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Mar 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Blueprint Coffee’

Four St. Louis-area businesses win Good Food Awards

Friday, January 26th, 2018


The winners of the 2018 Good Food Awards, which honors businesses committed to socially and environmentally conscious food, were announced on Jan. 19. This year, four local purveyors took home awards, proving that St. Louis is more than just good at good food.

Blueprint Coffee, Larder & Cupboard, Perennial Artisan Ales and Still 630 Distillery all received awards. They were chosen from among 2,000 entrants in 15 different categories, including coffee, preserves and beer.

Larder & Cupboard won in the preserve category for its Strawberry Lemon preserves and its Apricot-Lemon Thyme preserves, and Blueprint Coffee earned an award for its Ethiopian Hambela. Blueprint Coffee co-owner Mike Marquard said this award is a great honor, not just for the local roaster but also for the Hambela Estate, which produced coffee.

“We partnered with them originally because of their quality, but their social and environmental programs are great,” he said. “They are doing outgrower programs for things like better education and better farming practices. It’s a great honor to have our African company recognized.”

Perennial Artisan Ales was recognized for two beers: Savant Beersel, which uses grapes from Charleville Vineyards in Ste. Genevieve, and Glitter & Gold. Perennial on-premise operations and event manager Katie Godoy said this award highlighted the importance of social and environmental responsibility. “It’s really nice to be recognized for the efforts we are doing, but a lot of people may not know about,” Godoy said.

Still 630 Distillery earned an award in the spirits category for its Expedition Rum. Owner David Weglarz said the award validated his hard work. “It’s a recognition of all the things we’ve done and our attention to quality and to detail,” he said.

Larder & Cupboard owner Cindy Higgerson did not return requests for comment.

Editor’s Note: This article incorrectly attributed a quote to Perennial owner Emily Wymore. It was updated at 7:40 p.m. Jan. 26 to correct the error.

Photo courtesy of Blueprint Coffee

Claire Ma is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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Blueprint Coffee will open new location in Lindenwood Park

Friday, August 11th, 2017


{  Blueprint co-owner Kevin Reddy }


Lindenwood Park will soon become a destination for those in search of a quality cup of coffee. As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Blueprint Coffee co-owners Mike Marquard and Kevin Reddy have announced they will open a second location at 4206 Watson Road this November.

“The two things that attracted us to the space is its an area that we feel is pretty primed for specialty coffee, and it’s an area where some of us live,” Marquard said. “I’m over there a lot for my kid’s soccer tournaments at Lindenwood Park or Francis Park.”

Marquard said the building, which used to house a brake repair shop, measures approximately 1,100 square feet and will have 20 to 30 seats inside with an additional 10 to 20 seats outside. Marquard said it won’t take much work to get the building coffee-ready, since there won’t be roasting facility at this location, unlike Blueprint’s original spot on Delmar Boulevard.



{ Blueprint’s original location on Delmar Boulevard } 


“It’s kind of a blank canvas right now,” he said. “It’s just a matter of digging some trenches to run plumbing and drainage and building the bar and adding the bathrooms. There’s not too much structural work we’ll be doing to the building. We’re going to try and keep it an open and breezy space.”

The breeziness should be facilitated by the building’s five garage doors, two of which will open onto the bar to facilitate walk-up service and one that will become the entrance to the rear patio space. Marquard said he’s particularly excited about the patio possibilities, something the Delmar location lacks.

The coffee and food menus will also be different than those at the Delmar location.

“We won’t have a full kitchen, but we’ll have some good prep equipment and be able to do some food,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re capturing what is and isn’t in the neighborhood, so we’re not overstepping too much on things that are already there and also bring in something new.”

Construction is scheduled to begin next week.

Reddy photo courtesy of Blueprint Coffee; Delmar photo by Jonathan Gayman

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Guide to Drinking 2014: Trendwatch – Part 1

Monday, September 15th, 2014



1. Cherry Bomb: Cherry is the lush’s fruit of the moment, and choices abound. There’s Kasteel Rouge cherry beer, St. Louis Kriek lambic, Original Sin cherry cider, Berentzen wild cherry liqueur and Montelle Winery cherry brandy, winner of a best of class and a gold medal in the distilled product category at the recent 2014 Missouri Wine Competition. Mikkeller’s one-off lambic Spontan Cherry Frederiksdal is long gone, but beer lovers can look forward to the December or January release of 4 Hands Cuvee Diable, a barrel-aged version of its sour cherry saison, Prunus.

2. The Art of the Tonic: You can stop for a housemade soda at loads of bars around town. For a different journey, jump on the artisan tonic train. Among Juniper’s mocktails, dubbed “sparklers,” you’ll find the option of a house tonic syrup doctored with dashes of nonalcoholic plum, grapefruit and cherry bitters topped with fizzy sparkling water. Meanwhile, in Lake Saint Louis, the bar crew at BC’s Kitchen has taken a page from the cook’s book by whipping up à la minute gin and tonics with the help of a soda siphon. Finally, at The Gin Room at Cafe Natasha’s, home to a number of house tonics, tonic-making is such an art that they are offering tonic-making workshops beginning Sept. 24.

3. Strange Syrups: If you think the flavor wheel for vodka is out of control, take a look at the current syrup spectrum. Among the wild and whacky scratch syrups claiming space behind local bars, we’ve seen smoked corn at Juniper, Sriracha-honey at Cielo and toasted celery seed-fennel syrup at Taste. House syrups are also getting pumped into boozy (or not) snow cones at newly opened Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.; with chef-owner Kevin Nashan as the mad scientist behind this project, there’s no telling what offbeat syrup might get cooked up.

4. Coffee and Tea Get a Green Card: Coffee and tea have migrated onto cocktail menus in the last few years. But now it’s official: they are citizens of the cocktail menu. You’ll find tea taking up residence at Cielo (in Earl Grey Chaos, a combination of an Earl Grey-black pepper infused gin, limoncello, lemon juice and simple syrup served on Earl Grey ice cubes), at Juniper (in Tennis With Hemingway, a mixed drink that uses tea syrup with gin and yellow chartreuse) and in the tea cocktails at newly opened MaryAnn’s Tea Room in the Central West End. Java addicts who need a jolt of caffeine in more than their morning brew can get their fix with cocktails featuring cold-brew coffee at Planter’s House, Taste and Small Batch. And this month, those riding the latest wave in the coffee world will want to hit up Blueprint Coffee for its debut nonalcoholic coffee cocktail menu.

Don’t miss Part 2 of Trend Watch tomorrow, Sept. 16!

-photo by Carmen Troesser

What I Do: Nora Brady of Blueprint Coffee

Monday, September 8th, 2014



In four short years, Nora Brady, 24, has gone from working as a barista at Kaldi’s to co-owning Blueprint Coffee, one of the top cafes (and roasters) in town, and taking sixth place nationally at this year’s U.S. Barista Championship finals. Here, Brady gives us the full scoop on why she loves the daily grind of the coffee world.

What intrigues you about coffee?
That it comes from the earth. We can alter a few things about it, and science plays a huge part in it, but really, it’s an organic product.

What was it like to compete at the U.S. Barista Championship?
It was my third year competing. You work hard all year and go through intense training. (The) finals were really surprising. I felt more confident this year than I ever had, but I had a lot of things go wrong.

What went wrong?
Before your 15-minute presentation, you have 15 minutes to set up. We bring all of the equipment we’re using. When I was wheeling my cart out, I had my milk for my cappuccinos on top of the cart. I hit a bump and all of the milk spilled throughout my cart on everything. You bring extras of everything, so I had to run across the room and grab all the stuff that I needed. I thought for sure that I was toast. But they called my name. I advanced to the (next) round.

You have to make a signature coffee drink as part of the competition. What was yours?
I macerated raw beets (to make) a beet syrup. A little bit of Meyer lemon for balance. Four shots of Victor Milano espresso, but I chilled the espresso and skimmed the crema off of it – it basically pulls all the bitterness off the coffee. The whole drink was cold. I charged with an iSi charger. So it was this “espressoda” – effervescent, super creamy. It was like drinking velvet.

What’s the trendiest order at Blueprint right now?
Cortado. They look awesome and they are the perfect ratio (of coffee to milk).

What coffee trend do you predict is on the horizon?
Coffee cocktails. Not alcoholic, but coffee cocktails. I think the industry is super interested in using coffee as “the strong” and diversifying our offerings. We’re about to roll out a new cocktail menu all designed around the specific coffee.

What’s the weirdest order you receive?
I always think it’s weird when someone wants an iced cappuccino, but they want you to steam the milk and pour the whole drink over ice.

Most annoying order?
A flat white. It’s an Australian-European drink that’s essentially just a wet latte, so no froth, and it’s a weird size – like an 8-ounce drink. People come in and they want a flat white, but they all want it different. Nobody really knows what they’re ordering. They just heard about it.

What do you order?
Brewed coffee and a shot of espresso.

How many coffee makers do you have at home?
I’m trying to visualize the shelf. Probably 10 or 12.

Which one is your favorite?
Chemex, hands down. It’s a single vessel and easy to clean.
How much coffee a day do you drink?
A 12-ounce cup in the morning. You taste the espresso throughout the shift – that’s a lot of espresso. And I make myself an espresso to go home because I’ve got a lot of stuff to do.

-photo by Ashley Gieseking


The Scoop: Two locals reach finals in national coffee competitions

Monday, April 28th, 2014



Two faces from the local coffee scene were on the national stage last weekend, April 26 and 27, at the 2014 United States Coffee Championships in Seattle.

Nora Brady, co-owner of Blueprint Coffee, took sixth in the final round of the U.S. Barista Championship, and Kaldi’s Coffee roaster Tony Auger took third in the finals of the U.S. Brewers Cup Championship.

During the barista championship, Brady prepared three beverages for a panel of judges: a single espresso, a cappuccino and a signature beverage, which contained at least one shot of espresso and any additional elements except alcohol. Competitors had 15 minutes to prepare, explain and serve their drinks. Brady’s signature beverage (pictured) was a combination of chilled Victor Molano espresso, a reduction of macerated beet and turbinado sugar, lemon juice and nitrogen dioxide.

The Brewers Cup recognizes the art of manual coffee brewing. While the competition relies primarily on sensory analysis of hand-brewed coffee, competitors are also judged on customer service and coffee knowledge.

Their participation in the finals marks the first time in two years that a St. Louis-area barista has advanced to the final round of either competition. Blueprint co-owner Mike Marquard finished fourth in the 2012 Brewers Cup, and sixth in the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Barista Championship. National coffee blog Sprudge commented on the rarity of Brady’s success in particular.  “it’s huge & rare & without much precedent, for @blueprintcoffee to field a finalist before their first birthday. ‪#usbc2014 ‪@snackpackbrady,” @SprudgeLive tweeted.

-photo courtesy of Blueprint Coffee

This week, Meera Nagarajan is obsessed with…

Thursday, December 26th, 2013


 {A good croissant is hard to come by, and the croissants from Comet Coffee are my favorite in St. Louis: flaky, buttery and light. I think they are best enjoyed with a cortado in a corner by myself. Get them at Comet Coffee or Blueprint Coffee.}




{I am completely obsessed with the frozen, plain naan from Trader Joe’s. (I buy seven packs at a time; the fear of running out is that great.) It’s good with Indian food, but usually I toast it up and spread butter on it for breakfast. It has a crisp crust with a chewy center and tastes wonderful.}


{I hate winter so much. It’s miserable! I even bought a HappyLight because when it gets dark at 4 p.m., I need to remember what summer feels like. And when I crave the taste of summer on these dark days, I make a batch of Rich Winter Tomato Sauce. It is basically fool-proof and has the flavor of sweet, sun-ripened tomatoes plucked from a vine.}



Hit List: Four new restaurants to try this month

Monday, August 5th, 2013



Veritas Gateway to Food and Wine: 15860 Fountain Plaza Drive, Ellisville, 636.227.6800, veritasgateway.com

In its new home on the northeast corner of Clarkson and Clayton roads, Veritas retains its original character – like an open kitchen with counter seating where guests can enjoy items from a changing weekly menu – while adding new elements, including a 20-seat bar area. The Mustard Bar (bedecked with vintage Vienna-sausage bar stools and mustard tins repurposed as lighting fixtures) features a separate menu of creative snacks and plates like can’t-miss, bacon-wrapped, cheese-stuffed prunes and corn-fried ribs. And if your mouth has yet to meet the Veritas burger, make that happen. Wine still holds court at the family-owned restaurant and wine shop, but a full bar means you now can pair a farm-to-glass cocktail with chef-driven fare.




The Crafty Chameleon Bar: 1384 Clarkson Clayton Center, Ellisville, 636.220.9144, craftychameleonbar.com

From fruit beer to hefeweizen, double IPA to Doppelbock, between 40 rotating draft beers (and a strong showing among Missouri microbrews) plus 300 bottles or cans, you’ll find every style at The Crafty Chameleon Bar in Ellisville. Feel like tempering the bitterness of that brew or lightening up the alcohol? Check out the “crafty concoctions” list of shandy variants and beer cocktails like the Dirty Heifer, made with your choice of wheat beer and a splash of fruity framboise. Enjoy your pint indoors, and watch the big game on one of 15 flat-screen TVs, or take it outside to the breezy, covered patio. Following the beer bar trend, Crafty Chameleon doesn’t have a kitchen, but food is just a phone call away when you grab a binder full of menus from nearby restaurants that offer carryout and delivery.




Blueprint Coffee: 6225 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.266.6808, blueprintcoffee.com

There’s no better proof that we’ve entered the age of the barista-owned coffee roasting company than Blueprint Coffee, a project by six coffee pros, most with ties to local roaster Kaldi’s. The brew bar at Blueprint will offer a daily rotation of four specialty coffees using beans roasted in-house and hopes to use artisan roasters around the country such as Intelligentsia, Madcap, PT’s, Handsome and local roaster Sump. Blueprint will offer hand-brewed coffee prepared via a pour-over method, as well as espresso drinks. Those looking to become coffee connoisseurs can sit in on cuppings (pictured) at Blueprint’s handcrafted wooden cupping table. Just wanna hang out with friends over java and house-made snacks? Grab a seat at one of the high-top tables – and don’t leave without checking out the roaster in action.

Tripel: 1801 Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.678.7787, tripelstl.com

The newest gastronomic destination in Lafayette Square, puts a spotlight on Belgian food and drink. At this brasserie, you can try a traditional Flemish dish like kippenwaterzooi (chicken stew) and blinde vinken (stuffed veal cutlets), or enjoy mussels in preparations like moules a la marinière that arrive piping hot in an aromatic white wine-shallot broth. For a decadent treat, order escargots à la moelle and slip that roasted marrow straight off the bone, slather it on a slice of grilled baguette, and top with buttery escargots, briny capers and fresh parsley. Pair this indulgent repast with one of dozens of Belgian-style beers, a glass of French wine or a handcrafted cocktail.

-Photos by Michelle Volansky



The Scoop: Going full circle with a cup of coffee, a pub and a good pie

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Blueprint Coffee is coming to The Loop, as reported by the Riverfront Times’ Ian Froeb recently. And it’s the names behind the caffeinated project that are jolting local coffee nerds.

Blueprint, to be located at 6225 Delmar Blvd. (between recently opened Chubbies and Thai Country Cafe), is a six-partner venture by Mike Marquard (pictured), Kevin Reddy, Andrew Timko, Norah Brady, Mazi Razani and Brian Levine. Marquard is the coffee director and GM at Half & Half. He was among Sauce’s Ones to Watch class of 2011, having made coffee waves in 2009 and 2010 at the U.S. Barista Championship. As Froeb noted, Blueprint’s ownership group has numerous ties to Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. Marquard rose within the company to become education and customer service leader; Reddy is a retail manager for Kaldi’s; Timko is a former Kaldi’s roaster; and Brady and Razani are both baristas at Kaldi’s and Kaldi’s-owned Kayak’s.

Blueprint Coffee will be both a roasting company and a place to grab a cuppa. “We will serve Blueprint Coffee, but we plan to have a guest coffee available at all times,” said Marquard. He added that the focus at Blueprint will be on “the ingredients we use and good preparation,” showing coffee drinkers that “execution, attention to detail” are “what make coffee great.”

Construction is slated to begin by Monday, according to Marquard, and is expected to take 60 to 90 days. The revamped space will seat 25, divided between a coffee bar and high-top tables and chairs. “It will be more focused toward the coffee commuter,” said Marquard. “We won’t have soft seating.” Blueprint will have a kitchen, but the food offerings are to be determined, as are the cafe’s hours. When Blueprint opens (The target date is June 1.), Marquard will remain Half & Half’s coffee director but not its general manager.

Meanwhile, next door to Blueprint Coffee, the restaurant owners at Mission Taco Joint are at it again. Brothers Adam and Jason Tilford are relocating their Clayton pub Barrister’s from its spot at 15 N. Meramec Ave., to 7923 Forsyth Blvd., next door to incoming The Libertine, as reported by St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe. Look for Barrister’s to open in its new digs in early April; doors will remain open on Meramec Avenue through the end of this month.

Finally, The Scoop caught up with Mike Randolph, owner of The Good Pie. Randolph’s Neopolitan pizzeria was originally expected to open in the space next to Ginger Bistro in early summer. Randolph’s update on the timeline is that doors will be unlocked as early as July and no later than the end of August.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

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