Starbucks lovers in Hong Kong are definitely not amused to have a 'toilet water' option for their double whipped mochas.
An investigative report has revealed that a Starbucks outlet in the famous Bank of China Tower in Hong Kong's posh financial district has been using water from a tap near a urinal to brew coffee since its opening in October 2011.
Images from local newspaper Apple Daily on Thursday showed the tap with a sign that said "Starbucks only" a few metres away from a urinal in the dingy washroom, which the paper said was in the building's car park.
Needless to say the unsavoury revelation has not gone down well with its customers.
"I stick to my McCafe and the water is not from a toilet!" Cristiane Guimaraes commented on her Facebook wall.
According to Apple Daily, a staffer pushed a cart into a men's restroom in a nearby parking garage, fill it with water, and then push the cart back to Starbucks, where the "toilet water" was then filtered.
This would happen up to several times a day. The bathroom faucet was used because there was no nearby water source.
After the incident came to light, Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department told Apple Daily that Starbucks' use of water was not within regulations.
Post this discovery, the department has apparently issued a warning to the coffee chain's Central Hong Kong outlet.
One woman told Apple Daily that it was Starbucks' responsiblity to have a clean water supply, no matter the cost.
"People with common sense wouldn't have used the water from toilet pipes," said another Hong Kong resident.
Despite a debate whether the water from the faucet could be termed 'toilet water', many patrons have been offended by the fact that the water is literally taken from a faucet next to a urinal.
"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," a report quoted Starbucks spokeswoman Wendy Pang as saying.
Kevin L wrote on the 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."
On Facebook, Starbucks Hong Kong issued this reply: "Please kindly accept our apologies for the concerns raised by the coverage on the water source at the Bank of China Tower store. While the water used at that store was drinking water and certified as safe, we would like to clarify any misperceptions, as quality and safety have always been our top priority. We are now using distilled water to serve that store while we work with all parties on acceptable options."