wailes, one of Jay’s Baristas for the new location.
February 15, 2010
Jay Caragay and Co celebrate the opening of his new-and-faboo Hampden, Maryland Spro location with a mega-glamorous throwdown and catered Caragala extravaganza!

Pure Coffee Blog
CC: Spro Coffee - December 27, 2009
I never thought that I would pass by an alleged amazing coffee stop three times before I finally stopped at it. But sure enough, several trips brought me past Jay Caragay’s Spro Coffee in Towson, Maryland with either circumstances that demanded I push on with no rest or with promises that we’ll hit it on the way back (which we didn’t).

Food GPS
Joshua Lurie - USBC Competitor Jay Caragay - March 4, 2009
From March 5-8, the Oregon Convention Center in Portland is hosting the United States Barista Championship. Leading up to the USBC, Food GPS is showcasing baristas who decided to compete for the American coffee crown.
Dan Filler - Best Cafes and Coffeehouses in America - November 23, 2008
So here, as a result of mildly exhaustive research, is my fully un-guaranteed but still incredibly useful list of some great (or really good) American coffeeshops

Baltimore Magazine
Christine Stutz - Starbooks, Anyone? – September, 2008
Some of the best espresso in town can be found in an unlikely place: the Towson Library. The unassuming Spro Coffee stand doubles as a laboratory for its owner, culinary mad scientist Jay Caragay.

Man Seeking Coffee
Way Down In The Spro - June 25, 2008
You can’t talk about Baltimore coffee without discussing ‘Spro or its owner, Jay Caragay, a force of personality in the specialty coffee scene. Jay has competed in nearly all, if not every, barista competition he’s been eligible to compete in since barista competitions have existed.

Earl - What I Saw 2.0
Cheers To You From Spro Coffee - May 9, 2008
Picked up Earl at his apartment in Towson and went on the hunt for two indie coffee shops that were supposed to be close by. Whichever one we found first (if they still existed) would be the one we’d hit for the day.

Chicago Reader
Tasneem Paghdiwala- The Barista In The World? – May 3, 2007
At the Long Beach nationals Matt Riddle is looking forward to seeing Jay Caragay, a large-waisted, deep-voiced former film producer, hula instructor, and “semiprofessional paintball player” from Hawaii who now runs a coffee shop in Maryland.

USBC: Talk about your Tobacco Overtones - April 9, 2006
you need to know this about co-host jay caragay’s specialty drink in the barista competition.espresso. vanilla. aged cigars. served in flaming red ashtrays, no less.