Whenever you head to your local coffee spot to grab your latte, you’re probably used to paying a few extra dollars to tip the barista for their work. What would happen if the next time you go to said coffee spot, it’s not a human who whips up your latte, but a robot barista?

This is already happening. Muji is a Japanese retail store that sells a variety of low-cost household and consumer goods, and some select stores have a cafe inside. A robot barista named Jarvis is now making coffees in certain Muji stores for customers — and asking for a tip. That’s right, a robot who makes coffee, is asking you to tip them. Is it morally wrong to not tip the robot? Or morally wrong to tip? 

Where can I find this robotic barista?

Jarvis, the latest futuristic innovation, is located in multiple Muji stores in the United States, as well as Canada. It’s only in a few select locations, so you’ll only get to interact with Jarvis if you’re lucky. The robot’s arm has the ability to move around and grab milk, coffee grounds, and even, drum roll please… make latte art. Customers can order anything as basic as a summer refresher or as complex as a decked out latte with art on top. 

So, do I have to tip Jarvis?

The million dollar question…Do you have to tip the robotic barista? Some look at this and think, it's a robot, so why does it deserve a tip? Well, the robot also has some assisting coworkers who help out, so the tip would be benefiting those workers, too. The robot hasn’t fully replaced the human staff. Muji Canada replied to a comment thread on Instagram saying, “We have two staff members that act as the main support for Jarvis, as well as 10 other manager staff who support” so the tip would be going to the other workers. They also wrote in the same comment that “while Jarvis can remain independent, he still requires an entire cafe staff for additional support if needed.” If the robot is the main one making the drink, when you are prompted with the anticipated tip screen, it might feel strange to add a dollar or two when a machine does the work. But for now, know that the money will go to other human workers.

Sometime in the near future, coffee shops all around the United States might be infiltrated with robotic baristas. Earlier this year, Figure AI — the robotics company backed by Jeff Bezos, Microsoft, and Nvidia — shared a video of their latest innovation, a robot making coffee. This video was shared on X, where the robot shows its skill of making a cup of coffee. The future is here.