A reader suggests I’m being coy by not suggesting what origin, or what blend of coffee to use in cafe au lait. Coy? Moi? No… it’s just an oversight.
You’ll want to brew a coffee that can cut through all that hot milk — and if you’re following the just say no to chicory path, you’ll want a coffee that’s got a bit of a bite to it — an acidic snap. Given that you’re looking for a deep roast, there are very few origins that will retain their zippy aspects well. I’d say it calls for a Kenya — though I wouldn’t use up my precious small-farm lots for this — their nuances would be lost. A solid Kenya AA would fit the bill nicely.
As for me, I’ve roasted up some of Barry’s Decatur Street Blend… an espresso blend, but it drinks well as a brewed coffee, and plays nice with lots of milk. Besides, the very name evokes the French Quarter.