Yorktown coffee house serves local blends with a taste of Virginia history
Nestled in the heart of historic downtown Yorktown, just minutes from the waterfront and about a 30 minute drive from Christopher Newport, is Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters, LLC.
It’s the perfect place to enjoy a bold, locally roasted cup of joe alongside a taste of Virginia history.
The coffeehouse inhabits the historic Cole Digges house, the home of a Yorktown merchant who helped contribute to and witness the town’s growth during the 1700s, according to historical markers outside the house for customers to read.
Now, in the middle of downtown Yorktown’s historic streets, the old house’s purpose is to keep that history alive for a new generation of coffee lovers.
My family lives in Yorktown and my sister decided to come with me on my trip down to the waterfront area so we could both get a taste of what Mobjack Bay had to offer.
We’d been there once or twice to get lemonade on one of our occasional summer trips to Yorktown Beach, but we’d never tried any of their coffee before (unlike our dad, a frequent flyer who has bags on bags of lots of their different blends in our pantry at home).
My sister and I were extremely excited to take a look at their selection of coffees and teas and to see what all the fuss was about.
As soon as we opened the door, the beautiful smell of freshly roasted coffee drifted out to greet us.
On the first floor of the Cole Digges house is Mobjack Bay’s coffee counter and their in-house roastery.
Customers can take a closer look at the company’s very own blends that they roast themselves, such as the smooth Hazelnut Cream, the beloved Deadrise Blend and the dark Sumatra Mendheling.
All of these blends are available for customers to enjoy a steaming cup of in the shop.
On the other hand, if customers want to take these unique blends home with them after they leave, they are also available for purchase in K-Cup form as well as by the bag.
The menu also features artisan sandwich selections, wine and beer by the bottle, grain bowls with vegan and gluten free options, a wide selection of different teas and an assortment of baked goods that vary by day.
There’s definitely something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re into artisan coffee or not.
We could see the roasting happening right in front of us as we stepped into one of the downstairs rooms adjacent to the coffee counter room.
Right next to the big green roaster with coffee beans swirling around in it is the cream and sugar station, which boasts countless self-serve syrup selections.
Customers have the opportunity to make their cup of coffee their own.
My sister and I each got an iced coffee made with Mobjack Bay’s Mobjack Java blend, a full-bodied dark roast with a naturally bitter aftertaste.
Neither of us are huge fans of drinking coffee black, so we were happy to find two different options for cream: classic half-and-half and oat milk, a popular new option that even most Starbucks don’t have available yet.
I also opted for a swirl of vanilla syrup and a splash half-in-half in my cup, making for a subtly sweet, milky drink with the familiar strong tang of a dark roast (which you’re probably familiar with if you’re a coffee snob like me).
I could practically taste the care that went into the slow, intentional roasting of these coffee beans; the coffee itself tasted so smooth and pure.
It definitely wasn’t Starbucks.
After doctoring up our drinks, my sister and I climbed up a set of winding wooden stairs that looked like they came straight out of Hogwarts and found ourselves on the second floor of the old house.
What used to be old bedrooms were now connected by open doorways, creating a sitting area with lots of options for customers.
Each room was full of different colonial memorabilia such as wooden chairs with embroidered cushions and old pewter tea kettles sitting on the windowsills.
Each of the white tables was lined with a gingham tablecloth and had a candle sitting on top.
Natural lighting from the rectangular wood-lined windows streamed into the upstairs area, contrasted by the dark wooden flooring, which is most likely original wood from the house’s historic past.
The bright white walls opened up the whole space despite its low ceilings, giving the whole upstairs a cozy and welcoming feeling.
Every one of these seemingly small touches came together to give the seating area an incredibly genuine and realistic feel, making my sister and I believe that when we climbed up those twisting stairs, we may as well have stepped into another era.
Outside the house, the backyard featured a collection of wooden picnic tables spaced out across the green lawn between a historic cemetery and Main Street, where Revolutionary War reenactors in costumes happened to be posing for film crews. It was just another day in historic Yorktown.
Mobjack Bay’s location in the middle of downtown Yorktown creates the perfect immersive environment in which to drink a cup of fresh and local coffee.
I’ll definitely be back to try another one of their original and unique blends.
Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters is a business with heart and a historic hometown feel.
If you ever find yourself down by the Yorktown Waterfront, walk up to the old Cole Digges house and try it out for yourself.
If you’re feeling particularly patriotic, enjoy a cup of coffee, not tea, even though they serve both – we wouldn’t want to sympathize with the Redcoats.
~Anna Dorl, Lifestyle Editor~