Suspended Coffee


A century ago, a humble tradition began in Naples, Italy called caffe sospeso, or “suspended coffee.”  In this Neapolitan custom, a patron purchases two cups of coffee, so that someone less fortunate can enjoy one later. The barista keeps a log, and the benefactor and recipient rarely meet.

This lovely display of generosity without the expectation of gratitude fell by the wayside over time. Now, with Europe’s looming financial crisis, suspended coffee is gaining popularity across the continent.

The pre-paid cup of coffee is a show of social solidarity as the formerly prosperous population deals with economic woes.

Why not try paying it forward the next time you visit your local café, and purchase an extra cup for someone down on their luck?

It is a small but meaningful gesture that will make someone’s day special.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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