Hotel coffee - hot or not?

What do guests need when they get to their hotel room? A trip away is a time for relaxation, refreshment, indulgence and ease – so why should customers compromise when it comes to their coffee? We’re all used to seeing luxurious bedding, lighting, and flat screen TV’s in hotel rooms, but when it comes to coffee it’s often just a couple of sachets of instant coffee and some UHT milk; somehow, this doesn’t seem to fit with the fluffy slippers and silk dressing gown which it’s likely to be displayed beside.

Hotel coffee

Us Brits are becoming more coffee conscious, and are quickly becoming aware of all of the roasts, blends, and flavours which are on offer when it comes to our daily coffee. According to the British Coffee Association, in the UK we are now drinking over 95 million cups of coffee a day, and consumers are quickly demanding gourmet flavours at competitive prices.

There’s now a myriad of delicious flavour-combinations to try; from light roasts to dark roasts, milk variations to chocolate infusions, the sky is the limit in terms of staying curious with your coffee. How normal is it to hear ‘Chai Latte’, Skinny Cappuccino’, or ‘Coconut Mocha’ being ordered while you’re in the queue to order a coffee? Staying curious is indeed central to most people’s holiday aspirations – you’re exploring a new place and escaping the grind of your daily routine. So if your usual coffee is a cappuccino from your local café, then why retract to a tasteless cup of instant when you’re on holiday?

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By the same token, nobody wants an overly-elaborate, complicated coffee machine in their room; it seems excessive, takes up precious space, and is often confusing to operate. Not to mention it comes at a huge expense to hotels. It’s easy when it comes to tea – hotels will often have an extensive selection of classic teas, and herbal teas, all nicely packaged and displayed. But when have you ever seen a selection of high quality coffee options in a hotel room? Travelers like options, to be served not one but a selection of local brands. More than ever, guests want the high quality option when it comes to coffee; according to research by the NCA’s National Coffee Drinking Trends, gourmet coffee has seen the largest growth, with an increase of 10 points from 2016 to 2017. This demand for quality coffee is likely driven by Millennials who crave innovation and convenience, while pushing for varying choice and high quality flavours.

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So, what is the solution? Well, to be honest when it comes to single use coffee making there are a few options, and a lot of it comes down to personal preference; but broadly, the four main options seem to be instant coffee, coffee pods, ground coffee, and coffee bags.

  • Instant coffee is the easiest and cheapest option but it lacks that high quality feel and depth of flavour.

  • Then there’s coffee pods which bring that gourmet-feel, but they do require an expensive coffee machine, and require a lot of packaging which is unappealing in this environmentally-conscious age.

  • So, we’re left with ground coffee and coffee bags. Ground coffee is what most people feel comfortable with and definitely delivers on flavour, while coffee bags are perhaps more alien to consumers. But the problem with ground coffee for hotel owners is how you serve it in a simple, non-messy way – it requires cafetieres, or filter papers, or some way of filtering it.

  • Coffee bags (and I know we’re a bit biased here) seem to deal with some of these problems by offering a non-messy, single-use, environmentally-friendly way to serve greattasting coffee. Not only this, but coffee bags encourage hotel guests to stay curious with with their coffee at a time when they’re likely to be feeling adventurous, and expecting to be offered something which they couldn’t find in their cupboard at home.