Post By apicius
South of France
Debated posting in the Paris thread but the South might as well be a different country, culturally and in terms of the time it takes to get there from Paris.
The thread is prompted by a surprisingly good experience in a country usually devoid of good coffee (the city I'm in now has no roasters, for example, other than a Lavazza factory of sorts).
Le Palais Du Café - Artisan torréfacteur
8 Rue Pierre Clément, 83300 Draguignan
I was looking for something to pass the weekend breakfasts with. I did have two 100g bags from my local roaster but no grinder. Two roasters facing each other (almost) in the town centre, one opens half an hour before the other, the parking has a 20 minute limit, the decision was easy.
We had a good chat about various origins, and I took away some (ground on the spot) Ethiopian forest coffee (from Jimma) with the usual profile from around there. I was surprised by the huge peach that came out even a couple hours after grinding and the next morning. I was also pleasantly surprised that it was only 6 euros for 250g. Well, that is the market rate in France. He confirmed he only sold stuff he had roasted in the past 1-4 days, recommending customers go for the 3-4 day old one. This is commendable in a country that, like the US, is not against roasting a big batch and selling it off over several weeks to a robusta/N*******o-drinking clientele who doesn't know or care and is buying the label.
The espresso was too watery by Aussie standards. Very little crema. More like a small filter. Shame, because the roasting is fine.
For the gourmets the cheesemonger on the Place du Marche is really rather good, including his strange jams.