A Complete Guide To Coffee On Airplanes

airplane coffee

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This may not be news but coffee on airplanes has a not so good reputation. Generally unless you are flying business or first class, what you eat and drink on a plane tends to be underwhelming at best, coffee especially.

Airlines have struggled in their reputation from bad tasting coffee but this doesn’t always prevent us from ordering a coffee hoping this time will be different.

Researches believe the reason for bad coffee can be the cleanliness of the hot water pipes and how long a brewed pot has been sitting. This is why many airline hosts have come out against ordering coffee on airplanes.

Another factor that can often get overlooked is the difference the altitude makes on brewing the coffee as well as our taste buds. Pressured cabins and high altitudes makings managing heat much more difficult and also reduces our perception of sweetness and saltiness. This is why you might think the coffee will smell great on a plane but often taste terrible.

Coffee Brands By Airline

There is hope though with many airlines committing to better coffee service and partnering with well known coffee brands. Here is what you can find served on board these airlines.

Delta AirlinesStarbucks
Singaporeillycaffe Monoarabica
AmericanJava City
United AirlinesIlly
Hawaiin AirlinesHawaiian Paradise
Virgin AmericaPhilz Coffee
Austrian AirlinesMelangerie
Turkish AirlinesTurkish Coffee
Asiana AirlinesHand Drip
SouthwestCommunity Coffee
Spirit AirlinesBrisk RCR
Frontier AirlinesBoyer's
British AirwaysJava Republic
Virgin AtlanticFairtrade Coffee
Virgin AustraliaNespresso
Air CanadaSecond Cup
West JetMcDonald's McCafe
Brussels AirlinesRombouts
Air FranceSegrafedo / Illy
VuelingIlly / Nescafe
Ryan AirLavazza
KLMUTZ Certified
TAP PortugalDelta Coffee
El AlNespresso
EmiratesCosta Coffee
Fly DubaiStarbucks
Air ChinaGolden Coffee
IndiGoNescafe Gold
Cathay PacificIlly
Japan AirlinesJAL Café
Malaysian AirlinesNespresso
Qatar AirwaysHi Fly Emilio Caffee

There are no shortages of great coffee brands serving on airlines but that doesn’t mean all coffee is the same.

The coffee experience can vary depending on the plane, route, and of course class of service you are in.

Here are some of our favorite coffee experiences and ones you should most definitely not skip if you get the chance to fly on a route its being served.

Austrian Melangerie on Austrian Airlines

Austrian Airlines serves what is known as a Vienna Coffee, an authentic Austrian signature coffee consisting of 3 single shots espresso, 3/4 cup hot water, whipped cream and cocoa powder. Incredibly they offer this even on short haul inflight economy class service making it one of the best of any airline.

Singapore Airlines illycaffe Monoarabica Espresso

It may not sound like much but getting espresso on an airplane is not too common, even in premium cabins. On Singapore Airlines not only can you get espresso but you can find  single-origin Monoarabica beans grown in several counties, including Ethiopia, Brazil, and Guatemala. We were lucky enough to try this on an A380 from Mumbai to Singapore and it was certainly the most refreshing way to wake up after a short nap.

Cappuccino on ANA

Like many other airlines ANA serves Illy Coffee on board and goes a bit further in first class making cappuccinos available. Not only do they serve up great coffee but they will certainly do their best to attempt some latte art in the process.

Any Coffee On Ethipion Airlines

This should come as no surprise that Ethiopian Airlines has great coffee. Ethiopian beans are known for their winey quality and bright mouthfeels, making it an easy source for the airline to get great product. When coffee is built into the culture you can be sure the airline wants to put forward their best.

Even with so many great coffee companies serving airlines there will still be skeptics about drinking a cup in the air. We fully support ordering coffee on an airplane and the more passengers drinks the more airlines will invest in making a better product.

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