A pending coffee or a “Caffe Sospeso”

cafe pendiente

cafe pendiente

We love this story so much that we want to share it. It will warm you better than a coffee in a cold winter day:

“We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter –


‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three pending’
They pay for their order, take the two and leave. I ask my friend:

‘What are those ‘pending’ coffees ?’
‘Wait for it and you will see’

Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers – three for them and four ‘pending’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘pending’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café.

Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks
‘Do you have a pending coffee ?’

So, what’s this “pending coffee”? It’s very simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the pending coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a pending coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.

In Buenos Aires several bars have started to accept these prepaid coffees. You can check the list in their webiste: http://uncafependiente.com.ar or follow them in their Facebook fan page.

So, go to any of these bars and take your coffee and when you ask for the bill, pay for your coffee and leave a pending coffee paid.

Now, if a person on the street is cold or just want something warm for breakfast or snack, he can come and ask if there are any pending coffees.

And there will be yours waiting.

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2 responses to “A pending coffee or a “Caffe Sospeso”

  1. Pingback: Paying it forward, one coffee at time | Saranna Elford

  2. Pingback: Actions Speak Louder than Words | The Meenister's Log