Blueprint Coffee Roasters by Steve Willingham

Mike Marquard, Mazi Razani, Andrew Timko, Nora Brady, Radames Roldan, Kevin Reddy, Jamie Levine, Brian Levine (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

Mike Marquard, Mazi Razani, Andrew Timko, Nora Brady, Radames Roldan, Kevin Reddy, Jamie Levine, Brian Levine (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

Blueprint Coffee was founded in 2013 by the efforts and vision of Kevin Reddy, Andrew Timko, Mike Marquard, Mazi Razani, Brian Levine, Nora Brady, and Aaron Johnson to “consciously connect joy and livelihoods through coffee excellence.” With a passion for creating and sustaining a series of “mutually beneficial relationships” between their producers, partners, and customers, Blueprint brings quality coffee and care to St. Louis, and this week, to us! We talked with Mike Marquard about coffee and the city they love to learn a little bit more about Blueprint Coffee.

St. Louis & Blueprint

Roy, Ashley, and Garrett (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

Roy, Ashley, and Garrett (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

In designing their original cafe, Blueprint “wanted to break down the intimidation factor of specialty coffee bars. Our staff is very driven and directed to engage guests as quickly as possible and recognize the hesitancy and intimidation of our first-time guests.” Their second cafe, while smaller, will have more room for outdoor seating, 6 taps for non-alcoholic drinks, and deliver the same menu and transparency their friends have come to know and love.

Mike recommends checking out Forest Park for its “beautiful trails, green space, and free museums and a zoo,” city icons like the “City Museum, the Gateway Arch, or a Cardinals game at Busch Stadium,” and “breweries….we’ve got so many great ones, but be sure to hit 2nd Shift, UCBC, and Side Project.”

Beauty in Precision

Mazi Razani (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

Mazi Razani (Photo Courtesy of Blueprint Coffee)

The ideal Blueprint coffee “tastes like the best expression of all the work and passion that went into producing it.

"We try to find the best coffees that are in season and produced by mutually beneficial relationships. Often, we will sacrifice a point or two on the cupping table if it means we are supporting producers that align with our principles and we see that we can grow together to achieve those additional points in the cup.”

This commitment to the people of coffee first comes through in all areas of Blueprint’s DNA. “We are attracted to partners that share our values. This may mean that the company we choose to work with for our janitorial products treats their employees well and their team is concerned with our success and we are concerned for theirs as well. At a coffee level, we are working with more and more producers that share our concern for healthy soil, covering a fair cost of productions, and striving for quality. When we are able to support these great producers, we find we’re more excited about their coffees and they look forward to working with us year after year.”

We’re so excited to be able to serve Blueprint’s Ecuador La Papaya and are thankful for the work Blueprint does to build relationships in coffee that lead to a stronger and more vibrant industry.

We’re tasting sweet citrus and dark chocolate in La Papaya, so grab a cup and let us know what you think!

Starlight Supper by Steve Willingham

We were so stoked when Riley at Downtown OKC Inc asked us to serve coffee at the Starlight Supper. Last night, we got to meet hundreds of culinary fans in Bicentennial Park, most of whom were trying our coffee for the first time.

Downtown OKC Inc puts this supper on annually as a way to raise money for their activities. They sum up their mission like this:

to combat community deterioration. DOKC Initiatives activities include urban research, encouragement and funding assistance for public art, identification markers, landscape projects and revitalization and beautification projects in downtown Oklahoma City. 

Among the servers were Rococo, Broadway 10 Bar & Chophouse, Guernsey Park, Museum Cafe, Nourished Food Co. You can imagine how amazing all that food was.

We served the fantastic Burundi Kinyovu from Blueprint Coffee Roasters as well as their Colombia Decaf. Basically, we just talked coffee, ate food, and enjoyed our community. Perfect.



Three New African Coffees by Steve Willingham

If you're in the shop a lot, chances are you've noticed that our coffees change a lot. A lot a lot. We usually have two or three roasters per week, each one with multiple coffees on our bar. It keeps things interesting and keeps us on our toes. However, you may have also noticed that we feature a lot of Ethiopian and Colombian coffees. That comes with the territory in specialty coffee. First, because we try to focus on coffees that have just arrived in the US, so they're tasting as fresh as possible. Second, because Ethiopia and Colombia, along with a few others, dominate the specialty coffee market because they produce almost two and a half million pounds of coffee each year and really have their acts together when it comes to producing consistent, high quality coffee. There are about 70 different countries that grow coffee though, so we've got plenty of new origins to explore here at Clarity.

This week, we're going to focus on three of the smaller producers in Africa. Three origin countries that just came in season: Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda. Three neighbors, nestled just southwest of Kenya.

Right now we have a Rwanda from Ritual Coffee out of San Francisco. It's our first time working with them, and we're so excited about it. This Rwanda is grown by about 600 small producers in basically the perfect conditions: high elevation, volcanic soil, a nice cool breeze off of Lake Kivu. All the things you want for deliciously sweet coffees. 

Later this week, look for Heart's Tanzania from a wet mill called Tarime in the Mara District around Lake Victoria, an area known for producing low grade coffee, far away from the farms known for quality. This outstanding coffee shows how much potential that area of Tanzania has. It is the first Tanzania we've ever featured. Expect to see this on both espresso and pour over.

Toward the end of the week, we'll have a Burundi from Blueprint Coffee Roasters. Farmers in Rango, Kayanza teamed up to sell their coffees together as a cooperative they call Kinyovu, so they can demand higher prices for their coffee. This makes a huge impact on their community, and we're more than happy to pay a little extra for a coffee this good.

We're looking forward to sharing these coffees with you!  Come grab a cup or a bag, and let's talk coffee.