Spro ($1.99) by Studio Tidal is a offline espresso database app for your iPhone that gives you all the barista knowledge of your favorite coffee drinks.
I will admit it now - I'm a huge coffee fan. On normal days, I have to have at least one coffee. I'm usually getting my typical drink, but now that I have Spro, I can educate myself on other types of drinks in a beautiful and well wrapped package.
This is an app for those that go out for their coffee all the time or even the ones that like to make their own drinks at home (if you're lucky enough to have the equipment).
Once you get past the cute and simple splash screen, the main Spro screen will pop up. From here, there are three main options: Browse Drinks, Create Drink, and Espresso 101. A bonus is "The Cafe," which will feature a "Drink of the Week" from various coffee houses from all over the world.
In Spro 1.0, the Browse Drinks section features 14 of the most "essential" espresso drinks out right now: Cappuccino, Latte, Machchiato, Cortado, Galao, Flat White, Latte Macchiato, Mocha, Americano, Redeye, Iced Mocha, Long Black, Vienna Coffee, and Affogato. I bet that unless you are an expert with coffee, there was probably at least one that you may not have heard of until I just mentioned it.
While viewing these drinks, selecting one gives you a visual representation of what that drink consists of. There are also two options per drink - view how it is made, and learn more about the drink.
When you view how it's made, the section begins with a visual guide on how to make the drink, followed by more detailed, step-by-step directions of how to prepare each for that perfect drink. The drink information section features perfect pronunciations of drinks and a general brief of the drink followed by origins.
The Browse Drinks section is pretty simple and straightforward, but the drink selection is a bit limited for now since there are only 14 drinks, which can be a small representation of what drinks are out there.
The Create Drink option allows you to combine various components of an espresso drink by tapping switches. Once you pick the ingredients you want, hit the "Create Drink" switch at the bottom. What this does is give you results of drinks based on the ingredients you want to combine. Some combinations will result in multiple options, and others will get none.
Espresso 101 is the section to go to for learning the basics of espresso. This includes the history, beans, machines, various techniques and processes involved, and a complete list of all the ingredients that are involved in making an espresso drink. It's pretty comprehensive with nice visuals that go along with the information. If you want to learn the basics or need some brushing up, this is the section you'll want to consult.
The final section is "The Cafe." This section features a different drink each week from coffee houses all over the world. It will show which week the drink is for, along with a photo, description, learn more about the type of drink, and find the coffee shop via Google Maps. You can submit your own drinks for a chance to be featured in The Cafe with the link at the bottom of the section.
This app is pretty good for coffee fans. It's visually pleasing and informative. But that isn't to say that there can't be improvements made.
I hope to see more drinks being added to the database in the future, as it mentions that these 14 drinks are included in version 1.0. Also, the app is a bit sluggish at times, and I found it to be a bit more responsive as I quit all other apps in the background. There is also a bit of a lag with response time during navigating between sections, and there isn't much feedback to let you know if you've pressed something. I think the addition of sound might help with feedback regarding button pressing.
Spro is a very promising app and I hope that it will continue to improve in the future. For $2, if you're a coffee-nerd or want to expand your barista skills, then this app can be worth it.