Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Free coffee

What could possibly go wrong?
The idea of "Suspended Coffee" is simple: When you buy yourself a coffee at a participating cafe, you also pay for a second one - which can then be claimed by someone who cannot afford it themselves. 
They don't have to "prove" anything to claim one, but the scheme relies on the good faith of everyone involved.

Now I know that the intention is good and it might work in a small community with an independent shop, but the idea simply does not scale up to branches of Starbucks on the high street and here's why; as soon as word gets around that free coffee is on offer, the queues are going to be stretching out of the door and they won't be made up of just those who've fallen on hard times...

Also worth mentioning is that the idea of suspended coffee originated in Naples. Now if you go to most cafes in Italy and ask for a coffee, you're going to be brought what we would know as an espresso shot and be charged a Euro or so for it. Contrast this with our £3.50 double-skinny-soy-fuckachinos and the prospect of paying double for it doesn't look so great.

Finally, it's self-defeating as it will inevitably attract the homeless, often tragically afflicted by mental health issues and substance abuse, who just want somewhere to keep warm but will drive away paying customers. And then there will be no suspended coffee.

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