There’s an old Italian tradition that was born in the cafe’s of Italy’s Naples called “caffee sospeso”. This heartwarming tradition is when people pay in advance for a few cups of coffee at a cafe that they don’t plan on drinking. A customer in need can then ask the cafe if they have any “caffee sospeso” and be given a free cup of coffee as a result of a stranger’s kindness.
In Bulgaria, during tough economic times, this tradition is now taking root, and it’s being called “suspended coffee”. Bulgaria is the European Union’s least wealthiest country, and with severe social unrest, weeks of protests, and deepening poverty, many cafes have joined in the suspended coffee initiative as a way to help out. These cafes are being extensively covered on local TV and are posting pictures of their pre-payment slips all over Facebook.
Some cafe’s are using a pot of card, or bottle caps, to keep track of the number of pre-paid coffees available for use.
Several fast food joints are also helping in their own way by proposing that clients pre-pay for a snack, or bread, for someone that can’t afford it.