NAPLES, ITALY - 12 DECEMBER 2014: A customer mixes the sugar in an espresso cofee at the counter of the Storico Gran Caffè Gambrinus, a cafè in Naples, Italy, on December 12th 2014. The Storico Gran Caffè The Storico Gran Caffè Gambrinus claims to have launched the tradition of the suspended coffee in the late 19th century.
A caffè sospeso,or suspended coffee, is a cup of coffee paid for in advance as an anonymous act of charity. The tradition began in the working-class cafés of Naples, where someone would order a sospeso, paying the price of two coffees but receiving and consuming only one. A poor person enquiring later whether there was a sospeso available would then be served a coffee for free.