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22nd Feb 2020

Pay it forward: Why buying two coffees should be your good deed for the day

Sarah Finnan

Kindness goes a long way.

Anyone who knows me, and probably anyone who doesn’t-I harp on about it enough, knows that I love my coffee. I’m somewhat of a Lorelai Gilmore when it comes to the stuff.

My morning wouldn’t be complete without a cup (or two or three) of the Gods’ brew. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that should I find myself sans coffee (for whatever reason), come midmorning the headache sets in, with bad mood in tow.

Sound familiar? I’m sure I’m not alone.

But what if I told you that your caffeine habit could be used for good? Imagine starting your day knowing that you were helping to brighten someone else’s, giving you (and them) all the warm fuzzies inside.

That’s where the suspended coffee comes in.

Intrigued? Read on my friends…

The premise is extremely simple. Essentially you buy two coffees, one for you and one to be held as a ‘suspended coffee’-a coffee that sits in limbo until someone comes in to claim it.

So, it’s not made, but it’s paid for and waiting for the next soul in need of a pick me up. A pretty lovely idea if you ask me.

Not just applicable to coffees though, some cafes extend the idea to all menu items or let you choose to put your money into a suspended pool, the contents of which are then used to provide for a person in need.

That could mean giving them a cup of coffee on a cold day, providing them with a hot meal – possibly their only hot meal that day, or handing them a sandwich for the road – whatever it may be, you can rest assured that it’s going to help someone who really needs it.

But it’s about so much more than that. COO of Suspended Coffees, Deborah Probert, told Lovin that it’s about human interaction, about offering a smile to a stranger in need, letting them know that they’re not invisible.

At a time when people are in a tizzy buying gifts for others, it’s important to remember that oftentimes the smallest gesture can mean the most.

You might have heard of the suspended coffee movement before, in passing, but it seems that while people are familiar with the idea, what they don’t seem to know is that there are cafes all around the world, and indeed Ireland, partaking in the project.

From Dublin to Limerick, to Cork and up north to Donegal and Belfast – they’re dotted around the country, in every nook and cranny. Spreading kindness with every purchase.

So the next time you head into your local, look out for the little sticker in the window that tells you the practice is in place and maybe pay for two coffees instead of one, to show someone that they’re on your mind and that you care.

You can check out the list of cafes and learn more about the project here.

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