Nom de Plume owners Harlin Glovacki and Niko Kovacevic decided to "ghost roast" for a number of reasons. Part of it was monetary. Scrimping on the brick-and-mortar has allowed them splurge on other things - chiefly, really high quality green coffee. But it was also a deliberate philosophical decision. These are gentlemen who clearly enjoy thinking, and also thinking about thinking: Harlin attended a small, non-conformist liberal arts college that emphasized Philosophy and History of math and science, Niko majored in Mathematics and English.
Harlin and Niko's intellectual approach resonates throughout every aspect of their business, from their branding to their brewing. Their bags feature pen-and-ink drawings of famously pen-named individuals along with their "endorsement" of each coffee: George Eliot seems to prefer the Kore Kochore Ethiopia, while Muddy Waters sings the praises of the Finca Consolapan from Mexico. Their pourover brewing is precise and mathematical - both the coffee and water are weighed, the brews are timed, the pours are deliberate and rhythmic.
Nom de Plume's philosophy on coffee has a tendency towards the exoteric. As Niko puts it, "We are determined to demystify great coffee, and show people that you don't have to end up in a 'Third Wave' shop to find a properly brewed cup of fully developed, lightly roasted, delicious coffee. In fact, everyone can do it at home, often better than popular shops, and for way less money." He adds, "We have no money, but want to roast great coffee for people."
Not having a home base keeps their operating costs low, and gets the pair out into the community to promote their coffees. As Harlin stated, "What we love about our ghost roasting set up is how flexible it makes us; we've thought about several growth strategies, but we're most excited for the ones we'll encounter that we haven't yet considered." I met up with them during a recent "Grinder Swap" at Crepe Bar to try their current offerings and hear a little bit more about their mission.