A recent poll conducted by Marketplace found that most people don’t tip and that those who do tip tend to give $1, though some just drop the change they’re handed right into the tip jar.
But should you tip your barista? And if so, how much? Those deeper questions seem to be open to ongoing debate. A recently released Starbucks app that allows customers to tip with their orders — .50 cents, $1 or $2 — would seem to imply that some tip is expected.
Some people argue you should always tip. Many etiquette experts insist that tipping baristas, who in many states make at least minimum wage, unlike, say, bartenders, who are paid a “server’s wage” on the understanding that they will make up for it in tips, is not required. But they also point out that it’s a nice thing to do, especially when someone carefully traces a picture in your cappuccino foam and hands it to you with a smile, gracefully fulfills your complicated order, or adds a little extra whipped or other frothy accessory to make your day a little brighter.