Archive for the General Category

3 City Tour

Posted in General on April 7, 2010 by Chris Dodson

I first visited Ultimo Coffee in October of last year. I remember really enjoying the capps Ultimo’s barista crafted, so I was excited to return. This visit was the first time I got to introduce myself to Aaron Ultimo – the mastermind behind the machine! I couldn’t believe how nice the dude was. He was really polite at the cash register, and provided great conversation whilst making capps & shots for my brother and I. Aaron really encouraged me with my passion for coffee. Not many people in specialty coffee have taken the time to do so. So, if you ever read this, Aaron – thanks so much!

I was already happy when I didn’t have to park 3 blocks away just to go to Ultimo.. I was REALLY happy when I got half way through the capp Aaron made me. I’m don’t remember where he sources his milk from, but it’s certainly the most balanced, sweetest milk I’ve ever had. Aaron Ultimo wasn’t done impressing my brother and I simply with the capps. After we finished our drinks, Aaron pulled some shots of a Kenyan coffee that Novo roasted. It was ironic that a Kenyan coffee was the guest espresso, because I have been on a massive Kenya binge as of late. It was rather priceless drinking my shot, knowing what the expression would be on my brothers face when he took HIS first sip. I’ve been drinking espresso for a lot longer than my brother, so I can handle brightness a bit better than him. The boy was doing everything in his power to not pucker up and chug a glass of water! The Kenyan shots were extremely balanced, but intense as hell.. Buttery, yet unforgiving. Notes of cherry, black currant, and (Aaron’s note) stewed tomatoes created the flavor profile of the espresso.

After Ultimo, we headed North to visit the girls of Spruce Street Espresso. I was surprised to see what a small space they have! I stalked them on Flickr before, and from the photos, assumed they had a massive shop.. It’s funny how you can get an idea in your head about a physical location you’ve never been to. It didn’t matter much since their location is absolutely amazing. It’s right on the corner where a nice line can form out the door. My brother and I ordered spro, capps, and macchiatos (caffeine buzz. Yes.) I was really happy to enjoy their craft It’s cool to see some barista girls kick some ass!

On what I thought was my last visit to Ultimo, Aaron convinced me to stop by on my way home. It was quiet in the shop that morning, so I was able to relax before embarking on a very long drive home..

..I really opened a can of worms on myself when I realized that I-95 goes past Philly, Baltimore and D.C.

I sat in Ultimo fighting the urge to do a 3 city tour… Damn you, Aaron Ultimo.
Along with convincing me to visit again (absolutely no regrets there), he eventually convinced me to go check out the new Spro location in Baltimore.

So, I set off! Trekking down I-95 South. Eventually I arrived at the new Spro location, with a light heart, and a hunger for some SPRO. The two girls at behind the counter were very polite and willing to make sure I had the best experience possible. I ordered an Aeropress of some Peru, and an espresso from Origins Roasters (no idea what it was). I was very excited to see how they are able to achieve every brew method a coffee geek could dream of. It was really cool to see a twist off a traditional espresso bar!
I was bummed to not meet Jay, but I wasn’t about to complain – the girls at Spro were awesome!

Next was a drive further down I-95 to get to my personal spro capitol, Washington D.C.!! I was kind of coffee’d out at that point, but I was eager to catch up with the crew at Peregrine Espresso. I arrived in D.C. to be greeted warmly by Jeremy, and Randy at Peregrine. I don’t feel like I have to advertise Peregrine any more than I already do.. Everybody who knows me, knows I’m a die-hard Peregrine fan-tard. As usual, the spro and pastries I got at Peregrine were stunning!

Sorry I didn’t get more detailed shots..


Giant Bean in my CCC

Posted in General with tags on March 19, 2010 by Chris Dodson

This is a random giant bean I found in my PNG Tambul:

Siphon Video

Posted in General on March 17, 2010 by Chris Dodson

This is a short video I put together a few months back. I hope to make a better one soon!

Let me know what you think.

Pooooll! /’poll’, but longer./

Posted in General with tags on March 17, 2010 by Chris Dodson

Well, Howdy!

Posted in General on March 15, 2010 by Chris Dodson

Hey everyone (probably all 2-3 of you..),

Welcome to Spro-tion!

I am Chris, and I want to be very clear from the beginning, that I hate the idea of running a blog. I don’t want to at all look like I’m searching for fame, or attention. Rather, I have aspirations to open an espresso bar at some point, some day! My goal for this blog is to educate, bounce ideas, shed light, hopefully not offend too much…

I don’t want everything I post about to deal with coffee or “3rd Wave coffee, and the ‘inevitable’ 4th Wave.” I will however, be sharing my journey to opening an espresso bar with everyone who reads this. ie.. Coffees I choose, equipment I like, people I meet, places I go…

I don’t claim to be any sort of professional in the coffee industry. I’m closer to being that creepy/awkward fan who stalks every important persons blog..

… Enjoy!