Perk Up! Better Hotel Coffee is Coming
Good news business travelers- better hotel coffee is coming soon! If lackluster coffee at even your favorite hotels has been disappointing you for years there’s something brewing at hotels across the USA that’s really going to perk you up. According to a recent article on USAToday.com business travelers looking for the perfect beverage to start their day no longer have to settle for instant coffee brewed in old-fashioned pots. Hotels are partnering with specialty coffee companies to upgrade caffeinated beverage options in guest rooms, through room service, at kiosks and in lounges. And it’s about time, considering the ever-growing popularity of Starbucks and other craft brews, hotels have no choice but to offer coffee of equal or higher quality.
Here are some examples of what you will see soon:
- Fairmont Hotels and Resorts partnered with H.C. Valentine Coffee, a micro-roasting company based in Birmingham, Ala., to provide guests with what Brett Patterson, the company’s vice president of Food and Beverage for the Americas, calls a “farm-to-cup” experience. Most of the beans come from small family farms in Africa and Central and South America.
- At AC Hotels by Marriott, guests can use a one-cup brewing machine to make Torrefazione Italia coffee. Marriott chose an Italian coffee for the new hotel brand, which originated in Europe. If guests don’t want to drink the coffee in their room, they can head down to the AC Kitchen and make a customized coffee drink from a Nespresso machine.
- Hilton Hotels and Resorts recently expanded its partnership with the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to provide specialty coffee drinks in lobbies, restaurants, lounges and gourmet markets at participating properties.
- Le Meridien Hotels take their coffee culture so seriously that each property has an in-house Master Barista. The baristas go through an intensive training program. Last November, the company partnered with illy Coffee to name a Global Latte Artist.
According to the USAToday article the importance of coffee is highlighted in a 2015 National Coffee Association USA study, which found that 70% of consumers say coffee wakes them up and gets them going in the morning. And for business travelers who just caught the red eye its even more critical to getting a great start to a busy day.
Hotels also have to offer better coffee making machines. Many hotels are replacing in-room miniature coffeemakers with higher-end machines from manufacturers such as Nespresso and Keurig. Some business travelers say they like the higher-quality machines but worry about how they are maintained.
Also many consumers noted in the study want their coffee to be made in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner. About 17% of all coffee drinkers expressed concern about environmental and sustainability issues. That concern tripled among consumers below the age of 39, which include those Millennial travelers coveted by hotels.
Hotels are keeping up with expectations by offering coffee brewed by local companies. Younger travelers, in particular, prefer to eat and drink locally sourced and produced products.
Examples of hotels taking this approach include:
- Guest rooms at Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, are equipped with a French press offering a local Puerto Rican coffee.
- The Brooklyn Marriott serves fair-trade coffees by DUMBO-based roastery and espresso lab Brooklyn Roasting. Coffee flavors change frequently but include such creative options as the Iris Espresso, a sweet and spicy brew.
- The James Chicago partnered with Sparrow Coffee, a green and organic micro-roastery.
- The Wayfarer at the Quin Hotel in New York created its own brand of cold brew coffee with local coffee brewers For Five Coffee Roasters.
So whether you’re a coffee lover or you just need your morning fix to get moving, your hotel coffee experience should be getting a big upgrade soon! Had a great coffee experience on a recent business trip? Share where you were and what it was with other road warriors on our Facebook or Twitter using hashtag #cupofjoe.