Tips for Tipping Baristas

tip-jarTipping people who work in the service industry has a pretty good set of “rules”. But some places can get a little tricky, like tipping at a coffee shop. Bartenders receive tips for creating your after hours beverage, so why shouldn’t baristas for creating your coffee concoction? We are doing the same task.

Most baristas count on tips to supplement their wages. This isn’t a high wage paying industry. Those that make a career in it does it for the passion. Those that make it a temporary job to help pay the bills while going to school or as a second job make minimum wage and a little more. I live off tips for gas and food between paychecks. Either way, baristas must rely on tips to continue paying the bills. Don’t get me wrong, we must work for our tips like anyone else.

A great barista will make you a great coffee. It’s an art of technique from knowledge. How finely to grind the beans, how much coffee to use, the right temperature, the milk-to-foam ratio, how hard to tamp the grinds. Sure it’s the job, but great customer service and hard work shouldn’t go unnoticed.

How much you tip is up to you– what type of drink and any treats you get with it helps figure this as well. You can also ask yourself these questions if you’re still torn what or if to tip. Did he or she put a lot of work and care into the drink? Did the barista provide excellent service? If the answers are “yes,” then go ahead and tip — especially if you’re a regular at the shop. You’ll not only brighten their day, it’s good karma.

Discuss in the comments:

How do you decide how much you tip a Barista?
As a Barista, what do you consider a reasonable tip?

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Jennifer has been in the coffee industry since 2003. She started Daily Demitasse to educate and share her experience with other passionate coffee enthusiasts, from a Barista, Cafe Manager, shop Owner and freelancer perspective. When she's not working or blogging, you can find her at Transpire Life.

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