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Should I Tip for Coffee?

July 25, 2017


Does anyone else find it peculiar that we are expected to tip for the service of pouring a cup of coffee when we visit a coffee shop? I know that the big national chains do not typically pressure you to tip for coffee, but some of the smaller regional and local coffee houses seem to have taken it upon themselves to turn tipping for coffee into a social screed.


With certain Point-of-Sale systems like Square, it’s not uncommon to be prompted to tip $1 or even $2 for a cup of coffee, transforming your morning ritual from a $2 habit into a $4 habit.


Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a big proponent of tipping etiquette when it comes to recognizing services rendered. For instance, if I were to order a more complex concoction like the person ahead of me in line I would have no qualms with depositing my spare change in the tip jar. If that were the case, I would also ensure to place the following order using my best speedy auctioneer imiatation, speaking as if all the oxygen in the room were being sucked out: Good morning, I’d like a non-fat macchiato with one pump of classic liquid sugar, extra foam, an extra shot of espresso, and a dusting of cocao on top.


But should I feel obligated to tip for drip coffee? Or, even worse, should I tip on a fifty cent refill?


What are your thoughts? Am I being an incosiderate dolt by skipping the tip jar, or am I brazenly advocating for my wallet’s rights?


(Feel free to share this post but make sure to keep it under wraps, so as to prevent the possibility of me being ostracized from my local coffee shop, which would certainly spell doom for the future of my writing career.)

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