- a blog about food and value

Suspended Coffee: How to do a good deed in your coffee shop

coffee-steamI heard about the Italian Suspended Coffee movement for the first time only recently, and was really pleased to hear that a kind-hearted and industrious Irish lady is already making it happen over here. As is typical of so many Italian things, it’s simple and elegant.   Aoife Ryan, who’s started the Suspended Coffee Ireland movement, explains:

“It began in Italy several years ago. The idea behind it is that a member of the public when purchasing a tea or coffee for themselves buys an extra one and suspends it. This means the person takes one with them and the other one is left with the shop until someone comes in and asks if there is any “suspended coffee”. They will be given the one that was paid for earlier. This scheme is intended for people who need a warm drink and can’t afford to purchase one themselves.”

Aoife got started by contacting Paddy McKenna on 2fm, who mentioned in his show and also spread it to Hector’s show.  The interest so far has been great, and the following coffee shops are already signed up:

  • Cork – Idaho Cafe, behind Brown Thomas in Cork City
  • Athlone – Cafe Deli
  • Carlow – The Tea Rooms at Duckett’s Grove
  • Dublin – Caffe’ Italiano in Temple bar, and SoulfulBistro on Manor Street
  • TheBrewCrew who are mobile but assist in events nationwide
  • And in Kilkenny, GO-Burritos in Kilkenny will do suspended lunches and dinners

Aoife has been contacting charities so they can tell the people who use their services about the scheme, and there’s great potential for it to grow and grow. If you’re a coffee shop owner you can get in touch at the Suspended Coffee Ireland Facebook page to find out more. If you’re a coffee shop customer, this is a lovely opportunity to do something small to brighten up the day of someone in need.  Well done Aoife – keep us posted on how it’s going!


  1. hum, I like the idea, but am I the only one to think that the shop should also do their bit, for example by giving 2 suspended coffees for the price of 1? as it is, they are making a profit on the generosity of their customers :-s

  2. I LOVE this idea. Would be better if the coffee shop could get on board. Dubmel I agree but if the idea was to really take off you couldn’t expect a coffee shop to make that many donations. They are a business with a staff to pay and money to make. I would love if they could help some. Either by maybe not making profit on the donation but maybe just taking the cost of the suspended coffee and donating coffees at cost value to that amount?

  3. I recently read a story on FB, the suspended coffee movement in the States and thought it’s such a great idea, why don’t we have it here? I usually buy a few extra bits when I shop for my breakfast in Tesco on the way to work, and leave them to the guy(s) outside the shop. But really, coffee would be so much better, would keep them warm and in a way give them some status as they could go in the coffee shop like any other person and leave with a take away cup. No one would know they got it for free.