Toilet water has been used to make coffee in one Starbucks outlet in Hong Kong, sparking outrage at the global coffee franchise.
The offending Starbucks, located in the famous Bank of China Tower, has allegedly been using water from a faucet in the restroom to make its beverages since it opened in October 2011.
A local newspaper, Apple Daily, has taken images showing a faucet in the restroom area with a sign by it stating "Starbucks Only." The faucet is just a few feet away from a urinal in a run down restroom, which was actually connected to the building's car park area.
One user, Kevin L, has written about his outrage at the news on Starbucks Hong Kong Facebook page: "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."
He added, "I'm now really worried when I purchase coffee from Starbucks. Who knows which other stores are using the similar practice! Scary!!"
Starbucks has told AFP that water was collected from the toilet area less than five times a day by its staff. The company added that the faucet in question was dedicated to solely for the use of Starbucks for collecting drinking water.
Starbucks spokesperson Wendy Pang has said, "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."
Pang tried to reassure customers by saying that the toilet water would be put through a filtration system in the Starbucks store, thereby ensuring that it was of high quality and passed local as well as World Health Organization standards.
Here is the video report from HK publication Apple Daily English on the Starbucks toilet water issue: