Slideshow: Ask a Barista: What's the Best Tip You've Ever Gotten?

Sealed With a Kiss
Sealed With a Kiss
"The best tip I've ever received was a hug and kiss from a lady who didn't realize how sweet espresso and milk could be until I made her a macchiato." —Trevor Greuhn, Johnson Public House, Madison WI

[Photo: Charlie Burt]

Will Make Coffee for Food
Will Make Coffee for Food
“Best tip ever? A box of gorgeous CSA produce that fed me for over a week.—Amanda Whitt, Everyman Espresso, NYC

[Photo: Sam Lewontin]

Glass and First-Class
Glass and First-Class
“The monetary tips around the holidays are nice, but there are two non-monetary ones that particularly stand out: Several well-known glass artists have given me beautiful vases of their creation, and once I got backstage passes to Radiohead.“ —Bronwen Serna, 2004 U.S. Barista Champion
Real Talk
Real Talk
“‘Buy low, sell high.’” —Tony Riffel, Octane Coffee, Atlanta

[Photo: Andrew Lee]

Baristas and Poets
Baristas and Poets
“Two regulars once tipped me a Rancilio Silvia, espresso supplies, and an Eva Solo. One of our customers writes us short poems almost every shift.” —Michael Harwood, Carrboro Coffee Roasters, Carrboro NC

[Photo: Liz Clayton]

Compliments, Wine, a Book Deal: Life's Good
Compliments, Wine, a Book Deal: Life's Good
“Compliments on my drinks, and possibly the book deal I got through a customer. The holidays are great because my favorite morning regulars get us a case of wine.” —Charrow, Joe, NYC

[Photo: JJ Johnson]

Constructive Cri-tip-cisim
Constructive Cri-tip-cisim
“At my first six-month review at a coffee shop I was working at—when I was still a brand-new barista—I was told that I talked about the coffee too much. I didn’t differentiate between the guest who wanted to learn and be engaged in that manner, and the guest who just wanted a tasty cup of coffee but didn’t need to know the altitude and date of harvest.” —Lorenzo Perkins, Cuvee Coffee, Austin TX

[Photo: Lily Kubota]