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Topic Author
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Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:18 am

I don't know if this topic has ever been brought up. I'd like to know what experience everyone's had with airline coffee. For some of us, coffee is almost the juice of life; for others, it's nothing important. I, for one, love coffee and appreciate it strong and full-bodied.

The best coffee I've had was on CSA - Czecho-Slovak Airlines back in 1991, on JFK-PRH-JFK (A310-300), PRH-LED (TU134A-3) and SVO-PRH (TU154M). The coffee had an almost syrupy quality to it, and was excellent. I had two cups on the JFK-PRH and PRH-JFK legs, and just one on the much shorter PRH-LED and SVO-PRH legs. That was the coffee that got me addicted!

The worst was on United Airlines, ORD-SAN on a 727-200 after a grueling 14 hours traveling in 1996. I was well aware that US domestic carriers grind one bean and use it for 12 gallons of coffee, producing brown water that tastes of nothing. But I was in desperate need of a caffeine fix, and figured that since UAL was using Starbucks beans, which they advertised heavily, I would give it a shot. I got the coffee, took one sip and couldn't touch it again. It was like boiled water with coffee flavouring. BLECH!

Anyone care to contribute?
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:33 am

I have yet to have a good cup of coffee on any airline.
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:34 am

United Airlines serves starbucks was it served on your flight? My mother has had it and she said that they "watered it down" or so. My dad had frappichinoes on UA when he flew first and said it was good. I don't go for coffie, I get soft drinks and orange juice!

U N I T E D Rising

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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:36 am

Okay, I'm not a Seattle native, but I've lived here long enough to become something of a coffee "snob".

Without a doubt, Southwest has to have the worst coffe I have ever tasted on any airline. I wrote a letter to Herb Kellerher about it and suggested that Southwest switch to Starbuck's or another well know brand name coffee like their competitor's here in the NW did (UAL & Alaska/Horizon). I got a very polite letter back saying that Southwest was not likely to go in for a name brand coffee in their ongoing efforts to keep their fares as low as possible. Not enough of their customers cared about the coffee to warrant changing what they were already using. I like the low fares so I get myself a good venti before I get on board.

The best coffee I have ever had was on Horizon air between GEG and SEA. I think they ground the beans (Seattle's Best) right on board our DHC-8-200! Almost made the trip on the Dash 8 worth it.

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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 5:41 am

National Airlines uses Rio Java Select coffee from the Rio All-Suite Casino Resort in Las Vegas. I don't drink coffee except for Starbucks frappuccinos but I am told it is quite good.
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 6:44 am

Best airline coffee I have had in a while is on Air Canada. I believe it's a Canadian company called Second Cup. It was strong, and actually tasted very good, unlike the glorified hot water that passes for coffee on most other airlines.

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 10:50 am

I've had good coffee on Alaska, UAL and AC. Virgin was great but I don't recall the brand of the english coffee brand they use. I think BA uses another brand. Thier coffe is pretty decent.
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 10:56 am

Best coffee is on mainline DL, the caribou coffee... the stuff on ASA really sucks....

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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 10:58 am

Continental serves Timothy's International Coffees, which I find to be pretty good, as I drink 3-5 cups on morning flight, 1-3 cups on afternoon flights, and 2-4 on nighttime flights. Those numbers may be inflated a bit, but I do drink a lot of coffee, and find what we get on CO to be pretty good. Now, what they serve to the pax, well, that's a different story.  

RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 11:33 am

Being a black coffee (no cream or sugar) drinker, I can't handle the strong stuff like Starbuck which is roasted European style. United and Alaska served the strong kind and therefore I dislike coffee from them. However, I can see one likes the strong stuff with cream and sugar. I just like drinking coffee black, though.

Best Regards,
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 11:43 am

I get several compliments on DL's mainline coffe (Carabou Brand) from our customers. The DL Shuttle offers a different coffee (Green Mountain) which I thpought was too strong. In my own personal taste, Iit helps to use half and half as opposed to the "Coffee Delight" creamers that are offered on most flights. DL was experimenting witha cappucino machine on one of their MD-11's and I haven't heard much about it since (that was about 1 year ago when they started .)

RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 12:39 pm

Man creamers drive me nuts. That's definately one of the perks of F class is you're certain to have real cream. Anyway nothing like UA starbucks, in china, with real cream, when it's fresh. I agree though that no airline has perfected the art of making it good all the time (like so many elements of their services).
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 12:48 pm

I think Seattle's Best Coffee is a little lighter than Starbucks, although Starbucks has introduced lighter roasts. Anyways, I think SBC is the best coffee out there, and Alaska serves it.

The Rio Java Select on National is good too (based on only two cups, however).
UAL Bagsmasher
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Message For Ctbarnes

Tue Oct 10, 2000 2:25 pm

The best cup of coffee I've had is in the Fellowship room in ORD... 

RE: Message For Ctbarnes

Tue Oct 10, 2000 3:13 pm

Coffee is for old people.
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 7:31 pm

airline coffee is bad, even worse is airline tea 
.....up there with the best!
Tan Flyr
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Tue Oct 10, 2000 10:48 pm

I enjoy coffee as much as Jet-A! That being said...LOL..Horizon/Alaska with Seatlles Best is about as consistent as it gets for airline coffee..Hmmm, there are some real oxymorons!

The inconsistant supply of good water makes making a good pot of coffee at 33,000 ft about as likely as hitting the big one in vegas. God only knows how many different sources of water are in the tanks for coffee on a plane.
Topic Author
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Airline Tea

Tue Oct 10, 2000 11:35 pm

Airmale, I've also had really good tea on flights - with Aeroflot. They brew tea quite strong, and serve it from its own pot, diluting it with boiled water according to passenger preference. Tea-drinking is very much a part of the Russian culture, and it's nice that this extends to their national airline.  

RE: Airline Tea

Tue Oct 10, 2000 11:47 pm

Coffee on all US airlines I've used sucked big time...The culture shock I suppose...
Also on BA...
Very good on Iberia.
Tea very good on BA  .


RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Wed Oct 11, 2000 12:18 am

Best: UNITED. Don't they have Starbucks Coffee on board? I luv Starbucks.
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Wed Oct 11, 2000 12:39 am

The coffee on Delta (Caribou) is quite good and they tend to brew it strong in International flights - at least the ones I've been on. On the KFLL-KATL run a couple of times in the morning, (the one time you need it when you take off at 7am...) it's been revolting. The ASA coffee as N4KHGirl said, is truly revolting all the time. (and that flight's at 5am, when you REALLY need it!)

As to tea, Delta's tea is quite possibly the worst in the world - in Coach. In BizElite they offer all teas from all around Europe & America - including proper English tea - from India. (explain that one....) so that's ok. But on the whole, Delta tea is GROSE. Their coffee is good. The best tea I had on an airplane was also on BA EGLL-EGJJ. (funny that!)


N 8 6 3 D A
Topic Author
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Delta Coffee

Wed Oct 11, 2000 12:52 am

Hey N863DA, I had coffee onboard an MD-11 of DL on FRA-LAX in 1995; it was as bad as any American-style coffee I've ever had, even the German F/A who served it to me told me it wasn't up to European standards of strength. Most Americans can't drink the kind of coffee I like, anyway - you could stand a spoon up in it! 
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Wed Oct 11, 2000 3:47 am

Hi friends!

No, no, no!!!! Don't even try to compare american coffee ( Starbucks included!!! ) with a true "Cafe do Brazil" - brazilian cofee, no way, no chance, for me it's the best coffee I ever had in my life, I flew with Varig from LIS to AMS in a nice B. 707-320C reg. PP-VJH and I still almost have the taste in my mouth!!! After the brazilian coffee you'll have ethiopian coffee too, very good, very acid, very wild - if you ever have the chance try the Moka Sidamo, that's a real coffee too, after well we have many but as a portuguese I have to talk about East Timor coffee, that's a real pearl.
To end this, when you try one of these I told you you'll never try Starbucks again, I guarantee you that!!!
CV990, the Maserati of the skies!

RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Wed Oct 11, 2000 4:37 am

On my last flight on UA (flight 901, business) I ordered some tea after lunch (I abandoned coffee around half a year ago, before that I was drinking around two liters a day). Well that stuff was horrible so I came to the conclusion to have some coffee which was a strong one and its taste really remembered me of the stuff you get at Starbuck's. Ilyushin 96M, I think you could have been enjoying it, too. Don't know how the coffee is like in coach.

My experiences with Lufthansa (German domestic flights, both business and coach) hasn't been as good; either it's what you reported of the U.S. carriers (way too thin) or way too strong so it becomes bitter.
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Wed Oct 11, 2000 4:47 am

Being a big coffee fan I feel obligated to respond to this thread. I have to admit I don't like Starbucks, i.e. UA can't impress my tastes. Although once in Business class (United), coffee was pretty good (guess it wasn't Starbucks).

From my other experiences - don't remember Aeroflot (I was too young), but I remember BA's wasn't bad. I think it all depends on the dinner (and drinks) I've had before the coffee (-:
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Wed Oct 11, 2000 10:33 am

The Delta Shuttle originally offered Starbucks Coffee, which I thought was delicious. Later they changed to Green Mountain, which is also good, but I can't find it in any grocery store. On American, I had cafe de colombia. On one flight it was terrible. Too much water. On another flight it was delicious. But the best airline coffee I ever had was on Eastern. I asked the flight attendant what kind it was, and she said Maxwell House.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B

RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Wed Oct 11, 2000 10:41 am

Grupo Taca!!! It's the best coffee I've tried on airplanes... No imported crap, this stuff is home grown. Otherwise, I've enjoyed Juan Valdez coffee on some Europena carriers.
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Wed Oct 11, 2000 11:20 am

AVIANCA for a blend coffee, and VARIG for a strong one.
SIA fan
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Wed Oct 11, 2000 2:21 pm

Try looking for Green Mountain Coffee in your local Mobil Convenience Store. Just finished an accounting class project covering Green Mountain Coffee and in the annual report they said their coffee is available in all Mobil Convenience Store throughout US.
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:02 am


Thu Oct 12, 2000 12:00 pm

Thanks. I'll check out my Mobil Convenience Store and see if they have it.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
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RE: Airline Coffee - Best & Worst

Fri Oct 13, 2000 7:37 am

I find the best to be TWA  and the worst to be Southwest 

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