You don’t have to fly first-class to get the best coffee on Delta Air Lines. Starting March 1st, Delta’s brand will be Seattles Best Coffee. That might not sound like a really big deal but it took a lot of work to make that happen.
Coffee is best when brewed with water that is 197 degrees, just shy of boiling. The problem with brewing coffee in flight (you were right, there was a problem) is that at 30,000 feet, the altitude affects barometric pressure and how hot water reacts to coffee. Enter the Green Coffee Quality Team at Seattles Best Coffee.
Coffee expert Kim Giroir from Seattles Best quality team told Gadling they experimented with a bunch of different blends and finally came up with what they call “Level 4″ coffee that is just right for brewing in the sky.
When Seattle’s Best says they want to “bring great coffee everywhere” that’s not just a slogan. Back at the Research and Development labs at Seattles Best, they brewed test blends in a barometric chamber, mimicing the conditions of brewing in the air.
It’s been a meticulously tedious process finding the right blend but taste tests in November had all the cabin crew buzzing about the new coffee. That’s nothing new to the coffee company that relaunched it’s brand at Starbucks headquarters in May.
Seattle’s Best thinks they have come up with the perfect cup of coffee, no matter where it is served. A big hit on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, it just made sense to take to the air too.
Delta is no stranger to fine cuisine either, taking in-flight dining seriously for quite some time now, especially in their BusinessElite product.
As the official airline of the Food Network New York Wine and Food Festival, Delta Air Lines brought along its roster of six consulting chefs to venues throughout the event.
In 2006, Delta revealed an on-board menu created by celerity chef Michelle Bernstein. As Delta’s consulting chef, Bernstein designed entrees and side dishes which became part of Delta’s continued effort to enhance its BusinessElite product, creating a more inviting and entertaining experience.
In 2007, Delta tapped top chef Todd English to create selections for its food-for-purchase menu being developed for customers flying in its Coach Class on flights within the United States.
“The back of the plane is where the real challenge is,” said English, adding that he plans to help Delta devise business-class meals in the future.
In 2009 hand-served entrees and signature dishes created by Miami celebrity chef Michele Bernstein and master sommelier Andrea Robinson, expanded dessert options and improved Japanese meal options created by Delta’s flight kitchen in Tokyo.
After all that, a good cup of coffee just made sense.