One of the many drawbacks of flying is having to drink lousy coffee. Alaska Airlines believes it has the answer. To produce a coffee that is resistant to the altitude-changing impacts that airborne-served coffee generally causes, like tasting bitter and weak. Alaska has developed a bespoke blend with Portland-based roaster Stumptown. By December 1, every flight operated by Alaska. Including those operated by its regional carrier Horizon Air, will be served exclusively with the speciality coffee, a first for a major airline.
People’s senses of taste and smell are intertwined, and being in the air substantially affects how they smell. Because pressurised cabins limit blood oxygen levels. Which decreases the ability of olfactory receptors (i.e., the ability to smell), food and beverages taste differently. The nose is also affected by the cabin’s extremely dry air. Which has humidity values that are lower than those of the Sahara Desert. Alaska utilised Stumptown’s Holler Mountain, a medium-dark mix, as the foundation for this blend in order to counteract those effects. She then added punchier flavours, such as marshmallow, browned butter, and toffee, as well as a “delicate hint” of citrus oils and cherry essence. As a result, when coffee is inhaled, its notes have a richer, more “complex” flavour.
The coffee has been in development for a year, and according to the airline, 20 different kinds have been tried out. Including on flights and in surveys that were conducted in secret. Alaska even taste-tested the mixture using Biscoff cookies and creamer to “ensure the best combination.” However, Alaska is dissolving its ten-year collaboration with Starbucks, another coffee brand situated in Seattle. As a result of the newly brewed agreement with Stumptown. Regarding Starbucks, Alaska stated that it is “grateful to our friends at Starbucks and proud to have served their coffee on board our flights for years.” Starbucks is still served aboard Delta Air Lines aircraft, which still have a significant hub in Seattle.
According to Edward Russell, publisher of the Airline Weekly newsletter for travel magazine Skift, “aero plane coffee is frequently a joke for many travelers.” Airlines frequently try to step up their game by bringing in other international coffee brands.
Partnership with Stumptown
The airline claims it has developed a special mix that is immune to the effects of high altitude on board a plane. Which cause food and beverages to taste different. The airline has baked up a new collaboration with the Portland-based Stumptown Coffee. According to a press statement on the Stumptown website, the speciality coffee. Which has been in development since the autumn of 2022. Will be offered on every Alaska Airlines trip by December 1. Horizon, Alaska’s regional carrier, will also be a part of this, according to CNN.
“It’s impossible not to consider the Stumptown and Alaska brands as cut from the same fabric”. Stumptown wrote in a statement announcing the collaboration on its website on Tuesday. “Our Northwest heritage and dedicated following, as well as our common values around hospitality, quality, and sustainability, all contribute to this.
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