“Caffe Sospeso”- Do not Suspend Kindness, Suspend a Coffee instead!

Nine years ago I learned the original story of ”Suspended Coffee” , Very Heart warming.

cafe sospeso

A story Translated to English from Italian originally told by Antonio “Tonino” Guerra (16 March 1920 – 21 March 2012), he was an Italian concentration camp survivor, poet, writer and screenwriter who has collaborated with some of the most prominent film directors of the world.

”We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and gave our order. While we’re approaching our table, two people came in and they go to the counter:
‘Five coffees please. Two of them for us and three suspended’ They paid for their order, take the two coffees and leave.

I asked my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?”
My friend said: “Wait for it and you will see.”

Some more people enter the cafe. 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 is 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 can not 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.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such cafés or even grocery stores in every town where the less fortunate will find hope and support ? If you own a business why don’t you offer it to your clients… I am sure many of them will like it.” – Tonino Guerra.

“Caffe sospeso” An Italian way to Pay it Forward ♥….

Unlimited kindness with an Italian Tradition of ”suspended coffee” or “caffe sospeso” takes hold elsewhere in tough economic times, even Bulgaria begain adopting this Italian tradition. Lets make this a Global Tradition in hard times, why not convince a few of your local cafes and restaurants in major cities or towns to take on this tradition, why not suspend a meal too for someone that needs to eat? Let us use such times as an opportunity to rebuild our local communities and take care of one another in times of hardship,


Carlita Shaw

Revised from my 2013 article on suspended coffee.

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: