Have you heard about Suspended Coffees?
Please take 2 minutes to read this story if you haven't already read it somewhere on facebook or in a newspaper...
We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we're approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter:Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended. They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend: What are those 'suspended' coffees? Wait for it and you will see...
Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers: three for them and four 'suspended'.
While I still wonder what's the deal with those 'suspended' coffees, I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the cafe.
Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks:
It's simple... people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who cannot afford a warm beverage. It is generally an anonymous act of charity.
In some places, you can not only order a coffee, but also a sandwich or a full meal. This can enable homeless people to have something a bit more nutritious. It doesn't have to be expansive, and can go from $1 to $13.
Where does it come from?
This suspended coffee (originally, "caffe sospeso" or "caffè pagato") tradition is born in Italy's southern city of Naples, but it has spread all over the world.
Historically, right after the war, many gentlemen had lost everything they had, and couldn't even afford coffee. Now, being that the black hot liquid pleasure is not considered a treat, but rather a basic human right in the life of any Neapolitan, those gentlemen who could still afford to have one, took a habit of paying for two: one they drank, the other was credited, to be had by the first less fortunate peer who would casually walk in the coffeehouse, restaurant or bar. The barista would then say: « Would you like a coffee, sir? », Which meant: there is a coffee paid for you, if you can’t afford one.
One 2010 account claims the tradition was over 100 years old.
The donor and the recipient would remain anonymous to each other, to protect generosity, pride, and the pleasure of coffee beyond hardships.
Why should you participate?
As a volunteer:
- It can be cheap (from $1),
- You can pre-pay whatever you want,
- You can do it only from time to time, when you are happy,
- Free advertisement for your business on the Internet,
- Help to create a trusting relationships with your customers,
- Curious new people can come in if they see a paper on your door/window,
- Easy and quick to do: Take a bowl and put the tickets in it, or write the prepaid orders on a paper,
- You can put a paper outside saying that you serve FREE COFFEE/MEAL between certain hours only to avoid having to serve them during rush hours,
- Only the customer who want to participate can do it,
- It cost you no money,
Note: We are also looking for any people who can help to spread the message to coffeehouses, some people who can help to make design / logo / posters, or anybody willing to participate to the website developement / traductions.
Which places does it?
Lots of places (coffeehouses, bars, restaurants, hotels) all around the world accept suspended coffees. Some of them never heard about it yet, but you are free to talk to them about it so they can register on this website for free and in 5 minutes.
We are a group of volunteer that take no money for building and managing this website, so the time manual registration confirmation can vary up to 54h. Be free to send a mail for any question or complementary information at firstname.lastname@example.org
The website currently list 195 places in 19 countries.List places
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- Places 195
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