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Airplane Coffee Might Be Disgusting For A Reason

Posted in Health on February 2, 2016
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If you're reading the Coffee Inquisitor, we can probably safely assume you can't make a 5 hour transcontinental flight without resorting to a cup of airplane coffee, let alone make it across the Pacific or Atlantic. It has long been known that food on airplanes can taste differently to the ground due to cabin pressure, noise, and other factors impacting not just our actual ability to taste but our perceived enjoyment of those experiences.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the water on planes, and therefore the water used to make your emergency cup halfway between LA and NYC, standards aren't great. According to a recent post by Road Warrior Voices who scoured Reddit, Forbes and Buzzstream for first-hand accounts from flight staff, not only is the container rarely cleaned, the pipes are dirty, and most of the gloves used to handle the water containers are also not clean.

It's worth noting that there is no evidence that people are regularly becoming sick due to the low quality of water on airplanes, but compared to the relative care and attention that goes into a fresh coffee made at home or by a great barista, it's not surprising that we all end up disappointed so often. NBC5 reports that despite a 2004 probe into airplane water quality, things show little sign of improvement and up to 12% of the water supply is still infected with bacteria on flights.

With the World's ten cleanest airlines all hailing from the Asia-Pacific region, US fliers might be well advised to grab a coffee at the airport, and perhaps enjoy a nice glass of wine, or soft drink, from a clean and sealed bottle during the flight.

What do you think - have you ever enjoyed a cup of airplane coffee? Let us know in the comments, and you never know you might see us in the cabin with you next time (yes coffee is that important to us, we're more than happy to switch airlines for a great cup!).

[Image Source: Austrian Airlines ( [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons]

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