There are many reasons to indulge in a daily cup or two of coffee, that deliciously caffeinated beverage that begins its modest life as the seed of berries from the Coffea plant—likely in South America, Africa or Asia—and makes its way from birth to harvest to roastery to your morning routine.
On the rural North Fork of Long Island, those reasons are heightened.
Perhaps you need a pick-me-up prior to hitting the shops in Riverhead or you actually left early enough to make the Cross Sound Ferry and have time to enjoy the drive. Or maybe you’ve spent the day lounging at the wineries and need some extra motivation to stay awake that evening.
Whatever the prior impetus, there’s now a new one: Local coffee has come to Aquebogue.
Hampton Coffee Company, which offers locally roasted cups of joe, has expanded beyond its South Fork roots. Established by husband and wife team Jason and Theresa Belkin in Water Mill in 1994, Hampton Coffee has since opened locations in Southampton and Westhampton Beach. Each brings a unique experience.
The new North Fork establishment is conveniently located right on Route 25, less than a half mile east of “that big intersection” with Cross River Drive, the one South Forkers will turn left on to get their fix of the necessities Riverhead offers. A quick pit stop at Hampton Coffee will provide all the fuel needed for leisurely jaunts east to the wineries, or slightly more hectic drives west to run errands.
The Aquebogue location keeps with the theme of the others: All once serviced cars. Hampton Coffee Co. in Southampton was formerly a Mini dealership; the Water Mill café was a garage and gas station in the ’40s; and the Westhampton Beach location was once a gas station.
The bones of the Aquebogue garage are still there, and Hampton Coffee has renovated and re-sorted the space, using such eco-friendly methods as LED lighting, Energy Star equipment, permeable parking lot material and single-stream recycling of its waste. Like the Water Mill location, the establishment has two large doors that have been refurbished and now allow for ample sunlight to enter. In the warmer months, the doors can be opened to let in a breeze.
Photographs on the walls showcase how the place once functioned. Visitors can clearly see what the space was, and what it has become. The wall between the old garage and the office area has been knocked down, creating light, airy and open ambiance—exactly how a coffee shop should feel. Hampton Coffee is inviting and cozy, making good use of all available space. Tables line one wall, and bar stools dominate other eating—and sipping—areas. Once spring arrives, dining will also be available on the outdoor patio and at picnic tables out back.
Though the Water Mill location is the only Hampton Coffee space with a dedicated on-site café, the Aquebogue location features freshly made muffins, scones, croissants and cinnamon rolls. They also offer grilled-to-order panini, salads and soups. In addition to pouring its signature Hampton Classic Blend Coffee, the location features a special Organic North Fork Blend, as well as a bean bar, so customers can create their favorite variations. Of course, an experienced barista is available to craft specialty espresso drinks.
Like any good coffee shop, the place is already becoming a go-to community hub, one that the Belkins are excited to be a part. Locals and tourists are welcome to meet friends for mid-afternoon chats, and those who work from home can take advantage of Hampton Coffee’s free WiFi.
Hampton Coffee Company will be open year-round, 6 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, with extended hours during the summer. Hampton Coffee Company is located at 272 Main Road, Aquebogue. For more info, visit hamptoncoffeecompany.com or call 631-779-2862.