A new, hip coffee joint in Montauk has opened this spring! LƎFT HAND coffee opened its doors just two short weeks ago in the former space of Coffee Tauk. As you enter the newly renovated space, you are greeted with a friendly, open interior with a new, unique approach to brewing coffee. Known as the slow coffee movement, Yannis Papagianni, the managing partner, believes that his customers should have the opportunity to take their time, and savor their coffee and tea beverages. While I made my first visit to his coffee shop, my mom was with me and she had the opportunity to try their house latte. She said that every aspect of the latte down to the foam was excellent! The barista was very friendly and the speed of service was satisfactory. Yannis also greeted us upon arrival, and I sat down with him to learn more about his new shop.
In addition to Yannis being so hands on with LƎFT HAND coffee, he also is the Montauk Beach House Food and Beverages Operator. “Late last year, the place came up for sale, and I always wanted to do a coffee shop, ” he explains. “MBH backed me up, and we completed the construction during the winter.”
The name, Papagianni says, came sort of as a joke. “Those of us that work here are left handed, and the name seemingly came out of nowhere. We were cutting out fabric for the walls, and one of us said that they wish they made left-handed scissors, so the name came up.” I agree, it is a very fun and spontaneous name for such a relaxed espresso bar.
Aspects of interior are very woodsy along with the chalk board walls for menus and item descriptions. The branding for the new coffee shop as well as the welcoming aesthetics were designed by Walt Lindveld. “We are in Montauk, steps away from the beach,” explains Papagianni. “There is a little bit of a beach element, but we do not do the whole surfboard and waves. I found a way to combine the location with what we are as a town.” The interior brings the country element, and a comfort level together with driftwood collected from Montauk beaches for the bar front as well as the wood walls from a dismantled New England barn.
“We went to the beaches and collected the driftwood over the winter. We wanted to create a setting that feels warm and welcome.” There is the front cooper counter that mixes well with the wood, and the chalk painted wood on the floor that creates a nice contrast and a little light element. “Everything is reclaimed, and I like to play with what we have.”
Papagianni’s favorite menu items are the latte, and the Yama-style cold drip coffee. Yama-style is a Japanese method for slow, cold drip coffee. It makes a very concentrated, smooth, low acidic coffee. “We sometimes mix it with chocolate milk,” explains Papagianni. LƎFT HAND also serves up cappuccinos, chais, dirty chais (a chai latte with a shot of espresso), and a selection of teas.
“We don’t do iced coffeee!” says Papagianni. LƎFT HAND does do cold drinks but no coffee over ice. “I don’t personally dirink it and won’t sell what I don’t drink. Iced coffee is cooked and full of acid.”
LƎFT HAND coffee intends to do a pop up at MBH, and is working with some restaurants in the area who will offer customers their coffee. “We are getting to that level soon, but we are aiming for wholesale.”
Papagianni is grew up in Cyprus, and came to Montauk in 2010. He first worked at The Surf Lodge for the summer, then fell in love with Montauk. He also worked at Navy Beach for a few years, took a break, and lived in the city for a short while. “[But now,] I am married to Montauk.”
LƎFT HAND coffee is open Wednesday thru Monday; Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 7am-4pm, Friday from 7am-5pm, and Saturday from 7am-6pm, and Sunday from 8am-5pm. For more information, please visit http://www.lefthandcoffee.com