I bring very good news: Alaska Airlines is dumping Starbucks for Stumptown Coffee, both in the air and on the ground. This is wonderful news, not just because I dislike Starbucks, but because I love Stumptown Coffee.
Starbucks Is Out, Stumptown Is In On Alaska Airlines
I love coffee. Come over to my house and I will make you a lovely flat white or espressoo or latte. While I use many beans, one of my favorite coffee beans is Hair Blender Espresso from Stumptown. It was therefore quite delightful to receive an email from Alaska Airlines this morning that the carrier is introducing Stumptown coffee in the air and on the ground, including my beloved Hair Blender blend.
Stumptown Coffee, based in Portland, Oregon, led the third wave of coffee, a movement that emphasizes the quality of coffee in terms of source, taste, and presentation. Now that coffee is coming to Alaska flights and lounges.
Alaska Airlines began with Stumptown’s Holler Mountain blend (another blend I quite enjoy), which is described as “smooth and balanced, with aromatic notes of toasted marshmallows, browned butter and toffee with delicate hints of citrus and cherry.”
It then asked Stumptown to tinker with the blend to create a coffee more suitable for taste buds at 40,000 feet, where many things taste differently than on the ground. To find the ideal blend, 200 pots of coffee were brewed and over 20 variables were tested, including changes in grind, dose, filter paper, and filter-pack. Stumptown even tested its special blend with Alaska’s inflight milk and Biscoff cookie to ensure they paired (Alaska Airlines now offers oat milk onboard).
Alaska Airlines will also add Stumptown’s Holler Mountain brewed coffee, Hair Bender at barista-stations, and Trapper Creek decaf coffee to its Portland (PDX) and New York (JFK) lounges. Live And Let’s Fly has asked Alaska Airlines if the coffee will eventually come to all Alaska Lounges.
What Happened To Starbucks?
There is no mention in any communication from Alaska Airlines about what happened to Seattle-based Starbucks coffee, but we won’t see both Stumptown and Starbucks onboard.
I expect we will continue to see Starbucks in Alaska Lounges for the time being, particularly via automatic machines.
If you want Starbucks, you will have to fly Delta Air Lines…
I will fly Alaska Airlines just for this (not regularly at least for now, but just to try out the new coffee). I am excited to see that Alaska Airlines is bringing Stumptown onboard and laud the airline for so consciously trying to create a good coffee experience for guests both on the ground and in the air. This is very good news.