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Mar 7, 2022

Suspended coffee

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT

CEO and Co-Founder

Warren and I love to watch cooking and travel shows on the weekends. The Great British Baking Show is one of my faves — it always makes we wish I was British.

A few weekends ago, we were watching Searching for Italy with Stanley Tucci – have you seen it? It’s so good.

The first episode highlights Naples and the Amalfi Coast, and it will have you wanting to eat pasta immediately. Tucci tours Naples, interviewing people, tasting local cuisine and asking locals about the things that are important to them. 

At one point, Tucci is walking the streets of Naples with a police officer, and the officer stops and orders “due caffe e un caffe sospeso” from a local coffee stand. “Due caffe e un caffe sospeso” translates to “two coffees and a suspended coffee.”

The officer explains that it is tradition in Naples to purchase a “suspended coffee” for customers who are not able to afford one.  The coffee stays suspended, or on hold, until a customer comes in and asks if any suspended coffees are available. The practice is seen as a charitable act whereby those who have more than they need can offer a gift to those who do not have enough.

I’ve heard of people purchasing a Starbucks coffee for the person in line behind them, but this practice seems to take it a step further by ensuring that the gift is distributed to someone who has an immediate need.

As this article states: The caffe sospeso tradition “seems like more of a mindset. It’s the idea that if I’m doing OK, wouldn’t it be nice to do something for someone who might not be quite as OK?”

I’ve been thinking about this tradition a lot the last few days, as we see so many people across the world coming to the aid of Ukrainians.

Here are a few examples:

Hundreds of volunteers come to Berlin’s train station to offer housing to Ukrainian refugees.

Rachel McCrickard, LMFT
CEO/Co-Founder, Motivo

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