Caffè sospeso

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A caffè sospeso (pronounced [kafˈfɛ ssoˈspeːso; -eːzo]; Italian for "suspended coffee") or pending coffee is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. The tradition began in the working-class cafés of Naples, where someone who had experienced good luck would order a sospeso, paying the price of two coffees but receiving and consuming only one. A poor person enquiring later whether there was a sospeso available would then be served a coffee for free.[1][2] Coffee shops in other countries have adopted the sospeso to increase sales, and to promote kindness and caring.

History[edit]

One 2010 account claims the tradition was over 100 years old, but declined during the postwar economic boom, so that it is mainly observed around Christmas time.[3] A 2008 article reported the tradition was obsolescent, the reporter having visited three bars where it had not been observed for at least 15 years.[4] Aurelio De Laurentiis is reported to pay for ten sospesi after each victory by S.S.C. Napoli, the football club of which he is chairman.[5]

The sospeso gave the title to a 2008 journalism collection by Neapolitan Luciano De Crescenzo, Il caffe sospeso: Saggezza quotidiana in piccoli sorsi, which helped publicise the tradition throughout Italy.[2][6] The idea has been reported in cafés in Bulgaria,[7] Ukraine,[2] Australia,[1] Canada,[8] Romania,[9] Russia,[10] Spain,[11] Argentina,[12] the United States,[13] and Costa Rica.[14] The idea received a revival in Italy in 2011 with several small Italian festivals forming a Suspended Coffee Network to encourage solidarity in response to cultural budget cuts,[15] and a Dutch campaign at Christmas 2011 gave a discount on the price of the donated coffee.[16] In December 2011, Neapolitan authorities declared an annual "Suspended Coffee Day".[15]

In March 2013, John Sweeney launched a Facebook page for "Suspended Coffees", which by 2015 had led to the purchase of over 15 million coffees in 34 countries.[15]

The UK arm of coffee chain Starbucks signed up for a charity initiative based on the suspended coffee concept in April 2013, in which it said it would match the value of each suspended coffee with a cash donation to the Oasis charity.[17] The growth of the trend in other coffee shops in the UK also received media coverage around the same time.[18]

On 22 July 2013, a Tuesday, an anonymous customer in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, North America paid for 500 large coffees at Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons. This started a trend that spread to a total of 30 locations with over 10,000 cups of coffee being paid for by donors.[19]

Symbolism[edit]

The caffè sospeso has been identified as a symbol of grassroots social solidarity, prompting its revival in response to the 2008 recession and ensuing eurozone crisis.[3] In 2004, a giornata nazionale del sospeso at Easter was announced by the Ronde della carità charity.[20] In 2011, a Giornata del Caffè Sospeso was scheduled to coincide with Human Rights Day in December.[21] A collection of Italian arts festivals emphasising social solidarity in 2010 came together under the umbrella "Rete del Caffè Sospeso".[22] An Italian fundraising website started by Luca Argentero is called 1caffe.org.[23][24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dubecki, Larissa (21 April 2009). "Espresso: Coffee goodness". The Age. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  2. ^ a b c Zhuk, Alyona (21 February 2012). "Free coffee, anyone?". The Sofia Echo. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  3. ^ a b Scalzi, Mario (7 April 2010). "Italian Coffee Break part 1 — Paying it Forward in Naples". Access Italy. Archived from the original on 31 March 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  4. ^ W., R. "Caffè sospeso, tradizione "sospesa" a un filo Rischia di scomparire la tazzulella benefica". Corriere del Mezzogiorno Campania (in Italian). Corriere della Sera. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  5. ^ Eggleton, Pat (4 May 2010). "Buon Compleanno, Gambrinus". ITALY Magazine. istos srl. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  6. ^ Crescenzo, Luciano De (2010-10-07). Il caffè sospeso (in Italian). Edizioni Mondadori. ISBN 9788852014161.
  7. ^ Agence France-Presse (25 March 2013). "Bulgarian cafés get an Italian twist". News24. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  8. ^ "Un premier "café en attente" à Québec | Claudette Samson | Société". Lapresse.ca. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  9. ^ "Suspended coffee in Romania". getlokal.
  10. ^ Faustova, Milena (7 January 2012). "Coffee free of charge". Voice of Russia. Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  11. ^ "Cafés Pendientes | ¿Te sumas a la iniciativa del Café Pendiente? #CafesPendientes". Cafespendientes.es. 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  12. ^ "Cafe Pendiente". Uncafependiente.com.ar. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  13. ^ "Portland joins suspended coffee movement". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2013-05-01.
  14. ^ "Los ticos aprenden el arte de regalar café sin mirar a quién con el Café Pendiente". Nacion.com. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  15. ^ a b c Razavi, Lauren (17 December 2015). "Movement To Pay It Forward With A Cup Of Coffee Spills Into U.S." NPR.org. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  16. ^ "Caffè Sospeso voor inloophuizen -". AT5 Echt Amsterdams Nieuws (in Dutch). 21 December 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  17. ^ Reynolds, John. "Starbucks joins Suspended Coffee homeless initiative". Marketing Magazine. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  18. ^ "BBC News - Would you buy a 'suspended coffee' for someone in need?". Bbc.co.uk. 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  19. ^ Davidson, Janet (2013-08-05). "Are we hard-wired to buy Timmies for hundreds of strangers?". CBC.
  20. ^ "Oggi giornata nazionale del caffé "sospeso"". Nove da Firenze (in Italian). 12 April 2004. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  21. ^ "La Voce del Corpo di Luca Vullo in tour". CinemaItaliano.info (in Italian). 29 November 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  22. ^ "Principi" (in Italian). Rete del Caffè Sospeso. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  23. ^ "1 Caffè" (in Italian). Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  24. ^ Fradelloni, Francesca (23 December 2011). "Una Iena più verde che nera. Intervista a Luca Argentero". Greenews (in Italian). Retrieved 2013-03-28.

Bibliography[edit]