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.