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One Line Leads To Another: One Line Coffee/River Road Coffeehouse

The specially-roasted coffees of One Line Coffees provide the uniting factor
for co-founders Mark and Dave Forman's various coffee ventures.
At first glance, a compact, sleek, brick-lined space in Columbus' stylish Short North would not have too much in common with the rustic spaciousness of a former farmhouse in predominantly rural Licking County. But while the spaces may reflect contrasting motifs, the product they sell within it - the carefully sourced and finely roasted coffees of One Line Coffee - unites coffee lovers of the communities that live around these locations.

Father-and-son team Mark and Dave Forman have been grinding in the coffee business in the Central Ohio region for over a decade, and their passion for their craft is undeniable. After opening up their first stores in 2003 and using coffee from various local coffee roasters, the Formans started asking themselves deeper questions about the coffee they were serving, from its origins, the nature of coffee community as a whole, and eventually serving the very best coffee they possibly could.

In 2009, they started roasting their own coffees under the One Line Coffee brand, and they have continued to move forward from there to a growing and increasingly appreciative customer base. My spouse and I have the pleasure of being part of that group, as we have enjoyed their wares from both their River Road Coffeehouse in Granville as well as their shrine-of-sorts to the fine coffee arts at their Short North location (the Formans also operate a second River Road Coffeehouse in Newark as well as Wiggin Street Coffee in Gambier.)

River Road Coffeehouse offers a very homey atmosphere in which
to hang while enjoying your coffee drinks and pastries.
Similar to Worthington, Granville and the surrounding township were built up to resemble a New England town. The River Road Coffeehouse lies on the outskirts of the town, residing close to the intersections of State Routes 16 and 37 in an old farmhouse (ironically enough, the farmhouse was relocated to its current location due to the construction of the State Route 16.)

The farmhouse provides a unique atmosphere which provides a myriad of options to hangout for the customer; part of the joy of stopping by is to simply take a break from the day, whether its plopping out on their couches by the fireplace mantle or grabbing some sun on their three-level deck during warmer months. Artwork from local artists displayed throughout the dining area space adds another folksy touch that we have appreciated during our visits.

River Road has provided a perfectly convenient spot for me and my spouse (and occasionally, some younger relatives of ours) to drop by for a cup of java in addition to a cafe treat or two. Like many of their brethren, this coffeehouse offers all the usual coffee house amenities, from the standard coffee drinks, wi-fi access, and a selection of food. In terms of the latter, River Road offers treats from local purveyors such as Lucky Cat and ToodleSquat Bakery and supplements them with their own homemade baked goods. Bagels and a homemade hummus are also on the menu as well as gluten-free goods. If coffee isn't your drink, River Road offers teas from Granville-based Petali Teas as an option.

One Line Coffee's store in the Short North is a coffee shrine, with
media materials, the best equipment and their amazing Kyoto-drip setup
In contrast to River Road, One Line Coffee's shop in the Short North was initially meant to be something of a polar opposite. Amenities such as free wi-fi, food items and the general ability to hang out for a couple hours were eschewed; coffee and the the various channels to produce the very best of all things coffee-related was the original sole focus of the Formans in opening this storefront.

A few minor concessions have been made since One Line opened its Short North location in July of 2012 - a small area to hangout does exist to the rear of the space, and a select collection of food items from local purveyors like Destination Donuts and Pattycake Bakery are available to customers. But for the most part, One Line Coffee's stated intent still remains intact, and the result has been some of the best coffee that Columbus has to offer.

One Line's standard pour over coffee makes for a great cup of coffee, but their iced coffee creations help fill a personal jonesing for the best iced coffee I can find (coming from generally fair-weather California, iced coffee drinks were my preference.) One Line Coffee definitely ranks in the top three that I have had since moving to the area.

Their standard pour over iced coffee is an mouth-pleasing concoction in itself (let's say I haven't come close to being able to do that here at home); however, it is their Kyoto-drip iced coffee that has taken this beverage to a whole different level for me. I had only learned of this slow and meticulous method of creation after my move here to Columbus and was immediately intrigued.

When One Line announced they had it available, I got down there in fairly short order. this brew's uniquely aromatics and chocolate, fudgy overtones had me dancing this unique liquid deliberately in and around my tongue, something I typically only do with beverages such as beer or wine. Even better, this unique brew is available in growler form for home consumption, especially convenient for those who can't quite make it down to their store front as much as they might like.

As the sign alludes, One Line has some of the best hand poured coffee around
In general, One Line shows their enthusiasm for their craft in many ways, from their regular cupping events, their vast array of coffee equipment, and just plain old conversation with staff members, both engaged in and overheard. A quick chat about the subject can lead to simply something about coffee you never knew before, or perhaps an impromptu sampling of a newly released coffee.

And it appears that their pursuit of coffee excellence will reach even more people now, based on One Line's recent announcement that they will be taking over the former Peet's/Caribou Coffee at the Huntington Center in Downtown, with a target opening date of March 2nd.  With longtime area veterans Cafe Brioso and Cup O' Joe already in the area, and the social-justice-focused Roosevelt Coffeehouse nearing its own opening date, the transformation of Downtown Columbus into a new mini-hotbed of local-coffee excellence appears to be at hand.

River Road Coffeehouse
935 River Road
Granville, OH 43023
(740) 587-7266
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River Road Coffee House on Urbanspoon

One Line Coffee
745 North High St (Short North)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 564-9852
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One Line Coffee on Urbanspoon

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