A nice, hot cup of goodwill: Buy a 'suspended coffee' and it's banked for someone who needs it

 

You can order an Americano, latte, cappuccino, or skinny gingernut latte with froth on top at your local café, but now there's a new beverage in town: the "suspended coffee". Make sure you have had your caffeine hit, though, because this one's not for you. Every suspended drink ordered is reserved for someone who cannot afford to pay for their own. They get the coffee, you get the warm feeling inside.

The idea was born in Naples, and spread to Bulgaria, where 150 cafés have reportedly established it as a formal scheme. Now, thanks to social networks, it is not just cafés in the US, Russia, Canada, Australia, Asia and Continental Europe that have signed up to the goodwill initiative. You can place your order in coffee shops right across the UK.

It is based on good faith, both by the stores and the recipients. Anyone can enter a café and ask for a "suspended coffee", and they are unlikely to be asked for credentials. As Hettie Clarke, manager at Coffee7, in Forest Gate in east London, said: "We're not going to make judgements. If you can say, 'here is a suspended coffee, from us to you,' [you] feel like you're doing good, but it's not too in your face," Ms Clarke added.

The initiative has a website in development and is working on creating an app for smartphones. Stores in Exeter, Glasgow, Hull and London have all joined the movement, according to the Facebook page, which has around 23,000 "likes". Chains such as Pret A Manger and Costa Coffee have praised the idea online. A Starbucks spokesperson told The Independent on Sunday that the "suspended coffee is a really interesting campaign and we're looking into it". Many see parallels between this and the good deeds which featured in the film Pay It Forward – and it's gaining steam.

John Sweeney, a 28-year-old plumber from Cork, who set up the Suspended Coffees Facebook page, said he is being inundated with messages. "I didn't go to bed until 4am and was up at 8.15am," he said. "It's not just an idea for the homeless. I've been in situations where I've been out of work, freezing, and would have loved nothing more than a cup of coffee, but couldn't afford one."

Other shops are expanding the idea to cover cookies and other food. The Facebook page has designed "Suspended Coffee Supporter" logos which shops can display on their doors. Of course, there is scepticism: what if generosity outstrips demand? Frances Brown Stewart, owner of Stewart's Café in Glasgow, said she would donate any money left over at the end of each month to a good cause.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

    Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

    Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

    Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
    Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

    Edinburgh Fringe 2014

    The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

    The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried