Not being a huge drinker of coffee, when my friend first told me about suspended coffee I put it in the same category as other coffee types; latte, cappuccino, suspended, short black, espresso.
Little did I know that it is something very, very different. The concept of a suspended coffee originated in Naples, Italy where you can pay for a cup of coffee and then suspend the sale until someone needy came into the shop and wanted a coffee but didn't have the money for it. It really is a cool little concept.
A suspended coffee supporter - MadLily's Espresso Shop, Perth
Some stores have a chalkboard list of how many coffees are available while others have a sign at the counter saying they are 'Suspended Coffee Supporters' and others you will need to ask whether they do it or not.
For the cynics within my friendship group, it has been suggested that this is just a clever marketing ploy by coffee shop owners and that these suspended coffees will end up being similar to gift vouchers that never get used and therefore extra profit for the shop owners. Others also say that the 'needy' people would never walk into swanky coffee shops to claim a coffee. And others say why a coffee and not something with a bit more nutrition?
We must remember that most of these shops are coffee shops. It is what they specialise in, so coffee is what they are offering. Some of the coffee shops listed are actually making contact with homeless shelters to help spread the word so that people actually come into their shop to claim a coffee. And yes, some suspended coffees may never be claimed, but isn't doing something to help others, better than doing nothing at all?
A suspended coffee supporter - Croissant Express, Perth
Good idea. Though who decides who is needy and who is not? Someone who looks like they may have money but in reality only have a few dollars to get them through till their next payday or someone who is homeless?