Customers paid for five cups of coffee but drank only two

Once, a good friend of mine took me to a coffeehouse. It was a hot summer day and the doors were kept open everywhere. We entered a coffeehouse near the railway station. While we were there, two men approached the counter and said:

’Five cups of coffee, please. Two for us and three suspended.’ The men sat at their table, drank 2 coffees but paid for five.

’What is ’suspended’ coffee?’ I asked my friend. ’Wait for a while,’ he answered.

Then more people came in. Some girls ordered two coffees, paid for their drinks and left. The next order was from three attorneys who asked for seven coffees:

’We will drink three cups. Four coffees are suspended,’ they said, paying for seven beverages before leaving. Then a young man ordered two coffees, drank only one cup, paid for two and left.

We sat at the coffeehouse until the afternoon that day. The doors were open, and I looked at the sunny square and suddenly saw a shadow approaching the door. When the figure came close to the door, I saw this was a poor man who appeared to be a beggar. He entered the room and asked:

’Do you have ’suspended’ coffee?’

It was really simple: people purchase a coffee for someone who can’t afford to buy a hot beverage. This story melts our hearts and will definitely melt yours.

LikeAble is publishing this story by Tonino Guerra, Federico Fellini’s companion, because even a small good deed like ’suspended’ coffee can bring some joy to complete strangers and warm the soul. Today, the tradition has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a ’suspended’ coffee but also a sandwich or even a full meal.

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