Coffee talk with Hiatus Coffee Annecy

We spoke to the team from Hiatus Coffee, a specialty coffee venue in Annecy, France that is currently featuring Fjord coffees. We discuss the ongoing development of the French coffee industry, and how consumers are driving change.


Please tell us a bit about the history of Hiatus Coffee. How did it start, and what is your philosophy?

Hiatus Coffee is the result of my wife’s and my experiences in the U.K. and New Zealand as baristas. We‘ve both been working with coffee for about 10 years. We tried to recreate the atmosphere that you can find in coffee shops over there. We wanted to create a cozy and relaxed atmosphere where everyone is welcome.

We only serve pure, single origin origin coffees and change roasters and origins as much as we can on a rotation basis. We usually order about 10kg of espresso and 1kg of filter and change when it’s done. Our philosophy is to try to convert traditional coffee drinkers to specialty and show them what coffee has to offer and how it can be so much more than a bitter morning shot. 



The interior of Hiatus Coffee in Annency. The owner is pouring a filter coffee behind the bar.



In your opinion, how has the French specialty coffee community/industry changed during the last 5-10 years?

Specialty coffee shops have been around for about 7-10 years in France but they’ve mostly been based in Paris. The last five years we’ve seen interest for specialty coffee move to provincial France and people are starting to show interest. Specialty coffee is still kind of late in France and is lacking quality and consistency. French people are still very much used to drinking Nespresso and buying coffee in the supermarket. However, there is a younger generation trying to change the game! 


What do you believe are the main concerns for coffee consumers in France?

I would say that the last few years there are more and more people looking for good coffee and younger generations are usually more sensible to quality and origins. Like everywhere else in Europe a lot of young people traveled to Australia or Canada and discovered specialty coffee over there and look for the same offer back home.

Consumers are very concerned with prices in France and for some people 2€ is too expensive for an espresso, so pricing is definitely something we have to pay attention to. On the other hand, French people tend to look for quality products and taste is the most important thing for them even more than origin or process. There is also a tendency to buy ethically produced coffee and organic products.

A box of Fjord coffee sits atop a sunlit table.


What kind of coffee(s) does Hiatus like to share with its customers?


I tend to buy light roast coffees for my customers, I also try to follow seasonal harvest. Regarding origins I try to change as much as possible, although I tend to buy natural processed espresso and washed filter coffees.

How do you see the European coffee industry changing in the next decade, and why?

I would like to think that the scene is going to blow up in France and that interest is going to grow, especially in smaller towns! I hope we’ll be able to find at least one specialty coffee shop in every French city! There is also a big interest in roasting growing in France so I hope to see french roasters developing their offer and range.


A milk coffee with nice latte art on a saucer, atop a wooden table. 


What made you want to work with Fjord, and how has the response to Fjord been with your customers?

I worked with Fjord coffee in the past during my time at Lowdown Coffee in Edinburgh and really enjoyed it. I was back in 2018 but I always kept it in mind. I was surprised to know that some people know about Fjord from their travels in Germany and you guys built a good reputation over the years and most importantly the coffee tasted amazing! I am using the Ethiopia Okoluu on espresso which is really tasty and sweet, and Peru Puente Solaya on filter which is making a great and complex kalita.


To learn more about Hiatus Coffee Annecy, visit their website at hiatus-coffee.com. If you're interested in featuring Fjord coffee in your business, get in touch via our Wholesale Partnerships page. 


Contributions: Stanislas Baron
Images: Hiatus Coffee Annecy