Kofenya Coffee in Oxford, Ohio, has been operating a token-based pay-it-forward scheme for around six months. Customers pay for a cup of coffee in advance for a stranger.
Courtesy of Tim Stiffler-Dean
On March 27, 2013, John Sweeney, a plumber from Ireland, started a Facebook page called Suspended Coffees. His message was simple: Buy a cup of coffee for a stranger, because an act of kindness can change a life. Eight hours later, the page had attracted more than 20,000 likes.
Suspended coffee, or caffe sospeso, is a tradition that comes from Naples, Italy, and dates to at least the turn of the 20th century. When customers buy coffee, they also pay in advance for a cup to be given to somebody else — usually someone who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
As The Salt has reported, the idea of “paying it forward” with a cup of coffee experienced a revi…