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Alaska Airlines and Stumptown Coffee Roasters announced today that they are partnering for an exclusive coffee blend to be enjoyed at 30,000 feet. The new medium-dark brew will be fully rolled out by December.
More than 20 years ago, Portland-based Stumptown led the third wave, which is a craft movement in coffee sourcing and roasting emphasizing quality and sustainability. Stumptown is taking its coffee craftsmanship to the skies with a blend that is specifically designed to taste good while in-flight when taste buds are dulled due to the high altitude.
Alaska’s exclusive medium-dark blend uses the same base as Holler Mountain, but with a primary focus on a roast that mellows acidity to appeal to a wide range of palates. It’s designed to be served black or with the addition of creamer or oat milk (which is also now offered on Alaska flights).
Alaska and Stumptown Coffee Roasters put the coffee through a rigorous tasting process that included:
- More than 200 pots of coffee were brewed for the development of this project.
- Over 20 variables, including changes in grind, dose, filter paper, and filter-pack dimensions were measured.
- Multiple flight tests and blind customer surveys were conducted to ensure customer satisfaction.
- It was even taste-tested with Alaska’s inflight milk and Biscoff cookie to ensure the pairing worked well.
Alaska Airlines CEO, Ben Minicucci, said:
Having flown millions of miles fueled by countless cups of coffee, Stumptown stands out as first class. Like travel, coffee has a remarkable way of bringing people together. I can’t wait for our guests and employees to enjoy a cup of Stumptown when they fly with us.”
Alaska Airlines has historically served Starbucks coffee. That partnership dissolves with this one and Alaska cedes Starbucks to Delta Air Lines who has gotten closer with the Seattle-based coffee chain over the past few years.
Anthony’s Take: People are serious about their coffee. Partnerships like this one that account for the change in taste at high altitudes to develop a product that provides a great in-flight experience are welcome and mean a lot to passengers.
(Image Credits: Alaska Airlines.)
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