Not another coffee fad: Suspended Coffee can be a dose of much needed comfort in the winter

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January 30, 2017
The people behind Suspended Coffee believe in deliberate kindness.

Coffee may not be one of basic human necessities but there’s no denying that it can be a source of immense comfort. That’s exactly what the idea is out to achieve, by encouraging regular customers at cafés to buy an extra or “suspended” coffee that is later given to anyone who needs it: like a homeless person.

John Sweeney, a plumber from Ireland, initiated the movement in March 2013. Patrons are encouraged to buy two or more cups of coffee: one for themselves, and the other(s) to be labeled "suspended". The cup of "suspended coffee" can then be redeemed by someone in need. It isn't discriminating of reasons: "No matter why. It really is about so much more than the coffee. It can provide physical comfort, conversation, a smile or even a laugh, and a sense of belonging. A suspended coffee can change lives, sometimes even save them," says the Suspended Coffee website.

Sweeney began by starting a Facebook page, which had attracted 20,000 people within eight hours of being created. The concept was inspired from a tradition in Naples, called "caffè sospeso" by the Italians. This came about during the Second World War and still thrives to aid those who are affected by the economy.

The logging of items is not limited to just coffee, but can also include buying warm soup, a sandwich or even a full meal. Spreading kindness through compassion is the aim, by helping those in need, even if it may be someone you have never known or met.

A suspended coffee can provide comfort to those who are going through tough times and do not have any means to provide for themselves or their family. The movement has created a ripple effect, and attracted 2000 cafés in 34 countries around the world.

Binge verdict: A hot cup of coffee could be all that's needed to make someone's dreary winter day. Whether you’re grabbing one to feel more awake on your way to work, or to unwind after a hectic afternoon, tug at your heartstrings to order one for someone who may be feeling deprived of the same pleasures. Cafés may become a part of the movement using the Suspended Coffee website:​