Continuing the retelling of our road trip from Atlanta to South Dakota last month, our next stop after Nashville was St Louis, home of today’s Coffee Spot, Blueprint Coffee on Delmar Boulevard. We actually visited Blueprint on our way back to Atlanta, having calling into Sump Coffee on the way out. However, since I wrote about Sump Coffee’s Nashville store on Monday, I wanted to spread the love.
Like Sump, Blueprint Coffee is both roaster and coffee shop, with three shops in St Louis. We visited the original which is, for the moment, also home to the roastery, located at the back of the building.
Occupying a long, thin shop in the Delmar Loop neighbourhood, Blueprint is close to the St Louis Metro as well as having free on-street parking nearby (which was handy for us). There are a handful of tables outside on the busy pavement, with several more in the spacious interior. All the coffee is roasted on-site, with a blend and regularly-rotating single-origin on espresso, plus another on batch-brew and a selection of eight blends/single-origins on pour-over using the SP9 and Kalita Wave filter. Meanwhile, if you’re hungry, there’s a concise all-day brunch menu and various cakes.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Located on the northern side of Delmar Boulevard, Blueprint Coffee is one of several cafes and restaurants in a short block west of Skinker Boulevard. The modest store front has an old-fashioned feel, large bay windows flanking the recessed, central door. There’s a bench in front of the right-hand window, while to the left is a two-person round table. Two more tables stand on the other side of the pavement, each seating two/three.
Inside, Blueprint is surprisingly big and goes a long way back. The large counter is set back on the right, while the seating is on the left, a row of five two-person tables starting in the window and running along the wall. This is followed by a neat three-person bar built into the back of the retail shelves opposite the counter. On the right, more retail shelves occupy the space between counter and window. A long, broad table extends from the shelves which, I suspect, was used for additional seating in pre-pandemic times.
You order at the till, which is down the left-hand side of the counter, near the front corner. Fold-out paper menus have the all-day brunch and bakery menus on the back, while other folds contain various house specials and teas, as well as the extensive choice of single-origins/blends on pour-over. These are made using the Kalita Wave filter on a pair of SP9 automated brewers on the front of the counter. All the espresso shots, meanwhile, are pulled on a La Marzocco Linea to your left at the far end of the counter.
A final set of retail shelves is on the left, running across Blueprint, almost to the counter, denoting the end of the coffee shop part of Blueprint. However, this only occupies the front half of the building, with the roastery and kitchen in the back. The latter is on the right, beyond the counter, while on the left, a long corridor leads back past rows of coffee sacks, packed with green beans.
This goes all the way to the back to the toilet, but just before you get there, on the right, is the roaster, a wonderful vintage design, which has been here since Blueprint opened in 2013. Blueprint restored the roaster, which the staff think dates to before World War II and has a unique side opening in the drum, plus a moveable cooling pan, the first time I’ve seen either of these features.
It’s well worth strolling back to take a look on the pretext of going to the toilet, but you’ll need to do it soon since Blueprint will be moving production to a dedicated roastery/cafe sometime next year. On the plus side, this will free up space for some much needed extra seating at the back.
To business. Amanda, Len and I had come for lunch, Amanda and I both opting for the egg biscuit, to which I added roasted potatoes, which were superb. The biscuit, by the way, was an American biscuit, cut in two with a fried egg in the middle, plus some really tasty tomato chutney.
For coffee, we were spoilt for choice, with four blends, three single-origins and decaf on pour-over, another single-origin on batch-brew (changes daily) and a blend and single-origin (changes every 2-3 days) on espresso. This was the Gamatui Community from Uganda, which I went for since I rarely have the chance (it was just my fourth Ugandan espresso), while Amanda had the San Carlos from Guatemala as a pour-over and Len had the Agasaro batch brew.
All three were very fine, with the two filters presenting very different characters. The San Carlos was rich, with notes of malted chocolate, the Agasaro being brighter and more complex, with fruity notes. Finally, my Ugandan espresso was excellent, a complex coffee that is very different from what I’m used to. As usual, I don’t have the palate to really do it justice!
Before we continued on our way, I offered the staff a choice of coffee that I’d picked up on the road trip and, before that, in New York. The staff went with the Nelber Arevalo, a washed coffee from Peru that we’d bought two days before at Coffea Roasterie in Sioux Falls. In return, I bought a bag of the Gamatui Community, while the staff donated a bag of the San Carlos. The Gamatui Community ended up with Tuesday Coffee + Shoppe in Marietta, while the San Carlos is going to a very special roaster in the UK.
|6225 DELMAR BOULEVARD • ST. LOUIS • MO 63130 • USA|
|https://blueprintcoffee.com||+1 314 266 6808|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Blueprint Coffee (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:00||Seating||Tables, Bar; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 16:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 16:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||Local||Visits||12th October 2022|
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