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Held in Suspense

Baby, it’s cold outside. The leaves are falling off trees, and the tourists too are blowing away in the wind, back to their warmer climes. Meanwhile residents resolutely reach for scarves and the heating goes back on (students excluded). Winter is unpacking its bags in Edinburgh.

With the cold taking root outdoors, it’s nice to feel warm inside. A lovely frothy latte on the way to work, or a catch up with friends over a cappuccino. I see the hallowed green mermaid is reintroducing her gingerbread and pumpkin lattes. And to keep up with the seasons, there’ll also be a new beverage on the block at Union of Genius.

In fact, we’ve developed a drink that’s just irresistible. It’s very reasonably priced, completely calorie-free (not a syrup in sight) and it will fill with you with a warm glow. From Monday, we will be serving suspended coffee.

No, this is not some fancy brewing technique. The idea is actually really simple. Instead of buying one coffee, you pay for two. You have your coffee, and the second is later claimed by someone who can’t afford a coffee. Yup. That’s it.

We got the idea from our friends at fellow conscientious business Social Bite (who nicked it from Italy’s Naples; they’ve been big on coffee sospeso for a long time). It fits right in with our ethos, just like our monthly soupy donations to the Bethany Care Van, which were initially made possible by our Kickstarter backers. We’re all friends here.

If the idea catches on – and we hope it will – we’ll roll out suspended soup later in the year too. We’re also happy for our customers to donate their completed loyalty cards to the scheme. That’s a double whammy of goodwill; reducing landfill waste and giving something back to society.

To most people, this is a pretty new concept. Please stop by the shop and ask us about it. We’d love to know what you think.