April 17, 2013
Cape Town coffee shops pay it forward with suspended coffees
Fazielah Williams has lived in and loved her Mother City since birth. Having lived all over the Peninsula during her childhood, she now calls the picturesque City Bowl home and likes nothing more than watching the sun set over Table Bay from the window of her apartment.
A lover of the arts and proud Cape Town fanatic, Fazielah began her writing career by spending many hours as a child conjuring fantastical stories that featured independent heroines from faraway lands who saved the Prince instead. This Capetonian princess has enjoyed stints as a magical arts PRO and TV publicist before finding her calling as a travel writer.
When not waxing lyrical about the Fairest Cape’s most loved attractions and activities and embarking on unexpected adventures, Fazielah can usually be found taking in a show at one of the City’s fabulous theatres.
Cape Town, the responsible Mother City, is always looking for bigger, more creative ways of giving back to the community and now two of its sensational coffee shops, Haas Coffee Collective and Bolo’bolo Coffee House, have found a heart- and body-warming way to do so – with suspended coffees.
Derived from an old Italian tradition, suspended coffee is the practice of purchasing two coffees but only taking one. The other coffee will remain suspended until a needy person (a beggar, or even someone who forgot their wallet at home) enters the coffee shop you’ve purchased the coffee at, and has said drink for free.
Haas Coffee Collective, in the colourful Bo-Kaap, is one of the first establishments in the caring Mother City to adopt the process and has seen positive results since launching the initiative a while ago, thanks to clients’ requests.
“We are very happy to be a part of something that shows compassion for our fellow humans. The joy and appreciation in the face of a less fortunate person being presented with a hot coffee or a fresh bite to eat is more beautiful and heart-warming than one could ever describe in words. If you do not know that look, you need to start sharing soon!“ says Francois Irvine, Haas Coffee Collective owner.
Bolo’bolo, in quirky Observatory, is another hot suspended coffee contender and do gooders are lining up to purchase their Fair Trade cuppas at this anarchist infoshop and vegan café .
Since its inception in Italy, the suspended coffee movement has taken the world by storm with some countries, like Australia, now boasting a chain of suspended coffee bars. Others, like Singapore, adapted the project to include suspended meals sold by hawkers to be given later to people in need.
This innovative concept is garnering social media attention, too, as the United Kingdom’s major cities have started a Facebook fanpage with more than 20 000 fans and are building a smartphone app that allows people to find the cafés that offer suspended coffees all across the country. Creative and responsible … I like it!
As the days grow colder in Cape Town, we can all attest to the wonders of a warm cup of joe, so why not do something nice for someone in need? To quote Haley Joel Osment in the blockbuster Pay it Forward: “What did you ever do to change the world?“
Join the suspended coffee movement by popping in at Haas Coffee Collective and Bolo’bolo Coffee House, and let’s save the world, one cup of coffee at a time. Remember to keep the conversation going by using the hashtags #suspendedcoffees and #startcaring on Twitter.