Airline coffee has been universally described as bland at best and revolting at worst, with functionality taking precedence over quality. Many factors contribute to this flavor, including low-quality beans, water, and brewing machine, high altitude, and service from flight attendants rather than baristas.

However, in recent years, airlines have increased their investments in providing better quality coffee to their customers, primarily for the competitive advantage this provides over those who have pricing advantages. This is a wise move given that business travelers are more likely to choose airlines that provide better service and quality because their flights are a covered business expense.

To learn more about this trend, Perfect Daily Grind’s Sahara Charles spoke with several key stakeholders, including Solomon Tadele, Coffee Manager of Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Cooperative Union’s roasted coffee brand, OneKoo. Solomon mentioned a signed agreement to supply green and roasted coffee to Ethiopian Airlines, with the partnership’s goal being to promote high-quality Ethiopian coffee on Ethiopian flights, in addition to providing improved coffee to the airline’s customers.

While it is unclear whether this is a passing phase, Solomon sees no signs of a slowdown in demand for fine, traceable, single-origin coffees. Union Hand-Roasted Coffee’s Ben Styche predicts that better brewing equipment and a wider range of milk options in aircrafts will be the next innovations in the coming years. This trend may represent a great opportunity for coffee brands to gain more exposure by reaching out to international audiences.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (23 June 2022)


The opinions expresses here in the post "From Bland to Full-Flavoured: The Case of Airline Coffee" are those of the individua's contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Business Info Ethiopia , BIE Intelligence PLC, its publisher, editor, or any of its other contributors.


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