17 August 2015 | Customer

Virgin Australia and Nespresso brew a world-first collaboration

Virgin Australia and Nespresso today announced a world-first product collaboration aimed at delivering the finest quality coffee in the sky.

Virgin Australia’s newly refitted Business Class cabin on board the Airbus A330 fleet will feature the first ‘Nespresso by B/E Aerospace’ machines in the world.

The purpose-built machine is designed to overcome the challenges of making coffee at altitude, by achieving Nespresso’s exact standards of:

- Coffee flow time, volume and temperature;
- Coffee yield; and
- Crema and milk foam quality.
- As part of the development, the machine was tested in an altitude chamber and at high elevations similar to the cabin altitude to confirm the coffee it produced was consistent with the quality achieved on the ground.

Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell said: “Our partnership with Nespresso is one of the important signature touches that will see Virgin Australia set a new world standard in domestic business class travel.

“Guests on Virgin Australia’s new Airbus A330 Business Class will be the first in the world to experience this new technology, aimed at creating the finest coffee at 30,000 feet.

“Our Airbus A330 Business Class dining service is designed to ensure our guests arrive at their destination feeling refreshed and recharged, and coffee plays an important part in that,” Mr Hassell said.

General Manager at Nespresso Oceania, Loïc Réthoré said: “We are excited to partner with Virgin Australia to be able to exclusively offer quality coffee experiences, now in the sky. Both Nespresso and Virgin Australia share similar values, in that we are both committed to innovation, sustainability, exceptional quality and excellence in customer service.

“Working with B/E Aerospace and Virgin Australia, we have been able to bring together the expertise and technology required to serve Nespresso’s range of high quality Grands Crus coffees on an aircraft,” he said.

Virgin Australia and Nespresso have carefully chosen the on board coffee selection to complement the palate, as taste differs slightly in the air, and will offer three unique blends at launch including Ristretto Intenso, Espresso Forte and Espresso Decaffeinato.

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

Virgin Australia is rolling out an exciting training program, together with Nespresso, for Business Class cabin crew, in which Nespresso educates cabin crew on the use of the technology, the Nespresso Grands Crus available on board and overall coffee knowledge.

Nespresso and Virgin Australia will welcome the following coffee blends on board:

- Ristretto Intenso - A daring blend of South and Central American Robustas and Arabica, Ristretto Intenso is a full coffee of exceptional intensity with notes of pepper and a creamy texture.
- Espresso Forte – Made exclusively from South and Central American Arabicas, the complex aroma of this intensely roasted espresso is a balance of strong and fruity notes.
- Espresso Decaffeinato – Dark-roasted South American, Arabicas with a touch of Robusta bring out the subtle cocoa and roasted cereal notes of this full-bodied decaffeinated espresso.

Virgin Australia will feature the following coffee styles on board:

- Cappuccino
- Espresso
- Macchiato
- Long Black
- Ristretto