Coffee drinkers in the Northeast are fairly stingy with their barista tips, at least compared with those in the rest of the country.
Up until a few years ago, those who wished to tip at a coffee shop would drop a buck or some spare change in a cup on the counter. But many tablet-based payment solutions now give users the option to tip via a card before completing a transaction, often by suggesting preset percentages. Square Inc.
recently ran the numbers on the average tip in each state, looking at anonymized transaction data from coffee shops on its platform.
New Jerseyans are the least generous with the tips they leave for baristas, averaging 7.5% in the Square data. Coffee drinkers in Connecticut, Delaware, and Massachusetts are next up, with averages of 7.7%, 7.8%, and 8.2%, respectively. Californians rounds out the bottom five with an average tip of 9%. Those figures include coffee-shop goers who decline to tip.
Conversely, Alaskans are the best-tipping coffee drinkers, per the report. They tip 17.5% on average. Next up are coffee hub Washington as well as Wyoming, both at 14.1%. Utah and Idaho are next, with average tips of 13.9% and 13.8%, respectively.
The national average is 11.4%, according to Square.
The payment processor’s look at tipping patterns came as part of a report on general coffee trends in the U.S. Other highlights from the report include the soaring popularity of oat milk and a growing preference for specialty beverages that are relatively light on milk.
Oat milk sales were up 425% in the 12-month period the ended in June, per Square’s data. Peter Guiliano, the chief research officer at the Specialty Coffee Association, told MarketWatch that this particular nondairy milk option seems to have a flavor that resonates with morning coffee drinkers. Baristas have told him that oat milk’s grainy taste reminds people a bit of cereal. Guiliano said it also has appeal with more health-conscious coffee fans.
Also rising in popularity are the Flat White and the Cortado, low-milk drinks that originated in Australia and Spain, respectively. “Between those drinks and the rise of alternative milks, it does seem like people are being more thoughtful about milk consumption,” he said.
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