Virgin Australia brings Nespresso to the skies

Virgin Australia brings Nespresso to the skies

Virgin Australia's latest play for fussy high-flyers will see Nespresso coffee served in its new domestic business class service, which takes wing today.

Getting a good coffee on board has long been a challenge for airlines and travellers alike, so Virgin tapped aviation specialist B/E Aerospace to develop a machine capable of creating the finest coffee at 30,000 feet.

The result is the 'Nespresso by B/E Aerospace' system, which makes its worldwide debut this week with Virgin Australia.

Virgin claims the new machine matches Nespresso’s "exacting standards of coffee flow time, volume and temperature, coffee yield, and crema and milk foam quality."

And this is important stuff, says Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti.

"At last, you'll be able to get a decent coffee on an airplane!" Borghetti exclaims. 

"I know it sounds like a small thing, but I can't find anyone who likes airline coffee. Now, the Nespresso coffee here is as good as the one you'll get in your home, and if it's good enough for George Clooney..."

Three Nespresso Grand Crus coffee blends will be available – Ristretto Intenso, Espresso Forte and Espresso Decaffeinato – served in espresso, cappuccino, macchiato, long black and ristretto styles.

"Over the years we have been able to continue to delight our customers with unexpected food and beverage experiences on board" said Virgin Australia’s resident head chef, Luke Mangan.

"Together we have tackled how to best overcome the fact that we lose 30 per cent of our ability to taste in the sky and now, working with Nespresso will enable us to have an even more creative approach when it comes to developing coffee- inspired drinks and on board treats."

Also read: Virgin Australia launches new A330 business class seats & service

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

 

12 comments

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    17 Aug, 2015 10:22 am

    Sounds like a great product...

    Who owns the rights to this product going forward, Nestle, B/E Aerospace, VA or a combination?

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  • lotsamiles

    lotsamiles

    17 Aug, 2015 10:24 am

    A selection of coffee on board. All the way with Nestl?!

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  • riley

    riley

    17 Aug, 2015 10:25 am

    I am unashamedly a coffee knob.... Making George Clooney the face of this does nothing for the taste. It's awful and if VA think this is a positive, it's just another measure proving how out of touch they are with their client group!

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  • lionelhutz

    lionelhutz

    17 Aug, 2015 03:58 pm

    I think you were going for coffee snob, not knob...

    I'm surprised your comment has been downvoted - clearly, Nespresso coffee is not great, you don't have to be a coffee snob to think that.

    However I do think a pod-based machine makes a certain amount of sense in a plane in terms of ease of use and compact size. And the brand is unbeatable... there will be a lot more ordinary people impressed by the brand than coffee snobs turned off by the coffee.

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  • riley

    riley

    17 Aug, 2015 09:22 pm

    I thought about going for snob but knob is a little more self depreciating. Group think coupled with the perceived attack on people's integrity leads to the down votes. 

    Pod coffee is awful. Anyone who thinks otherwise clearly doesn't know coffee!

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  • lionelhutz

    lionelhutz

    18 Aug, 2015 12:10 pm

    Hmm, I got downvoted too. I never realised the quality of Nespresso is such a divisive issue!

    I have had plenty of Nespresso in my time - we used to have a machine at work - and I'll take it over instant or American drip coffee, but I can't see how anyone can honestly think that it is better than espresso from even a cheap machine made with freshly ground beans by someone who knows what they are doing.

    I understand the convenience and ease of use, the compact size of the machine and the consistency of the result. These are all good points and I wouldn't roll my eyes at anyone for having a Nespresso machine. In particular I can understand why it works for an airline. But you've got to admit the end result is not nearly as good as an espresso. How could it be? The grounds sit in the pod for months before you use it, the machine can't generate a high pressure or control the water temperature.

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  • riley

    riley

    18 Aug, 2015 01:10 pm

    It amazes me too. I think the marketing of nescafe has cemented itself into the preconscious of the instant coffee generation. They rushed out and purchased this fab machine with their altitude points and invited all their friends around to try it. Unfortuantely they lacked the coffee literacy to know that it was just a slightly creamier, but no fresher, no tastier and certainly made with no more skill than that of the local barrister. Their only conclusion was "amazing coffee."

    Now, anyone speaking ill of Nespresso is perceived as an attack on them as a person. This realisation that it's awful is too much for them and the result is a downvote.

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  • KG

    KG

    17 Aug, 2015 10:34 am

    Interesting, I know that AA serves Nespresso on some of their flights, LH serves it in First Class and even AirBaltic has been serving Nespresso in their "business class" for a long time. Wonder what machine they use, not a B/E one if that one only makes it debut this week.

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  • KG

    KG

    17 Aug, 2015 10:34 am

    Check out this site: 

    http://www-media.nespresso.com/ecom/websites/documents/uk/airlinemachines.pdf

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  • SoftBedPlease

    SoftBedPlease

    17 Aug, 2015 11:34 am

    Agreed here - Swiss have been serving Nespresso for a very long time (and for a very good reason, too). I wonder what kinds of machines they are using. They also have Airbus A330s plying the long haul.

    Perhaps it is an evolution of the system or the like. Calling it a world first? I guess you could say that for the newest system, but the Nespresso at 30,000 ft is not new, at least from what I can tell.

    It is interesting that VA are going from the barista coffee machines to Nespresso systems. One thing you can rely on Nespresso for is a fairly decent, if not very good quality, espresso or black draw, crema optional. Interesting that the article (or VA) doesn't mention that lattes or flat whites will be available. I assume it would be (simple case of drawing a shot and adding the correct amount of steamed milk to the correct sized mug), but surprised to see it not mentioned because lattes are a much bigger thing in Australia compared to the home country of Nespresso.

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  • nixjet

    nixjet

    17 Aug, 2015 04:11 pm

    I don't know what machines they use but I first had espressos when flying Cathay in 2009, more recently I've had it on Finnair - irrespective of the brand both offerings were quite decent. Qantas also offers espresso (and has been for a while) on some long-haul - again not sure of the brand.

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  • QFA380

    QFA380

    19 Aug, 2015 09:51 pm

    Buying a Nespresso machine was one of the best things i've ever done. In the UK, Australian quality coffee is not available. Instead of wasting £3-6 a day at Starbucks I now spend around 20-30p a day. After a recent visit to Paris and Rome, I'd take Nespresso any day over an caffe au lait or cafe latte in France or Italy. On an aircraft, it its not practicle to have a 'proper' espresso machine, grinder, tamping equipment and so on. So I know that I'd rather take Nespresso on a plane then some instant or brewed rubbish. Add to that, I am pretty sure that nobody would appreciate hearing a grinder and steam wand going for it in the middle of the night on a red-eye when most are trying to catch up on some sleep. 

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18 Jul, 2019 01:17 pm

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