Cathay today announced that it has partnered with Italian coffee brand illy to serve premium coffee to First and Business Class passengers. Freshly brewed coffee from the renowned coffee roasting company is already being served on flights, while illy’s espresso, café latte and cappuccino will be gradually introduced onboard beginning from March 2015.

This was no simple selection however. Numerous tests were conducted to ensure that a rewarding multi-sensory coffee experience could be enjoyed by passengers, despite the sense of smell and taste buds being reduced by travelling at such a high altitude. Medium and dark-roasted beans were carefully selected to serve onboard as the darker roast and heavier body allows for the full release of the coffee’s aroma and taste in the air, ensuring passengers can get the same enjoyment from drinking coffee in the aircraft cabin as they do on the ground.


There’s also a lot of tech in brewing a coffee at 30,000ft. In order to ensure that passengers can fully enjoy their inflight coffee experience, the Cathay Pacific catering team collaborated with illy to develop unique coffee filter “pillows” specifically for inflight use. The size and material of the filter bags was carefully assessed to ensure they work well with the coffee machines in the aircraft and allow for optimal water penetration during the brewing process. The brewing time and water temperature are also taken into consideration to ensure the best possible cup of coffee is served onboard.  

Posted by:Jonny Clark

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