A Cup Above
Coffee roaster Dave Forman keeps things simple at new Short North shop
Jodi Miller Photos
No food. No flavored syrups. No Wi-Fi. One Line Coffee, which opened this summer at 745 N. High St., focuses on sourcing, roasting and brewing coffees from distinct global spots. Managing partner Dave Forman shared his quest for the perfect cup.
My first taste of coffee must’ve been when I was 8 years old. My dad made it at home. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, this is what burnt water tastes like.”
Probably the first cup that I ever drank all the way was at a coffeehouse at Miami University in Oxford. It was a place called The Buzz, and it’s no longer there. We’d be in there from like 11 p.m. to 4 a.m., just sitting upstairs, smoking cigarettes and drinking really awful flavored coffee with a lot of cream and sugar.
During my senior year of college, my dad gave me a call one day. He was just kind of like, “Hey, you want to buy a coffeehouse?” At that point, I was a creative-writing major, and I was planning on waiting tables anyway for a few years after school. I said, “Yeah, why not? Let’s do this.” I’ve been a semester short of graduating for 10 years.
My dad’s always had a love for independent coffeehouses. I literally knew nothing about coffee. Honestly, I think back, and I kind of cringe at the drinks I was making and what I was putting out there when we first started.
It really turned into a passion from there. Coffee is probably the most complex foodstuff that we eat. It’s got 850 unique components that we can taste or smell.
My favorite coffees generally come from Ethiopia. I think they have this beautiful wildness to them, this beautiful complexity.
The coffees that we’re serving are following one line from origin to our shop. We don’t blend coffees of two origins together. Our idea is that we’re not really doing most of the work in terms of what flavor notes you’re going to find in a coffee. It’s really more about what the farmers are doing.