“Suspended coffee” is a tradition that began (by at least the early 2000s) in Naples, where it is called “caffè sospeso.” A customer enters a coffee shop and orders two drinks. However, the customer “suspends” the receipt of the second drink to give to a poor person who comes in. “Suspended coffee” became popular in Europe and reached the United States by 2013.
Many critics believe that there are better ways to donate to the poor than “suspended coffee.” The poor don’t always know about the concept to even enter a place such as Starbucks; a food bank has been suggested as a better way to feed the poor. Also, “suspended coffee” places an additional accounting burden on coffee shops.
Wikipedia: Caffè sospeso
A caffè sospeso (Italian: suspended coffee) or caffè pagato (paid coffee) is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. The tradition began in the working-class cafés of Naples, where someone who had experienced good luck would order a sospeso, paying the price of two coffees but receiving and consuming only one. A poor person enquiring later whether there was a sospeso available would then be served a coffee for free.
Telereggio (English translation)
A coffee ‘“suspended”
Let paid a coffee or a cappuccino those who can not afford it. It ‘s the appeal of the Ronde of charity, solidarity movement in favor especially the homeless, founded in Florence by theater director Paul Coccheri, actually for 10 years in Italy and all ‘foreign. L ‘initiative, “day National Pending “, was launched for Easter
April 12, 2004
Digitale bourgeosie (German)
Digitale bourgeosie (English translation)
November 22, 2005
Written by Chris Fried in Caffè
Very nice tradition:
Sospeso Cafe (Italian: “Reversed”) - “? C’e un Sospeso” An espresso for a good cause you can hear it calling every day in the coffee bars of Naples. It means “Is there a repealed?” And is rooted in an ancient Neapolitan tradition of helping.
The principle: If you had a nice day, is a good business succeeded or you just want to make a social contribution, we ordered a “Sospeso”. That is, you drink an espresso and paid two. Then comes along someone who can not afford a coffee because of its poverty, he asks after the “repealed” and can be drunk for free. Thus, even people who are doing poorly, participate in social life.
December 28, 2008
Sospeso – The Coffee in Suspension.
(...) However I was unaware of the significance of the name “Sospeso”. It comes from a tradition in Naples where customers can order a “Suspended” coffee. As a sign of your good fortune, you can order a café “Sospeso”. You pay for 2 coffees and receive 1. When someone not so fortunate comes along, they can ask the Barista if there are any “Sospeso” coffees available, and they receive the “Suspended” coffee.
Italian Coffee Break part 1 — Paying it Forward in Naples
Nearly 100 years ago a unique coffee tradition began in the city of Naples. Customers of coffee shops would pay twice for one espresso, instructing the barista to log the paid but untaken beverage in an “in suspense” chart (caffè pagato or a caffè sospeso). The barista would record what the patron paid for, such as an espresso, cappuccino or even a pastry. Paid items would remain in the log book until someone less fortunate would come and inquire if there was anything paid or in suspense. The barista would check the log and say: “Yes, there is a paid cappuccino. May I serve it to you?”
THE ITALIAN TRADITION OF CAFFE SOSPESO
Posted by Scott LushThu, 01/13/2011 - 12:32
In the cafes of Naples Italy, it’s an old tradition for a customer who has just benefitted from fortune or luck (getting a new job, getting engaged, having a baby, etc.) to order a “Caffe Sospeso”—literally a suspended coffee.
They pay for two coffees and receive one. The second coffee is considered “suspended” until someone indigent or in need comes into the cafe and asks for a coffee. Then it is given to the indigent person gratis.
The Suspended Coffee Movement: Response by Melody on feeding America.
by MELODY on MARCH 29, 2013
Suddenly, the idea of a “Suspended Coffee” is a huge viral hit on various social networking sites. The gist of it is that a customer orders more coffees than he or she intends to actually consume. The extras are considered “suspended.” The barista can gift the suspended coffees to a customer in need.
Paying It Forward With ‘Suspended Coffee’ at Starbucks
Monday, April 1, 2013, by Amy McKeever
So here is a “movement” that people are supposedly trying to make happen these days: suspended coffee. The idea goes that do-gooder-type people should order more coffee than they need and ask for the extra to be “suspended” and given to someone needy who comes in asking for it. Starbucks Melody reports that this is “a huge viral hit on various social networking sites,” and, indeed, some folks on Facebook are already asking Starbucks to institute the policy of letting people pay their coffee forward. According to Snopes, this is a real thing that “has been described as an old Italian tradition.”
Coffee Shop Owner: Quit Asking Me To Offer Suspended Coffees Already
By Laura Northrup April 2, 2013
Last week, we explained why we think that the “suspended coffee” movement that allegedly began in Naples, spread all over Bulgaria, and exploded on Facebook isn’t such a hot idea. But don’t just take it from us: the owner of an independent London coffee shop weighed in on the movement. Her take: it’s insulting that people think independent coffee shops don’t already help people who look like they could use a warm cup of coffee, and you should support your local indie shop. Well, that second part was predictable.
New York (NY) Times—Bucks
April 2, 2013, 2:27 pm
Coffees to Go, and Make One ‘Suspended’
By ANN CARRNS
So what is a “suspended” coffee? It works like this, according to a Facebook page about the practice: Customers pay for their own coffee, then pay for an extra coffee — or two — but “suspend” delivery of the drink. Then, someone else can come in and ask the cashier if there are any suspended coffees. The cashier hands the drink over to the nonpaying customer.
This may sound nice in theory, but it can cause problems in practice. For starters, the coffee shop has to keep track of the coffee credits somehow. And then there’s the delicate issue of having lots of down-on-their-luck people wandering into cafes to, in effect, beg for coffee. Not to mention, as The Consumerist notes, that coffee isn’t exactly the most filling food for truly hungry people. And they may not know to ask for a “suspended” coffee, anyway.