Suspended Coffee…Go Figure!

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

I enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine. It’s a busy place with all the open laptops and numerous conversations filling the air.  We give our order and on our way to an open table two people come in and approach the counter. The taller of the two says to the barista, “Five coffees, please. Two of them are for us and three suspended.”

My friend and I look at each other with the exact same thought. I flinch first. “Three suspended?”

We see the two people walk out the door, each with a cup of coffee in their hands.

I lean over to the next table and ask, “What does it mean to suspend coffee?”

The gentleman nods and whispers, “Keep watching.”

Some more people enter the coffeehouse and head up to the counter. The first two women ordered their coffee, pay, and then leave. Nothing unusual there.

The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three men it nice suits. Then one of them clarifies their order, “Make that four suspended coffees.”

I shake my head. “I don’t get it!”

The guy at the next table keeps smiling, clearly enjoying the moment of my confusion. “Keep watching,” he says again.

My friend points to the front of the coffeehouse. “Go ask the woman at the counter.”

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


“Ah! That’s what suspended coffee is,” I exclaim.

The man at the next table leans in, “See, that’s what suspended coffee is all about.” He continues, “It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who cannot afford a warm beverage.  It’s that whole ‘pay-it-forward’ idea.”

Apparently the suspended coffee tradition started in Naples but has since spread around the entire world.  A pretty cool idea that I’m going to try out at the next coffee shop I go to. Join me?


* This story was originally posted on Facebook by Raahul Nigam

  1. I am not super convinced of how one can put this idea into practice…

    • Step one would be to inquire at your local coffee house if they are familiar with suspended coffee? I’m guessing it might be more prevalent in urban areas.

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