Starbucks Offers Free Coffee, China Turns Up With Huge 'Cups'

By Bridget O'Donnell, April 24, 2017

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UPDATE (April 24, 2017 at 12.26pm CST): The WeChat account that supposedly tested out the Starbucks promotion with unconventional containers actually tried it out a few days before Earth Day. More details below. 

Over the weekend, Starbucks gave away free coffee and discounted handmade drinks around China as part of an Earth Day promotion. The catch? Customers had to bring in their own non-paper cups.

One WeChat account, Shanghai Highlights (ID: kaopusearch), decided put the promotion to the test by using unconventional containers to get around the "non-paper cup" requirement. We're talking water barrels, pots, pans and washing basins — all to see if they could get that free cuppa joe (or RMB3 discount).

Though their post on the stunt has already been deleted from WeChat, humorous photos circulating online this weekend showed all the different creative ways they used to try and activate the promotion. According to reports, they still ended up having to pay RMB327 for a latte in a giant metal bowl. The photos were also allegedly taken on April 17, a full five days before Earth Day:

Free coffee Starbucks

Starbucks free coffee China

Starbucks free coffee China

It's unclear exactly which Starbucks branch they visited, but nonetheless the images are highly entertaining:

Starbucks free coffee China

Starbucks free coffee China
"Are you kidding me???"

Starbucks free coffee China

Starbucks free coffee China

Starbucks free coffee

Starbucks free coffee China

Starbucks free coffee China

Those poor baristas.

Another photo circulating online, which appeared to be taken at a different Starbucks location, showed an elderly couple at the counter with a pot:

Starbucks free coffee giveaway China

It's unclear when or where that photo was taken.

As mentioned, the WeChat post from Shanghai Highlights has already been completely scrubbed from the interwebs:

WeChat post

[Images via PC Online]

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