Hidden Hamptons Gem: Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee

In food on 08/16/2011 at 11:11 am

You want the Hamptons in all its glory? You got it! At Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee in Amagansett, the look, the smells, the sounds, the upturned noses, it’s all here, and it’s fantastic. Oh, and the coffee is the best we’ve encountered in the East End. It’s as smooth as the man himself.

This past weekend was my birthday BBQ. We wanted to break-in our newly dug-out firepit, lovingly leveled by the other half. The main feedback was how good the food was. Ironically though, all we served were raw assemblages of fruits and vegetables in the form of salsa, guacamole, salad and spiked beverages (‘Course there was wood-smoked/fired meat, but that was later). The secret? Everything was purchased locally, on a farm, and organic.

Jack uses organic everything. And you can taste it. He also stocks the best local staples, Ronnybrook treats, Nunu chocolates (which unfortunately were wilting at the counter due to the popularity of the place, plus it was pouring rain for two days which didn’t help the humidity factor inside). It was like I was in Williamsburg and the Hamptons at the same time! Could I be morphing into a Hamp-ster?

If Jack were a brand, he’d be an urbane yet beachy Starbucks meets J.Crew on the weekend meets Ralph Lauren in Vermont when he’s not playing polo. The bagels are boiled, as confirmed by Jack, who we met. It was almost as good as a real celebrity sighting. The bagels actually come from down the street, at Hampton Bagels. They are just QQ enough for the other half, and not too dry when toasted and slathered with cream cheese from the Hudson Valley, according to Mister Gamey.

The other pastries outpace anything at The Golden Pear Cafe, a South Fork chain with the old money gauchiness that Jack, of the baby boomer generation, would turn his back on. This is the place where ex-frat boys go when they are hungover the next morning. The lighting is kind, the future trophy wives abound, and cool permeates while the coffee percolates.

I particularly enjoyed the counterplay of old driftwood against the stark white walls. That’s the look we are going for at our lil’ beach bungalow. Jack’s collection of lobster and crab buoys were making me salivate. On weekdays, when it’s not busy, the baristas make pretty swirly patterns in the foam. You see, Jack was really a science geek who invented a machine that makes his shade-grown, fair-traded coffee taste even better. He babies the beans to coax out their sweetness. And squeezes out every cent from them, as he does his customers. $5 for a small cup of Jack? Just tell us a good story and make it look nice.

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