Alaska Airlines Brewing Coffee That Tastes Better In the Air

Alaska Airlines Brewing Coffee That Tastes Better In the Air

If you’ve ever thought that coffee doesn’t taste as good on an airplane as it does on the ground, you’re not alone — and there’s actually science to back up why.

Alaska Airlines is hoping to combat this problem through a partnership with Oregon-based coffee company Stumptown Coffee Roasters by rolling out an in-flight blend that’s meant to taste just as good at max altitude as it does down on the ground.

The method for creating the custom blend was based on data that showed how taste buds react differently to foods and flavors at higher altitudes, thanks to a change in air pressure and humidity. In fact, one study by airline Lufthansa found that our perception of saltiness and sweetness plummets by nearly 30% once at maximum altitudes.

The custom blend uses Stumptown’s Holler Mountain base with notes of marshmallows, toffee, brown butter, and hints of cherry and citrus, according to a release.

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In order to develop the new brew, Alaska and Stumptown brewed over 200 pots of coffee and changed over 20 variables per iteration, including changes in dose, filter paper, and grind.

Customers also blind surveyed the coffee on flight tests, the company said.

The new blend will be available on all Alaska Airlines flights by December 1, 2023.

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Alaska Airlines is coming off of a strong Q2 2023 where the company saw a net income of $240 million, up over an astounding $100 million from the $139 million the company earned at the same time last year.

The company also recorded a total of $2.8 billion in operating revenue during Q2 2023, the highest in company history.

Alaska Air Group Inc. was down just over 15% year over year as of Wednesday afternoon.

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