What water filtration system does Starbucks use?

If you have ever tasted Starbucks water, then you will agree that it tastes great. In fact, there are lots of people who love going to Starbucks, not just for their coffee, but for their water. The secret behind their water tasting so good is in their process of water filtration.

What is a triple filtered reverse osmosis (3-stage RO) system?

There are lots of reverse osmosis systems but what makes the 3-stage RO unique is its membrane. The membrane is made from a thin film composite (TFC) material. Because the TFC is semi-permeable, it can easily get degraded by chlorine and so it is a good idea to filter out chlorine before it gets to this membrane.

A carbon filter is therefore used to filter out chlorine to avoid membrane degradation. But again, the carbon filter also needs protection and this is achieved through a sediment pre-filter. These are the components that make up our triple water filtration system.

So, in summary, here are the stages of the 3-stage RO system;

  • Stage one: this is the pre-filtration stage. A sediment filter is used to remove any suspended matter like silt, rust, dirt, etc. from the water. This stage of water filtration not only improves the appearance and taste of water but also helps to safeguard the carbon filter from degradation.
  • Stage two: the second stage of the 3-stage RO system is meant for filtering out chlorine and other chemicals from the water. A carbon filter that has activated carbon is used for this. The carbon filter not only removes chloramines and chlorine but also conditions the water for the next and final stage of the filtration process.
  • Stage three: This is the stage where organic and inorganic compounds are eliminated from the water. A reverse osmosis membrane is used for this and it is very effective in removing fluoride, heavy metals (including lead, plastic cysts, copper, aluminum, etc.), or even nuclear waste. This third stage reduces the Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in water to an impressive 1/10,000 (0.0001) of a micron. To put that into perspective, normal tap water has a TDS of 100-200 mg/l.

Starbucks water FAQs

Is Starbucks water free?

Yes, Starbucks’ water is free. Since they use filtered water to make their coffee, their water is probably safer than the bottled water you might buy elsewhere. So, the next time you are taking coffee at Starbucks, remember to ask for an ice water. Not only is the water safer than your tap or even bottled water (thanks to the 3-stage filtration system they use) but it won’t cost you a dime!

However, Starbucks’ water is usually not larger than a grande-sized cup. Some outlets have made this a policy maybe because they realized how much people love their water that some make the habit of visiting Starbucks just for the free water. So if you need enough water, make sure to buy a coffee and remember to ask nicely 😊

Does Starbucks water have fluoride?

Starbucks water doesn’t have fluoride or any other contaminants for that matter. That’s because they filter their water using a triple filtered reverse osmosis system. This filtration system is very effective in eliminating all manner of debris and contaminants in water. So, you do not have to worry about taking a glass of water at Starbucks.

How to get Starbucks water at home?

Once you taste Starbucks water, it is hard to ever enjoy your ordinary tap water again. While the EPA does a tremendous job of ensuring tap water is safe for human consumption, Starbucks is miles ahead in purifying drinking water.

The good news is you can get your home water to taste just as good as Starbucks’ water. All you need is to install a three-stage filtration system. That is how Starbucks turns ordinary tap water into that delicious water you can’t have enough of. Here is a link (affiliate link) to an inexpensive 3-stage filtration system (under the sink system) that you can use to make your water taste as good as Starbucks’ water. This system is perfect for homes because it has an extended service life of 24 months so you won’t have to worry about unexpected maintenance costs.

Recommended 3-stage filtration system

The three-stage filtration system makes water taste better and purifies the water by removing the disease-causing contaminants that are now causing lots of waterborne diseases.

How to make coffee that tastes as good as Starbucks’ at home?

It makes perfect sense that Starbucks coffee tastes better than your homemade coffee because of their water filtration method. So if you use a similar filtration system at home, you might just reduce or even totally eliminate your trips to Starbucks. Obviously, Starbucks has the benefit of highly experienced baristas and you might not be equipped with the skills they have, but using water that is purified will take your coffee to a whole new level.


Now that the cat is out of the bag, you can install a similar system in your house and you will soon start enjoying Starbucks – quality water in the comfort of your home. I mean, why take a trip to Starbucks when you can get the same water quality at home, right? Oh, and your coffee will start tasting better too! Get your under-the-sink 3-stage filtration system and start enjoying great-tasting water.