Sure, the 2012 USBC Champion, Katie Carguilo, is a New Yorker, but Maryland also did pretty well in competitions at SCAA. To have two winners whose home bases/cafés are within 30 miles of each other (and me here in Baltimore) is quite a coup.
To begin with, Spro owner Jay Caragay (of Baltimore) became the first ever U.S. Aeropress Champion. He’s listed on the USAC site as a last-minute entrant, so maybe there’s an interesting story behind Jay’s decision to throw his hat into the ring. If I see him at Spro I’ll be sure to ask! Anyway, later that same day Jay failed to win the 5th Annual World Aeropress Championship—a Belgian barista came out on top—but I for one am still impressed.
Here’s Jay’s winning recipe, which couldn’t be further from my own. The grind is very fine, I believe, between espresso and Turkish. Might have to give it a try.
To ice the cake, Andy Sprenger (of Annapolis), Ceremony Coffee’s head roaster, won the 2nd annual U.S. Brewers Cup *again*. The repeat champ used a large Beehouse dripper to brew a special Colombian Geisha lot. Why the large dripper with such a small coffee dose (12 g.)? Unclear, but it’s hard to argue with the results.
See this informative interview courtesy of Sprudge for more details. Also, you might consider checking out the quick video clip focusing on the judges toward the end for a laugh at Nick Cho’s expense.
Compared to, say, Portland, the coffee scene in our corner of the Mid-Atlantic might still be considered a little under-developed, but it truly feels as if something special is happening here, and I’m excited to witness this growth. Good showings by locals at competitions like the USAC and the USBC create buzz, which can only help.
On that note, congrats, Jay and Andy! I’ll raise a mug in your honor tomorrow morning.