Suspended coffees have taken Europe by storm over the last few days. If you haven’t heard about the phenomenon, don’t worry; the idea just arrived from across the Atlantic after (apparently) originating in Naples, Italy.
The suspended coffee idea works when a customer purchasing a coffee buys an additional beverage for an unknown person unable to afford their own. The barista makes a note of the order and when a less fortunate person inquires if there are any “suspended coffees” available, they pour them a freshly brewed cup.
Here in Calgary, Kensington’s Higher Ground is pondering on a plan to integrate the system. On the coffee shop’s Facebook page, there is an ongoing discussion on how the program would work and who would be able to claim a “suspended” drink. So far, over 150 people have “liked” Higher Ground’s status asking customers if they would support the initiative. However, in addition to the “Who would qualify?” question, there are a few more concerns being raised about the program’s effectiveness and value:
- Should the “suspended” offer be applied to a more nutritious food or drink?
- Should coffee shops turn away people if there are no more suspended drinks available?
- Would people try to scam their way to a free coffee by dressing as a homeless person?
Today, Starbucks UK announced that it is moving forward with implementing the program and says they will match the coffee’s value and donate it to a charity. Cafes in Ontario have also joined the movement.