While reading over some trip notes and enjoying a latte in the autumn sunshine at a favourite local café, Kofi Beans, I realised I was sitting in one of many cafés around Australia that supports suspended coffee.
My thoughts led me further to the words of famous English writer Virginia Woolf: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” It’s a known fact that we fail to function if we don’t consume necessary nutrients on a daily basis. One of the simplest ways to consume, which many of us enjoy, is the simple act of sipping a freshly brewed coffee.
Caffé sospeso, or ‘suspended coffee’ is an old concept, originating from the Italian city of Naples over a century ago. The hard-working locals in Naples will buy two coffees at their favourite espresso bar when they’re enjoying good fortune. One coffee is consumed while the second is put on reserve for a needy person. Now, cafés around Australia are taking Naples’ lead and percolating this tradition.
This suspended coffee movement has firmly planted roots throughout Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. In Melbourne, Suspended Coffee Society Melbourne established itself early last year. Suspended coffee gives café goers the opportunity to act charitably and at a grassroots level. People who are less fortunate can order a coffee without the financial strain of paying for one. This simple act of buying a coffee for someone down on their luck brings local communities around Australia back in touch with their sense of social responsibility. And, cafés are joining together in solidarity through the process.
Goodwill is driving the suspended coffee movement in Australia and many locals are taking part at street level each day. While a coffee doesn’t offer shelter or a trolley full of groceries for someone in need, it does start the “dine well” process that Virginia Woolf penned so many years ago. It introduces a renewed outlook on life, and the fact that humanity can and will help others in need when needed.
Individuals can get involved in suspended coffee by buying two coffees from a café that supports suspended coffees, or talking to their favourite café about getting on board. Individuals in need can claim a suspended coffee by asking for one at a café that supports suspended coffees. For more information about Australia’s suspended coffee initiative and where to get involved, head to the Australian Suspended Coffee website.