NAPLES, ITALY - 12 DECEMBER 2014: A barista prepares espresso coffees at the Storico Gran Caffè Gambrinus, a cafè in Naples, Italy, on December 12th 2014. 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.