I was at an outlet of Starbucks working on my laptop in a corner when I felt the need to have a cup of simple water. I went straight to the counter and asked the barista if I could have a cup of water, he smiled and handed me a nice full cup of water (it had ice in it if I remember correctly). Then I ordered my usual coffee and proceeded with my work completely forgetting about the water.
I paid the bill and even got a receipt for my payment, but didn’t bother checking it. As I was walking back home, I suddenly remembered the cup of water I had at Starbucks, and immediately it got me thinking, how much is a cup of water at Starbucks? I quickly searched my pockets and wallet for the bill but it wasn’t there.
The question kept bugging me for the next few hours, did I pay for the cup of water I had at Starbucks, or was it free (the way they served it didn’t feel like free to me)? So the first thing I did after reaching home was to check my phone for the transaction made and there I found the answer: I wasn’t charged for the cup of water I had. But now I was thinking if the barista actually forgot to put it in my bill.
Finally, I decided to do some digging and even asked the barista for some valuable information that I got. If you’re in for a quick answer, yes, the water you get at Starbucks is free. But there’s a whole story behind it as this wasn’t the case some time ago.
Back in the year 2018, two men in Philadelphia, US were denied to use the Starbucks restroom because they had not ordered any coffee. This issue was highlighted to an extent that the then CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson had to offer apologies for it.
Even though the issue didn’t have anything to do with free water directly, I’m sure it did play a role in making sure Starbucks doesn’t turn people down when they ask for water.
If you are still wondering what has it got to do with water at Starbucks? Well, this unfortunate event shows why you don’t have to necessarily order food or coffee before you can have a cup of water at Starbucks.
So the next time you are at a Starbucks outlet and feeling the need to quench your thirst, just walk up to the counter and ask them to give you a cup of water.
The Size of the Cup in Which You Get Water at Starbucks
In case you are wondering about the size of the cup, you’ll get a grande-sized cup. Basically, Starbucks has five cup sizes in total: small, tall, Grande, Venti, and Trenta. So the water you get free is a medium-sized cup having around 16(Oz) capacity.
You will be charged for the price of the cup though, even though it’s less than a dollar, something will still be added to your bill.
Can You Order a Larger Cup of Water for Free?
No, the outlet where I go, I asked the barista whether I could get a bigger cup, they said the water will not be free and that I’ll have to pay for the water as well as the cup. I don’t know if that’s across all their outlets or just the one where I live.
Also, they’ll not fill your bottle with tap water if you gave them one. They’ll always use their own cups to serve you water.
Is Bottled Water Free at Starbucks?
No, bottled water is not free at Starbucks. They’ll charge you for it. What’s the point of buying bottled water when you can get it for free, right? Well, there could be many reasons behind it, for instance, you could be skeptical about the quality of tap water available at Starbucks.
People who are too conscious about their well-being would not want to take any chances so they prefer to buy bottled water. The cost of bottled water is around $2 (this may be subject to inflationary effects).
Your location is also very important. If you are outside the US, they might even charge you for water, who knows. However, as far as the US, there are no charges for water unless it’s bottled.
How Does Free Starbucks Water Taste?
I know you must be thinking, water and taste, isn’t water supposed to be tasteless? Yes, indeed it is supposed to be, but I’m sure you’d be able to distinguish the taste of tap water at your home from Nestle mineral water bottle.
In the same way, you’ll be able to get a consistent taste of your free water across all the Starbucks outlets. Basically, they run the water through three-phased filters before it reaches your cup. Hence, the consistency of taste.
A Friend’s Experience at the Airport
When I was having a casual conversation about free water at Starbucks for the purpose of this blog post, he actually said that at the airport, they didn’t have free water and they charged him for the bottled water. Maybe, this was a one-time occurrence, but this could be true at every airport.
So if you are flying somewhere, do check it out and let me know in the comments below so I can update this information in the post.
Are Starbucks Obligated to Serve You Free Water?
I’m actually not sure about this one. In some states, there are laws that make it obligatory for corporates to serve free water regardless of whether a person has bought anything from an outlet or not. But I don’t have anything more to share with you on this.
Do you have any idea about the laws governing this issue, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
I hope you found the answer to your query, how much is a cup of water at Starbucks? Not only is it free, but they also serve you quite well. You’ll just have to ask for it the next time to visit any Starbucks outlet in the US.
I hope this information was valuable to you. If you liked it, do let me know in the comments as reading about your thoughts on coffee makes me happy.
Have a wonderful day!