Keeping Up In An Exciting Career: Do Pilots Drink Coffee?

While there are many exciting professions that even we’re jealous of sometimes, we believe that being a pilot is unlike any other job out there. Making a career out of flying opens you up to a lifetime of global travel and comes with a strong sense of prestige.  And when we’re in the air, we require fuel for our planes to keep us on-track toward our destination. From the ground, we fuel ourselves with a healthy diet, mental preparation and – of course – plenty of coffee.  Like workers across the world, we’re avid coffee enthusiasts who rely on the practice of casually sipping on our favorite beverage throughout the workday. With that said, let’s take a look at pilot-coffee culture and what aviators tend to look for in a brew.

Do Pilots Drink Coffee?

The answer is: of course, pilots drink coffee! Like any other profession it provides many benefits. Coffee is a great pick me up after a long flight, a good way to get into a morning routine and an all-around comfort while traveling thousands of feet above the ground. While coffee may or may not be allowed in the cockpit depending on the airline and type of aircraft, it’s always a welcome companion on the ground. Pilots also enjoy socializing over a cup of coffee with other like-minded aviation enthusiasts to unwind.

What Do Pilots Look For In A Coffee?

As a professional pilot, you need to make sure everything goes as planned, down to the last detail. And that includes the best type of coffee possible. Just like we can’t have our watches, calculators or instruments failing, we can’t have a bad-tasting brew affecting our routines. That’s why we look for a few things when picking out a proper bean. 

1) Smooth finish

Our pilot fuel should come in a variety of roast levels so that we can have complete control over our preferred flavor profile. After all, a light roast, with its floral and sweet aromas may be best in the morning, whereas a dark roast, with its smooth smoky finish could be more appropriate after in-flight lunch service. 

2) Moderate caffeine levels

Caffeine provides you with many benefits when consumed at the appropriate levels. It gives you energy and focus, while not making you overly jittery or anxious. According to, pilots are told to avoid consuming more than 300mg of caffeine per day, which can impair mood and psychomotor performance. That means most of us stick to about three 12-ounce coffees per day. This guideline is ultimately a good thing, because after all, a pilot needs to be in complete control of his faculties in the air.

3) Fresh, whole beans

Pilots demand the best. That’s why we prefer coffee in whole bean form, offering us the freshest cup of coffee possible. Of course, grounds can always come in handy when we’re in a rush to meet our take-off time. Regardless – stale, bitter coffee can be best left in the trash.

4) It tastes great no matter how it’s brewed

Since we’re always on the go, we may only have access to well-worn commercial drip machines, confusing single-serve makers or old cold brew pots from the communal fridge. To overcome these barriers, the bean should have aromas that can overcome any type of risky brewing process that thirsty aviators simply don’t have time to deal with.

The Answer Is Yes – Pilots Love Coffee!

Just like the majority of the working world, professional pilots love coffee. From airline operators to jet fighter cadets to casual hobbyist pilots and everyone in between, coffee is the fuel that keeps us going when the job gets tough. 


A lot of us almost always have a cup of joe in hand, whether we’re going over navigation charts, socializing in the pilot’s lounge or getting ready for the next leg of a cross-country flight. And, just like the essential equipment that operates our airplanes, we expect the best out of our coffee. Find your favorite bean and keep it handy for a quick pick me up or as a soothing sipper, just like a pilot would.

Try Inflight Fuel Coffee today!

Are you searching for a coffee made by pilots for pilots? Inflight Fuel is sure to get your engines started. With light, medium and dark roast beans, sustainably sourced from the Dominican Republic, experience a coffee that tastes great and works hard. You’ll be ready for the next adventure, no matter where life takes you – make sure to bring a bag of Inflight Fuel along on the journey.