The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
The Hampton Coffee Co. (which has locations in Water Mill and Westhampton Beach) opened its new Southampton cafe on Saturday. The cavernous space (it used to house a Mini Cooper dealership) overlooks Montauk Highway. The decor is rustic/industrial, with hand-hewn farm tables and wooden bar stools warming up the gray tiled showroom with its giant coffee roasters in the back.
Perch at the counter next to one of the big plate glass windows and you can gaze out onto the summer traffic as you relax with a latte and a house-made scone or some Aldos biscotti imported from Greenport. Or sit at the communal table scattered with newspapers and have a smoothie, sandwich, or bowl of soup. Unlike most cramped and crowded Hamptons coffee shops, where getting a seat is a competitive sport and keeping it for more than 15 minutes means enduring the resentful looks of a stream of Type-A customers, the Southampton Coffee Experience has plenty of room for those who like to linger.
In addition to all of the usual brewed coffee and espresso drinks, this location also features a pour over bar with made-to-order drip coffee as well as made-to-order vacuum-brewed coffee made popular by San Franciscos Blue Bottle chain. This coffee experience (you choose your own beans in consultation with the barista) is $6.95. Hey, if you want cheap coffee brewed for the masses, go to Dunkin Donuts down the street. Equipment is for sale, and the skilled and chatty barista promised that if I bought one of the complicated-looking chemistry-lab-type pots he would teach me how to use it. He also said that espresso-making classes would be offered in the future.
Hampton Coffee Co. Southampton Coffee Experience is at 749 County Rd. 39A, Southampton, 631-353-3088, hamptoncoffeecompany.com.