I usually order bottled water or some freshly squeezed juice with coffee, but I noticed many customers take a cup of water with coffee at Starbucks.
This led me to research… is water free at Starbucks’ store? Here's what I found out, and what applies to most Starbucks stores.
Is Starbucks Water Free?
Yes! Most Starbucks stores do not charge for a cup of water and will be happy to give it to you for free.
I can't tell you the exact percentage, but you can certainly get free triple filtered tap water in over 95% of coffee shops that are part of the world's largest coffee shop chain.
What is very interesting is that you can get free water at Starbucks corporate stores even if you don't order coffee, iced teas, or some other Starbucks drink. Thanks, Starbucks, for caring about my hydration!
Most other places I've reviewed don't offer free water and filtration system, especially if you don't buy anything.
Barista HQ Note
- Starbucks coffee company also has their own line of bottled water - Ethos bottled water. While this is not what they provide for free, it makes their free water policy even more admirable!
Do All Starbucks Stores Give Away Free Water?
Almost all Starbucks stores give away free water.
The exception may be Starbucks-licensed stores. Not every store is company-owned and operated, and those operated by a 3rd party may charge for water.
Even when a franchised store doesn't give away free water and charges a small fee, the charge (usually under 50 cents) is not for the water itself, but to pay for the price of the plastic cup.
For environmental friendliness, I bring my own water bottle and use it for filtered water at the Starbucks location instead of paying a grande cup fee.
How To Order Free Water? (Without Annoying Your Barista)
To order your free water at Starbucks, simply wait in line and ask politely.
It is best to order water with your coffee to save time for both yourself and the Starbucks barista.
A small cup is often free, but there may be an upcharge for larger options. This can impose additional costs in Starbucks franchise stores that charge for water because a larger cup is more expensive.
Barista HQ Note
- In the past, you could also use self-service water coolers for free iced water, but Starbucks no longer encourages self-service to prevent excessive water usage (and germs!)
Why Is Water Free At Starbucks?
Starbucks has never officially disclosed why the water is free of charge. However, it is not difficult to conclude.
The goal is to make their customers happy and improve their reputation.
The company's reputation has been positive since day one, but it is always necessary to work on improvements.
I also believe they had the environment in mind when offering free water. Plastic pollution is one of the leading environmental problems, and offering free water is undoubtedly one of the best ways to reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles.
Does Starbucks Filter the Water?
Yes, Starbucks triple filters all the water they use - including the water they give away for free.
Triple filtration removes everything potentially harmful, such as chlorine and microscopic plastic particles. The refreshing water is alkaline, and the higher pH level brings many benefits.
Is the Ice Also Free?
Yes, the ice at Starbucks is also free.
Whenever I as for free water at Starbucks, it comes as ice water, especially during the summer months to help me stay hydrated.
If you don't like ice and cold drinks, simply tell the barista your preference, and they will give you plain water.
How To Order A Cup Of Water On the Starbucks App
The Starbucks app does not offer the possibility to add a free cup of water as an item to your basket.
I have had great success with being creative and adding water to my nickname in the app. For example, saying my name is "KaylaFreeWaterPlease."
The Starbucks baristas will notice it most of the time.
Sometimes, when a large crowd is in a queue, the barista might miss this. When they do, I politely get in line and order my free water that way.
After all - it's free!
Free Water At Starbucks Questions
What size is the free water from Starbucks?
Starbucks employees will serve you the free water in a small size cup. At a corporate Starbucks store, a tall cup is 12 oz.
Why is Starbucks at my location charging for water?
If your Starbucks location recently charged for a cup of water, it means it is one of the licensed stores that charge for packaging, not water. You can bring your own cup to a licensed store or ask for a cup free of charge at company-owned Starbucks stores.
Is hot water free at Starbucks?
Yes, hot water is also free at Starbucks. It's a common request for travelers looking to make instant oatmeal or tea on the go.
How much is a Trenta water to buy at Starbucks?
The price of a Trenta water depends on each Starbucks location but will likely cost 50 cents or less. Most Starbucks won't mind giving you a free Trenta water if you ask.
Why does Starbucks water taste so good?
Starbucks' free tap water tastes so good thanks to the triple-filtering system, making it way clearer and tastier than regular tap water or even bottled waters of many manufacturers.
Summary - Stay Hydrated At Starbucks!
It's always nice to see that giant corporations take care of the small details even though they have a safe place in the market. Thanks for the free water, Starbucks!
While the chain doesn't require that you buy an item to get your free water, I think it's best practice to. I also make sure to tip my barista!