Suspended coffee arrives

Suspended coffee

You may have read a bit about the Suspended Coffee movement. And now it’s arrived in Belfast!

Basically, the concept is that café customers pay for caffe sospeso (Italian for suspended coffees or pending coffees). These are drinks which can be claimed later for free by other less fortunate customers. We have it on good authority that the practice originated in Naples, Italy, where it is still practiced by its good-hearted citizens.

It’s a bit of an experiment but the response we’ve had already makes us confident this will work in Common Grounds. And we’re going to give it a go for hot drinks. So let us know what you think.

You may have seen this story going around Facebook:

This story will warm you better than a coffee on a cold winter day.

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 go to the counter.

“Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended.”

They pay for their order, take the two coffees, and leave.

I ask my friend: “What are those suspended coffees?”

“Wait for it and you’ll 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 café.

Suddenly, a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks“Do you have a suspended coffee?”

It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who cannot afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.

Let’s try to embrace this tradition at your local coffee shop/café. If you can, donate a suspended coffee or meal to someone in need. Maybe someone will be inspired by your actions and pay the good deed forward.

Sharing is caring.

Also read: another great story of a coffee shop in South Carolina where they have taken Pay it Forward to a different level.