After spending a long, hot day in Florence, I took a taxi back to the little village deep in the heart of Tuscany. During the long journey, I got into a conversation with our driver, Francesco, who was quite a wise man. A well read Florentine, he was articulate about the history of the region and also about Italy.
Obviously, we talked about local tailors and shoe makers, but we both agreed, that Naples was something else when it came to jackets and shirts. And during our long journey he told me about a concept that totally resonated with me. Francesco, who had spent sometime in Naples, pointed out that in that you can anonymously buy a cup of coffee for someone who can’t afford to pay for one.
This concept of “pending coffee” is called “caffè sospeso.” In Italian it literally means “suspended coffee.” You can read more about it on Wikipedia. I think this concept needs to be imported by coffee loving West Coast cities such as Los Angeles, Portland, and San Francisco.
These cities are host to some of the top coffee establishments in the world and the coffee here is not cheap. While many can afford the $3 espressos or $5 lattes, there are many more who are less fortunate than us. If the coffee establishments were willing, I am happy to help spread the coffee cheer.
While in time I might forget a lot of the details about that hot summer day in Florence, I am less likely to forget Francesco, for during that late night drive through hills of Tuscany, I learned a small but vital lesson — always be looking out for those less fortunate than you.
Recommended Reading: Meanwhile, check out this article about the future of Iced Coffee and how Blue Bottle Coffee plans to scale its artisanal coffee ethos. BBC is backed by True Ventures, so take it with a pinch of salt. However, the writing by The Atlantic deputy editor Alexis Madrigal is lyrical and worth reading.
Photo Credit: All Rights Reserved by Helena Price.