Specialty Coffee Shop in the Sky

Coming soon to an airline near you - someday, maybe - if other airlines follow the lead of Japan Air Lines (JAL). It’s happened: a major airline has now introduced a café for coffee connoisseurs which promises to serve gourmet coffee drinks in-flight. Starting September 1, travelers on JAL’s Group flights will have the opportunity to enjoy JAL CAFÉ LINES, an “exclusive line of high-quality coffee” created just for the airline by Coffee Hunter Jose Yoshiaki Kawashima and roaster Tomohiro Ishiwaki. These specialty coffee drinks will be free to every customer in every cabin class on all international and domestic flights. JAL CAFÉ LINES resulted from consultations on how to set up a way to serve high quality coffee under in-flight cabin conditions. Some of the coffees include two from El Savador, a rainforest coffee, a Maui coffee, and one iced coffee. One offering will be freeze-dried. Two years ago JAL conducted a one-month trial for first class customers during which they were offered a special lineup of Kawashima’s coffee which had been carefully selected from farms all over the world. They were able to see an increase in passengers that month. Now the service is being implemented in all flight classes, not just first class, and JAL estimates they will serve 15 million cups next year. It will be interesting to watch how this new service is received. Another indication of the impact gourmet coffee drinkers are having on society, if it’s successful for JAL, we’d expect the Café in the sky to spread to most major airlines. Brew sky-high.

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