As appreciation of coffee in the U.S. continues to surge–McDonald’s just announced plans to grab a bigger share of the world coffee market, while NPR reported that your daily fix can help ward off diabetes (among other things)–the small fraternity of coffee roasters on Long Island has enjoyed recent growth. Java Nation, after decamping from Sag Harbor, expanded its Bridgehampton roasting room, and its wholesale business took off; Long Island Coffee Roasters, birthed at Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck, moved up-island to a larger space.
But none have grown more than the Hampton Coffee Company, originally founded in Watermill in 1994, when there was just one Starbucks on the island. (Today there are more than 70 Starbucks in Suffolk and Nassau counties.) Now Long Island’s largest roaster, HCC is handling more beans than ever before—more than 2,000 pounds a week to supply its locations in Westhampton Beach and Water Mill, as well as its new Coffee Experience Store in Southampton–where customers can test-drive Chemex flasks, Japanese vaccuum brewers, pour-over filters and other caffeine-delivery paraphenalia. This fall, Hampton Coffee Company is spreading its java juice even further. It opened its first licensee location, an espresso bar on the college campus of SUNY Stony Brook. “We have had to make a few emergency deliveries of vanilla syrup,” says owner Jason Belkin, who we caught up with recently for a profile in our coming winter issue. In response to the spike in households with automatic Keurig machines, Hampton Coffee Company will be selling their coffee in K-Cups starting Thanksgiving weekend. Head roaster Dwight Amade is experimenting with bottling his own cold-brew coffee, aiming for a release next summer, in convenient six-packs for the beach or a Long Island wine tour. And Amade has been talking to other local roasters about a barista throwdown here.
For your weekend coffee planning pleasure, Amade shared a breakdown of their proprietary blends (whose exact origins are kept secret), starting with the most popular:
Hampton Classic blend. “This is our most popular. It’s a step down in darkness from Starbucks standard roast, but darker than their blonde. The beans are from Sumatra, Colombia, Tanzania.”
Westhampton Beach blend. “This is a lighter, smoother coffee, more of your afternoon, mellow-down coffee. The beans are mainly from South America.”
East Hampton blend. “This is darker than our Classic. It’s full-bodied. It makes a rich cup of coffee. It’s mostly organic beans from Mexican and Peru.”
Wolffie blend. “This is our new blend for the campus, named after their mascot. It’s a bit stronger. For college kids. They want to get going. The beans come from Brazil, Costa Rica, and Colombia, roasted at two different temperatures and then mixed.”