If you’re a regular reader of Live and Let’s Fly, you know how important coffee is to me. That’s why I am ecstatic that United Airlines has added a barista coffee bar to its newest lounge in Newark Airport.
United Airlines Coffee Bar: Barista-Made Coffee In Airport Lounge
I did not start drinking coffee regularly until I got married (thanks Heidi…) and so I understand that my odd fixation on coffee will not appeal to all readers. For many years, I also could not understand what the appeal of coffee was (preferring tea or nothing at all). But for those who appreciate a high quality bean or the perfect latte art, the addition of “real” coffee at a U.S. legacy airline lounge is a huge step forward.
I offered a full review of the new United Airlines C123 Lounge at Newark yesterday, but want to focus in this post on the Untied Coffee Bar, a new “coffee shop” experience in which a trained barista is happy to offer you the coffee drink of your choice, including cold-brewed coffee.
Not all coffee is created equal and not all machines are created equal. But what United is offering here is something that American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have yet to do (Alaska Airlines does) and represents, in my mind, a small investment with outsized gain. Coffee drives loyalty. This coffee bar represents thoughtfulness and doing the little things right.
Newark was never (and still isn’t) my favorite United hub. I find the C Terminal too crowded and while I don’t mind the OTG catering, I have not been able to find great coffee there. This coffee bar will change the way I travel. Instead of redeyes through Chicago or Washington Dulles, I’ll fly through Newark now, so that when I land or before I depart I can enjoy a decent cup of coffee.
I had a great conversation with Chevaneese Constable and Lilah Hawkins during my visit to the lounge. They were the baristas on duty and they get it: passengers love good coffee and they are happy to offer it. I greatly appreciated their care and I am hopeful that the new United Coffee Bar will be an enduring feature of this lounge and all new United Clubs.
I do have one request, directed toward United: please consider using “real” ceramic coffee cups. Cups do matter and paper cups are great for those who want to take coffee to go, but not for those aficionados who wish to savor their coffee in the lounge.
Mornings for me start with writing, then coffee, a reward for working. I’m snobbish to the point that I will politely turn down most coffee these days, but found the coffee in the new United Airlines Club in Newark worthy of praise. Great coffee warms the heart and soul – don’t miss if when you visit the new United lounge.
I love coffee but not before or during flying. Coffee is a diuretic (makes you want to pee) and also an intestinal/ bowel stimulator. There better be a bathroom nearby.
@Matthew “Newark was never (and still isn’t) my favorite United hub.“ what is your favorite UA hub then? In fact, I’d be curious the list from best to worst and reasons why. Sounds like an idea for a new post!
I should do a post on my favorite hubs for each airlines.
SFO still my favorite UA hub. For whatever reason, I also like IAD.
IAH least favorite, though I like the PP restaurants.
But I meant what I said—this new lounge will make me go out of my way to connect in EWR.
No love for the hometown hub?
This could be a fun series. Do it for the big 3 US carriers, and maybe LH group.
Most baristas in the US aren’t trained to steam milk to the right temperature and consistency for perfect cappuccinos. Maybe this UC will be an exception.
“Coffee drives loyalty.”
Not sure that is the case for anyone except you, Matthew. Would you switch to Delta if they had Intelligentsia at every Sky Club? Doubtful.
Now what I would support is high-quality coffee and trained baristas in a corporate/chain restaurant setting (sort of what Starbucks thinks it accomplishes, but more) such that any US airport you go to would have a good coffee option.
Also, where’s the latte art? Chevaneese and Lilah can do better!
Why would anyone switch to Delta?
Look at what cities UA has hubs in, and look what cities DL has hubs in. The DL hub cities are some of the worst and most miserable cities in the US.
SEA, MSP, DTW, SLC – what do all of these cities have in common? All either radical political or religious movements running the cities.
Look at UA. All of their hubs are in the top business markets, most desirable cities in the US.
ORD > DTW
SFO > SEA
IAD > MSP
DEN > SLC
All of UA’s hubs in the similar region are SO MUCH BETTER! If UA offered to trade any of these hubs to Delta, they would take it up instantly. All of these Delta hubs suck! Horrible cities.
San Francisco isn’t a radical political city anymore? Not even a little?
Yeah. That makes sense. We should evaluate hubs based on the city’s religious and political perspectives. Nothing relating to efficiency or ability to move travelers through them. Brilliant!
No cup of coffee is worth flying United Airlines.
What a crap airline. The last five flights with UA has stranded me, lost my luggage, consistently late and the couple standing in line at the hotel UA put us on showed me a picture of their flight that had a piece of the engine cowling blow off in flight. May 21 2022.
On my flight we had to deplane because the pilot flat refused to fly the plane due to mechanical safety reasons. Grateful for that.
What’s even more amazing is an article dedicated to it.
What some people go through for a great cup of coffee.
Did the coffee taste better after she breathed all over it? That mask sure is accomplishing a lot being pulled down all the way under her chin.
Griping about coffee served in a paper cup verses a glass/porcelain cup in a day of germ phobias is actually snobbery at it’s best. First World problems…..
Obviously a very first world problem.
I tried a cappuccino here for the first time last week—coffee aficionados would do well to temper their expectations. The barista pulling my shot was being trained. The espresso had muted flavor and the steamed milk could have come from the dedicated machines.
Good data point, though I will add that I am about as snobby as they come when it comes to coffee and found my drink to be very good and far better than the automatic machines.