Passersby on rue Daval will not readily spot this shop selling fresh-roasted coffee. To find it, they have to turn down cour Damoye, a beautiful little passageway that leads to place de la Bastille.
Madame D’Amico opened the Brûlerie Daval with her husband shortly after the end of WWII. It has an old-time look, with open bags of roasted coffee beans on the counter displaying signs with hand-printed labels indicating the names and prices of the coffee. Bins of tea rise up on shelves behind the counter. Inside the shop there is a small table that can accommodate two coffee drinkers. A few tables and chairs stand on the sidewalk terrace in front of the store.
Madame D’Amico sells mostly blended coffees. She states that it is almost impossible to find an unblended coffee that is perfectly equilibrated: these may have too much perfume or too much acidity; if they have good flavor, they are not strong bodied; if they are strong bodied, they don’t have enough flavor; and so on.
I purchased 250 grams of “Nouveau Mélange Corsé” for 3.60€. Madame D’Amico would not divulge the specific coffees in the blend, stating only that one of the coffees was from Central America and the other was a Moka. I can understand her reticence at revealing the recipe. After all, top chefs do not want to reveal their secrets either!
Nouveau Mélange Corsé is an Italian roast—its beautiful dark-brown beans glisten with oil. Back at the apartment, I ground the beans and prepared the brew in a French coffee press. The coffee had a bold, robust flavor. As I drank it, I remembered learning that when coffee beans are dark roasted—as these are—it is mostly the roast that one tastes, not the beans themselves.
The second time I went in to buy coffee, Madame D’Amico quoted a few lines of poetry from Rimbaud and expressed her admiration for Beaudelaire. I ordered the “W. goût délicieuse,” which is a lighter roast than the Nouveau Mélange Corsé. I asked Madame D’Amico what the “W” stood for. She said that it is simply the name that she gave it so that customers could identify it if they wanted to order it again. I have not had a chance to brew and taste this one, as I have not yet finished drinking the Nouveau Mélange Corsé.
Madame D’Amico told me that she gets lots of customers from Japan. Apparently, her shop has been listed in Japanese guidebooks and reviewed in the Japanese press. She also said that a number of customers have requested that she ship coffee to them.
12, rue Daval
Open every day except Mondays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
We participate in Wanderfood Wednesdays. Head over there to explore food from around the world!
Like our blog? Join us on Facebook!