Starbucks is known for their more pricey beverages like Frappuccinos and double-caramel-venti-seven-shot-soy-lattes. Venturing into any Starbucks during the morning rush hour commute is a true test of one’s commitment to the humble coffee bean. Suitcases roll on your feet, while someone elbows you in the face as they attempt to reach for the 2% milk to put in their red-eye only to be stopped by an empty creamer carafe.
Commuters desperately tap on the glass of the pastry case like the employee standing behind the case can see what the hell they are pointing to. Still, we manage to leave with our coffees in hand, and we’re happy for it. The struggle somehow makes it all seem worthwhile. That is until you find out you are literally drinking toilet water.
Who doesn’t want to wash down their morning bagel with a delicious steaming cup of toilet water coffee? Apparently the customers of the Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong's financial district. This wasn’t just a “one time when the water supply was dangerously low and there was a medical situation that required caffeine.” No. The Bank of China Tower has been using toilet water since it opened, in October of 2011.
“There is no direct water supply to that particular store, that’s why we need to obtain the drinking water from the nearest source in the building,” Starbucks spokeswoman Wendy Pang said.
That nearest source just happened to be a tap in a toilet located by the store. As one might imagine, outrage was just one of the emotions customers were feeling. Kevin L wrote on Starbucks Hong Kong Facebook wall:
“Totally disappointed! The initial decision by Starbucks to use water from toilet is a clear sign of your company’s vision and the level of (dis)respect your company has for the health and mind of your customers.”
Though Wendy Pang from Starbucks said that the water went through a significant filtration system in order to comply with World Health Organization standards, the lack of transparency regarding the water source seems to be what is angering customers the most. Oh, and the fact that they were drinking coffee made out water from a toilet.