Toilet Water Coffee: Starbucks in Hong Kong Used Water from Bathroom to Make Drinks

First Posted: May 31, 2013 11:22 AM EDT

Most of us love to come out of Starbucks with a muffin, our favorite coffee drink and occasionally an eclectic CD that the chain restaurant is playing while we stand in line. Unfortunately, for customers at the joint in Hong Kong's upscale financial district, those ordering drinks might have gotten a taste of toilet water.

According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the coffee shop, which is located in the famous Bank of China Tower, has been using the water from a tap in the toilet to make beverages since fall 2011.

The Hong Kong-based tabloid Apple Daily was the first to publish images of the questionable practice in which employees would fetch water from the public restroom in the building's parking garage several times a day, to later be used to brew coffee.

"Starbucks, you need to make an open declaration that such crap is not repeated anywhere else, and fire the idiot who thought up such kind of water supply 'solution,' " wrote one angry customer on Starbuck's Hong Kong Facebook page, via USA Today.

Wendy Pang, a spokeswoman for Starbucks said, according to the AFP, that the water was indeed taken from the restroom and then put through a filtration process system in order to meet standards that were established by local authorities and the World Health Organization.

"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 said, via the AFP.

However, she added, the branch is now using distilled water.

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