Stumptown’s First Custom Coffee for Altitude Is Exclusively Available on Alaska Airlines

The coffee blend crafted for arid conditions at 30,000 feet has dark chocolate and cherry flavors that complement Biscoff cookies onboard flights.

Two passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight toast with Stumptown coffees

Courtesy of Alaska Airlines x Stumptown

Pair your morning joe with this caffeinated news: Alaska Airlines is partnering with Stumptown Coffee Roasters to launch a blend exclusively available onboard the airline’s flights.

The Pacific Northwest-based companies came together to develop a coffee designed for fliers’ taste experience at 30,000 feet, testing 200 batches of coffee with 20 variables, from grind size to temperature and pillow pod material.

“On a plane, because the environment is quite arid, your sense of smell and taste are diminished,” explains Emily Rosenberg, Stumptown’s director of education and training operations. “We made some adjustments to arrive at the coffee and roast approach that would perform well in those conditions.”

The Alaska Airlines x Stumptown blend is crafted to be sweeter with more roast character than Stumptown’s signature blend. Marketing materials describe the coffee as mellow, toasted, and balanced with marshmallow, brown butter, toffee, citrus oil, and cherry notes, while Rosenberg showcased dark chocolate and dried black cherry elements in a live tasting at Stumptown’s Greenwich Village location in New York this week.

A flight attendant on an Alaska Airlines flight serves Stumptown coffee on a tray

Courtesy of Alaska Airlines x Stumptown

“We tested on a couple of different flights, and people filled out surveys afterward, and the feedback was overwhelmingly really positive,” says Rosenberg.

The companies intend the brew to pair perfectly with the Biscoff cookies available on all Alaska Airlines flights, which Rosenberg recommends for dunking. Based in Seattle, Alaska Airlines flies to more than 120 North American destinations. While you can only taste the new blend in the air, the airline will also serve Stumptown’s single-origin Holler Mountain drip coffee in JFK and PDX airport lounges, in addition to Stumptown’s Hair Bender espresso beverages.

This collaboration follows Delta’s partnership with Starbucks, JetBlue serving Dunkin’ coffee, and United Airlines pouring illy. As for the many stories warning travelers to avoid airplane coffee due to potentially unclean aircraft tank water, Rosenberg assures us there’s nothing to fear from coffee brewed at 200°F.

This isn’t Alaska Airlines’ first endeavor in the craft beverage world. In 2022, it was the first U.S. commercial airline to deliver a bulk shipment of fresh hops in under 24 hours to America's two noncontiguous states — Hawaii and Alaska — using its cargo service, Alaska Air Cargo. The delivery enabled the first fresh-hopped beers from Maui Brewing and 49th State Brewing.

Likewise, Stumptown is no stranger to travelers. The roaster has coffee shops in Portland’s PDX airport and Ace Hotels in Portland, New York, and Kyoto, Japan.

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