Three Ships Coffee
Brad and Amy Ewing of Three Ships Coffee.
Photo by Mark Edward Atkinson.
Watching Brad and Amy Ewing meticulously move down a line of coffees, intent only on the world inside each cup, one can see the unwavering focus on taste and terroir that is central to Three Ships Coffee.
The Virginia Beach couple founded the coffee roaster in July 2013 and pride themselves on their single-origin coffees judiciously selected from small farmers around the world. “Instead of buying multiple coffees, we buy one coffee that we think is beautiful,” says Brad. On each bag, you’ll find the coffee varietal, country and farm of origin, and tasting notes. This approach is similar to that used by vineyards—no coincidence, as the pair draws upon Amy’s experience working in the wine industry. (She has an advanced certification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.)
Three Ships produces what is often described as Nordic-style coffee, using roasts lighter than those with which most Americans are familiar (dark, blended roasts can mask the unique flavors found in high-quality beans). Three Ships works hard to show off their coffee. “You really want to taste the bean being naked,” explains Amy.
The light roasting and rigorous tasting process (each 5-pound roasting batch is tasted individually) makes for coffee that tastes bright and fresh, with complex flavors of fruit, spice and flowers that can lead the average caffeine addict to rethink the typical morning java. “Everyone loves coffee,” says Brad, “and if you make great coffee, you’re going to make a lot of people happy, from every walk of life.” $14 per 12 oz. bag. ThreeShipsCoffee.com
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