Cafe Review: Blueprint Coffee in St. Louis

Blueprint Coffee

At the end of Vincent Minelli’s classic musical Meet Me in St. Louis, the Smith family looks out over the 1904 World’s Fair and remarks “To think it’s in our hometown.” Today, St. Louis baristas can observe the local coffee scene and come to the same conclusion. Momentum is as strong as the the mighty Mississippi river and one of the companies at the heart of this caffeinated renaissance is Blueprint Coffee.

Blueprint Coffee

Pop into Blueprint from bustling Delmar Blvd. and you’ll find a coffee bar with an obvious intentionality, a harmonious balance of form and function. Perhaps this comes from the collective experience of the six coffee industry veterans who founded Blueprint in 2013. One only needs to find the trophy collection stashed just above the retail shelf to see their pedigree. But Blueprint is the opposite of a barista-oriented shop. From start to finish, the design is centered around the customer experience. Drinks are brought to your table. Dishes are bussed for you. Mobile POS systems means you can order from anywhere. Although this level of service is standard fair in Europe, in America it’s above and beyond. We’ve long felt that American specialty coffee needs to raise the hospitality bar, and Blueprint is paving the way.

Blueprint Coffee

The menu at Blueprint is smartly organized into two columns, one for the single origin espresso and one for the house blend, Penrose. I elected to order the sidecar- a single shot 5 oz. cappuccino with the other shot on the side- with Penrose espresso. Although I managed to spill my cap, I found the milk was perfectly textured. A properly made cappuccino is a rare commodity these days, but Blueprint is serving the real deal.

Blueprint CoffeeNext I ordered a pour-over of the Ethiopia Chiri per the recommendation of the barista. Actually all of the filter coffee at Blueprint is brewed to order on Hario V60s. It’s a labor intensive decision that many cafés are moving away from, but the speed and precision that Blueprint brewed my coffee with on a busy Sunday morning proves that manual brew methods still have a place in high volumes coffee shops.

Thanks to new washing stations and foreign investment, coffees from Western Ethiopia are improving dramatically and Blueprint’s Chiri showed the remarkable potential of the region. This cup featured many of the characteristics I love from Ethiopian coffee, including deep fruit notes and floral aromatics, but balanced by a rich sweetness and a surprisingly full body. As a Yirgacheffe fanatic, I was surprised to find I enjoyed this coffee more than most of the Yirgacheffes I’ve had this year.

Blueprint Coffee

Whether it’s cutting edge design, the elevated service, or the exceptional coffee, Blueprint is one of the most exciting coffee companies not just in the region, but in the country. We would rank this shop as a destination café worth planning a trip to St. Louis for.

3 thoughts on “Cafe Review: Blueprint Coffee in St. Louis

  1. I can hardly wait to go back to Blueprint! I’m sure that they have done nothing but improve and gain more momentum since I visited in 2013.
    The last time that I went, I was amazed by the hospitality and that one of the owners took the time to chat with me for a little while. I had just asked which of the filter coffees was his favorite and we discussed flavor profiles, roasting, he asked how I became interested in coffee, and down the rabbit hole we went. It was completely unexpected to have such an in-depth conversation that was prompted only by asking him which filter coffee he preferred.

  2. Thanks for the coverage on this. It’s great to hear about the shops in different cities. Everytime I am traveling I always wondering if a specific town will have a quality coffee shop. Surprisingly, it’s hit or miss (though the more urban the better the chances). Maybe the choice to continue with pourovers (agree with your assessment of the trend to move away from) is also a sign of their commitment to “slow coffee” style, which indicates dedication to quality. Great post and again thank you!

  3. Bluprint, the name itself is depicting the quality of the cafe and the pictures are able to tell as about how organized the cafe is. I have not been to Blueprint, but it surely attracts as a place to visit once.

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