Emma Crowhurst: Have you heard about suspended coffee?

Café Del Mar in Bury St Edmunds is launching a 'suspended coffee' scheme where customers can choose

Café Del Mar in Bury St Edmunds is launching a 'suspended coffee' scheme where customers can choose to pay for a coffee which a needy person can go and get for free later. Left to right, Hayley Graham (manager) and Maria Crick (owner). - Credit: Archant

Emma Crowhurst, chef, writer, cookery teacher

Every once in a while an idea comes along with the potential to truly make the world a better place. Suspended coffee is one of those ideas.

It’s very simple. You walk into a coffee shop and instead of buying just one cup of coffee, you buy two, or more. You buy one for yourself and one for someone in need.

The second cup is not made but held until a homeless person comes into the coffee shop and asks if anyone has paid for a suspended coffee, if someone has paid for one then the homeless person gets a warming drink.

It is a direct way to improve someone’s day. You don’t need to worry whether your money is going to actually help someone or just to take care of a charity organisation and their overheads and expenses. You also don’t need to worry whether or not your recipient will use your gift to buy something else. You can directly control which food or beverage you would like to donate.

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You not only support a person in need, you also support your local business and all its employees.

Your money does not go to another county, country or continent. It stays right in the area where it was spent.

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Lastly, it can be used for more than just coffee. You could buy a hot bowl of nourishing soup, a filling sandwich, water, fruit, bread, or a full meal.

Suspended coffee’s simplicity makes it easy to duplicate with other food items.

There are many cafes, independents and large chains all over the UK and in fact the world, which are operating suspended coffee, and only recently the EADT featured the first cafe in East Anglia to take up the challenge. Cafe Del Mar in Bury St Edmunds has embraced the idea and hopes to help the homeless. Ms Crick, the owner of the cafe said there is no reason why a professionally run cafe cannot have a social conscience.

Participating businesses need only download a sign for their window to let people know they are involved in the scheme.

Why not ask your local coffee shop if they have signed up for what I am sure will be a growing initiative, and a great way to support those less fortunate than us?

Look out for the logo and please get involved!



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