The story goes: Two people arrive at a little coffee shop and approach the counter.
“Five coffees please, two for us and three hanging.” They paid, took their two coffees and left.
“What’s this about hanging coffees?” I ask the waiter. “Wait and you’ll see” was his reply.
More people came in. Two girls asked for a coffee each, paid and left. The next order for seven coffees was made by three women and included four ‘hanging coffees’.
I was intrigued and desperate to know what a ‘hanging coffee’ was. I didn’t have to wait long to find out.
A man dressed in worn clothes arrived at the counter and asked; “Do you have a coffee hanging?”
“Yes we do sir” replied the waiter, who then served him a coffee. I had my answer.
People pay in advance for a coffee that will be served to whoever can’t afford a hot drink. This tradition started in Naples. Amazingly it’s spread throughout the world’s cities and towns.
I posted this on The Felixstowe Resident’s page on Facebook and the response was fantastic.
It has now has been set up in Felixstowe with 13 cafes on board. We have lots of money in some of the cafes but people are possibly a bit nervous or unaware this is happening. In fact I donated half the funds at two cafes, £70 in total, to The Basic Life food bank, a charitable trust operating in Felixstowe and the surrounding area.
The Hanging Coffee is all about the public leaving a donation for a hot drink. Once a month I visit the cafes to see how everything is going and if they have a lot of money we donate it to a charity.
It’s a simple but meaningful and beautifully simple way to support those who are less fortunate. I’m extremely thankful to those who have already supported this initiative and now that you know what it’s all about, I hope you will too.