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Cathay Pacific partners with illy to serve quality coffee to first and business class passengers

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that it has partnered with illy to serve premium coffee to First and Business Class passengers. Freshly brewed coffee from the renowned Italian 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.

illy has built its reputation on providing perfect blends of the finest-quality Arabica coffee, purchasing its beans directly from the growers and taking great care to preserve the fresh taste and aroma. In order to ensure the authentic illy taste - strong, and rich, yet smooth and balanced - can be achieved in the air, the Cathay Pacific catering team has worked closely with illy to choose the most appropriate level of roasting for the company's quality coffee beans.

Numerous tests were conducted to ensure that a rewarding multisensory 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 from illy have been 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.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Inflight Services Dominic Perret said: "At Cathay Pacific we strive to offer our passengers the best possible selection of food and beverages throughout their journey. We are delighted to work with illy, which, like Cathay Pacific, is a premium brand that believes in delighting customers by providing the best-possible products. We believe that serving a superb cup of quality illy coffee will help to enrich the overall travel experience for our premium customers.”

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.