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Friday, May 16, 2014

Flyover Coffee Gets Local Craft Beans to the Masses

Posted By on Fri, May 16, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Want Blueprint Coffee but don't want to go to the Loop? No problem. | Nancy Stiles
  • Want Blueprint Coffee but don't want to go to the Loop? No problem. | Nancy Stiles

Much like its craft beer, St. Louis has enjoyed a bit of a craft coffee renaissance lately. Roasters like Sump, Blueprint, Stringbean and more are developing hand-crafted coffees that make Starbucks taste like hot water. One problem, though: Unless you're getting Kaldi's, you'll probably have to drive across town to get the coffee of your choice. Eric Wilkinson of Flyover Coffee feels your pain.

See also: Sump Coffee Expands Hours to Try Experimental Brews

"I was frustrated with what I could find -- not having coffee beans readily available to me on Saturday morning led me to want to do something like this that would promote local coffee roasters," Wilkinson says, "because there are some great ones."

Wilkinson says his obsession started when he got an espresso machine a few years back. Once he solidified his coffee delivery service idea, Wilkinson just began e-mailing his favorite brewers in St. Louis. The first shipment, out this month, will be from Blueprint Coffee.

"My thing is, it's the same problem with wine clubs -- you just end up repeating the same stuff over and over," he says. "I really wanted this to be that kind of thing where every month was going be a surprise and something different."

Basically you can sign up starting at $19 a month for a twelve-ounce bag of local craft coffee, or you can sign up for two bags a month or more. Wilkinson says he was surprised to get his first few subscribers via social media. He also has a few subscribers who are St. Louis natives who now live out of town -- that's another possibly lucrative customer base.

"The great thing is, this coffee was roasted yesterday, and it's going to go out to people tomorrow morning," Wilkinson says. "You really can't get any fresher roasted coffee than this."

You can sign up for Flyover Coffee here -- current brewers are Blueprint, Kuva, La Cosecha, Riley's and Stringbean.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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