I love coffee. My work is coffee. Naturally I was intrigued by a NPR news article that was sent to me about a 100- year- old tradition that is helping the less fortunate enjoy a warm cup of coffee.
Individuals are visiting coffee shops and not only ordering a drink for themselves, but also a drink for a complete stranger. Suspended coffee, or caffe sospeso, is a tradition that originated in the city of Naples, Italy during the Neapolitan era. The concept is simple: a customer pays in advance for a cup of coffee for a person who cannot afford one. The barista keeps a log of all the suspended coffees. A person may come into the cafe and can ask if there is anything suspended. If a suspended coffee is on the log, the barista serves the patron a hot cup of coffee for free.
In recent years this tradition has been making a comeback due to Europe's harsh economic times. This trend has spread throughout the region in numerous countries including: Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and the United Kingdom.(NPR.com) Cafes in Australia and the United States are embracing suspended coffee too. To see a list of cafs where suspended coffee is being practiced visit this website.
As the holidays approach many of us will spend our time planning gatherings and meals. However, if you are like me you may take time to stop and reflect on all your blessings. My reflection often leaves me with a grateful spirit and the yearning to show kindness to those who may be less fortunate. From donating warm clothes, canned goods and toys, to volunteering, giving back is a part of my life and a huge component of my holiday ritual. I can't wait to "suspend a coffee" next time I go to a cafe so I can share a warm cup of coffee with someone in need.
Will you suspend a coffee?
To watch the concept of Suspended Coffee in action watch this video from BBC News
Or this Vimeo video from Mummu animates the suspended coffee process
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