In Dungeons & Dragons parlance, a cantrip is a well-practiced spell that a player can cast suddenly, without any preparation. It’s also an ancient Scottish word for mischief. So when friends and former baristas Derek Ludwig and Robyn Campbell started roasting coffee together, they adopted the word as the name of their joint venture, as both a nod to their gaming habit and a reminder never to take themselves too seriously.
Cantrip Coffee Roasters launched in late 2018 in Ludwig’s Lansdowne garage. Ludwig and Campbell, who regularly play Dungeons & Dragons with a group of friends, used their fellow players as taste-testers. The pair also handles packaging, distribution and all other aspects of the business.
The company now offers several varieties of small-batch beans, including blends sourced from Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Brazil. Their blends are typically lighter roasts, with a clean finish that balances the slight natural sweetness. Bags are available online, but they’re also showing up in local stores, including Riverwards Produce in Fishtown and Dottie’s Donuts in West Philly.
Cantrip Coffee, $12.99 to $19 at cantripcoffee.com and area stores, including Riverwards Produce (2200 E. Norris St.) and Dottie’s Donuts (4529 Springfield Ave.).