Made in Virginia Awards 2014: Three Ships Coffee

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.

See all the Made in Virginia 2014 Winners!


Nordt Family Farm, Charles City

Moonrise Jewelry, Cape Charles

Awl Snap Leather Goods, Richmond


Moore & Giles, Forest

Cricket Cove Soap, Glen Allen

Buckingham Slate Company, Arvonia

New Ravenna, Exmore

Fielding Archer Designs, Midlothian

Kala Studios, Arlington


Rappahannock River Oysters, Topping

Red Truck Bakery, Warrenton

Pickled Silly, Richmond

Glass House Winery, Free Union

Willie Byrd Sauce, Richmond

La Vache Microcreamery Caramels, Charlottesville

FERIDIES 5 O’Clock Crunch, Courtland


Three Ships Coffee, Virginia Beach

Commonwealth Gin, James River Distillery, Richmond

1762 Port, Philip Carter Winery, Hume

Gingerbread Stout, Hardywood Brewery, Richmond


Latell Sails, Deltaville

Tad Coffin Saddles, Ruckersville

Goodpasture Knives, Ashland

Click here to see 2017 winners.

Click here to see 2016 winners.

Click here to see 2015 winners.

Click here to see 2013 winners.

Click here to see 2012 winners.

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