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Specialty coffee shop brews up in the Short North

Kayla Byler / Lantern photographer

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As a father-son team prepare to open a new coffee shop in the Short North, their aim is clear:

“Our goal is not to be a Starbucks,” said Dave Forman, son of Mark Forman.

Instead they will open One Line Coffee, which will feature coffee from their own Newark-based roastery. The store will also provide wholesale distribution and host home-brewing classes.

They chose to open their store in the Short North because it is “a neighborhood that can appreciate that we are serving coffee,” Dave Forman said. “We’re not serving flavored coffee, we’re not serving flavored lattes or frozen drinks.”

Sarah Rhodes, third-year student in environmental policy, said she was excited to hear of a coffee shop specializing in black, non-flavored coffee.

“All I drink is black coffee and I love the Short North,” she said.

Tim Kubick, third-year student in technical education and training, disagreed. Kubick said he probably would not go somewhere that did not serve flavored drinks.

In addition to the absence of flavored coffee, there will not be any sandwiches, scones or muffins at One Line.

“It is literally all coffee,” Dave Forman said.

Every drink will be brewed in single cup servings, as ordered by each individual customer. This style of brewing is the best way to serve coffee because “it maximizes freshness,” Mark Forman said.

This specificity and attention to detail is what prompted Mark and Dave Forman to start roasting coffee three years ago, Dave Forman said.

The Formans began with the River Road Coffeehouse, with a store in Granville and another in Newark.

After six years of buying from local roasters, they sought more control over the ethics of sourcing, traceability and sustainability of coffee.

“We couldn’t find anybody who fit what our needs were, so we decided to start our own roasting, and that was when One Line Coffee was born,” Dave Forman said.

Sustainability, ethical sourcing and quality are the most important factors that make up the perfect cup of coffee, said Dave Forman, which means paying close attention to every component of the process, from budding seed to steaming mug.

“A coffee is not sustainable unless every part of the supply chain is beneficial to everybody involved, including the environment,” Dave Forman said.

The Formans traveled to El Salvador in February to visit some of the farms they will be using as sources of their coffee.

“The backbone of our coffee is that a farmer has a lot more to do with the characteristics of the cup than we do as roasters,” Dave Forman said.

Each bag of coffee One Line produces comes from a single farm. The name of the farm and the farmer’s name, often accompanied by a photo of the farmer, are printed on every bag of coffee.

“We’ll be doing a lot of home brewing courses. We’ll have educational courses on cultivation, processing and talk about the whole supply chain,” he said.

Existing coffee shops in the area do not pose a threat to One Line, Dave Forman said.

“The whole concept of the single farm coffee and a focus on coffee specifically sets us apart; it is what our niche is,” Dave Forman said.

Dave Forman said the goal of the new shop is to bring great coffee to Columbus and educate consumers about that coffee, and Mark Forman agreed.

“It’s not really a coffee house, it’s a coffee place,” Mark Forman said. “A place for people to get excited about coffee.”

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