Does Starbucks Use Reverse Osmosis Water?

Who doesn’t love to start their day with Starbucks?

A cup of coffee sounds great, especially if it’s from Starbucks, but when you’re drinking something regularly, you need to know if it’s healthy. Quality beverages have quality ingredients, and one of the primary ingredients in a Starbucks menu is water.

Most coffee breweries and shops use traditional water filtration systems, but Reverse Osmosis (RO) is making the rounds for its quality purification.

This brings us to the question, does Starbucks use reverse osmosis water?

Yes. Starbucks does use reverse osmosis water, which means whether you get a glass of water or cold drinks and iced teas, you’re drinking pure and clean water.

Does Starbucks Use Reverse Osmosis Water?

But how does Starbucks use reverse osmosis water? To understand how healthy Starbucks is, here’s a brief overview of RO:

What is Reverse Osmosis?

Does Starbucks Use Reverse Osmosis Water?

As the name suggests, Reverse Osmosis is the process of osmosis reversed. The water is placed in a container with a separating filter in between.

High pressure is applied, which pushes the water across the filter. In this push, the high concentration of contaminants (impure particles) reduces to a low concentration.

Thus, reverse osmosis reduces the concentration of contaminants in the water, making it purer. Of course, reverse osmosis can be done twice or thrice to purify the water completely.

Related Topic: Are Water Filters Necessary for Coffee Makers?

How is Reverse Osmosis Different from Osmosis?

Let’s travel back to chemistry class. We’ve all heard of osmosis, but what is reverse osmosis?

In osmosis, water is placed in a container with a semipermeable membrane. A semipermeable membrane means a layer that only allows certain particles to pass through and leaves the rest behind.

When water undergoes osmosis, the pressure pushes the contaminants from a low concentration to a high concentration. During this process, the water isn’t precisely cleaned because the filter in between only allows some particles to pass through.

In Reverse Osmosis, the pressure is applied to purify the water completely, unlike osmosis.

Why Is It Necessary to Use RO Water?

Water that hasn’t been filtered or purified contains fluoride and other chemicals, which can be harmful if taken in generous quantities. Since coffee house menus rely on water, providing their customers with the healthiest option is essential.

Reverse osmosis removes contaminants that a standard filter cannot, which is why most companies prefer RO.

Benefits of RO Water

Here are some benefits of RO water:

Efficient Cleaning

RO filters out all the contaminants, leaving you much cleaner water than a traditional filtration system.

Better Taste

It’s more than just Starbucks quality coffee that makes it taste so good; water that has been run through RO tastes significantly better. Cooking with RO water also enhances the flavor.

Environment Friendly

Yes, RO Water may waste a little water in the process, but in the long run, RO is much more environmentally-friendly. RO water decreases the usage of mineral bottled water, so you don’t have to chuck plastic bottles in the bin when thirsty.

How Does Starbucks Use Reverse Osmosis Water?

Starbucks uses a triple filtered reverse osmosis system to purify its water. The water is run through the reverse osmosis system more than once, efficiently reducing contaminants and increasing water quality.

So, there you go. Starbucks serves healthy and purified water thanks to reverse osmosis, so you’re in the clear whenever you get an item that uses water.

Does Starbucks Use Filtered Water for Coffee?

As one of the biggest coffeehouse companies in the world, Starbucks does not compromise on quality. Starbucks uses filtered water for its coffee but does not use an ordinary filter.

Ordinary/traditional filters you might have seen more commonly can only filter water to a certain extent. Most contaminating particles remain in the water even after being filtered out.

Reverse Osmosis does not leave any contaminants behind, which is why you may have seen traditional filters disappear over the years. Like most coffee houses, Starbucks does not use a simple filtration system but relies on Reverse Osmosis systems.

The water purified through a RO system is then used by Starbucks for all of its beverages, including your foaming hot coffee.

Does Starbucks Use Sink Water?

You might have heard rumors about Starbucks using tap/sink water, but that’s all false.

Starbucks does not use sink/tap water for your coffee or any items on its menu. Instead, Starbucks uses a Reverse Osmosis system to turn ordinary tap water into a purified and healthier ingredient for its menu.

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Good for Coffee Makers?

Even if Starbucks does use reverse osmosis water for its menu, is it a good step?

Most people would think that an ordinary water filter would do the trick, but there are benefits to RO water that no filter can put up with.

Additionally, not all tap water is impure. Some areas have filters installed within the primary tap water source, and some regions will have filtration systems throughout.

However, when it comes to coffee makers, even coffee houses that are not Starbucks, using tap water is a significant risk, even if the tap water is previously filtered.

Yet, not all coffee houses use RO. Smaller coffee houses or those running for a few years may use simple filtered or tap water.

Using tap water can be risky because not all customers will be accustomed to the taste or the quality. Hence, most commercial coffee houses rely on more outstanding purification systems like RO.

Does Starbucks Use Alkaline Water?

coffee beans are acidic, brewing them with water will bring the pH level of your coffee down.

The average pH of normal water is 7. A pH above 7 means the water is alkaline, while a pH below 7 means the water is acidic.

Starbucks runs its water through a Reverse Osmosis system. The water has a normal pH of 7, which isn’t alkaline. Depending on the source, some water can be greater than 7 but very slightly alkaline.

Since coffee beans are acidic, brewing them with water will bring the pH level of your coffee down. Don’t worry; the water is still very healthy, and your coffee only tastes better!

Is Reverse Osmosis Water Bad for an Espresso Machine?

While Reverse Osmosis water is an excellent choice for your beverage, it does not have the same relationship as an espresso machine. Water is a universal solvent, meaning most chemicals are dissolved within it.

Water that runs through reverse osmosis is cleaned of contaminants, but its solvent power increases. The RO water is extra-pure water, which only increases its ability to dissolve substances.

RO water can attract and dissolve the metal and paint off the espresso machines and other appliances because they are not built to handle the purity level in RO water.

Thus, RO water isn’t suitable for espresso machines and is not recommended for espresso machines.

Is It Okay to Make Coffee with Tap Water?

If you want to make your coffee but don’t have a fancy RO system, that’s okay! You can use tap water to make coffee, but you have to be sure that the water in the tap water is clean and purified by some filter.

You can use tap water to make coffee, mainly if you use the same tap water for everything else. However, if you’re traveling or in an area where you aren’t sure about the water quality, do not make coffee or even tea with tap water.

Does Starbucks Use Reverse Osmosis Water (4)

Is Starbucks Ice Water Filtered?

Of course, since Starbucks uses Reverse Osmosis Water, it does not use tap water to make its ice. The same water filtered by RO is frozen to make ice cubes.


This is my blog about the ways and solutions that can help you improve your health by taking more value from drinking water. As improving health means a lot to me, I decided to create the Water On Top project with the purpose to reveal the benefits of water, the finest products to take our daily water to another level, and much more great stuff about water that I believe is on top of our nutrition.

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