As of 1 January, you can enter the Australian Homemade shop at the Amorsplein and order a ‘pending coffee’. “A pending coffee is a cup of coffee you pay for, but don’t drink yourself. Instead, you leave it for people who are in need of a cup of coffee but can’t afford it”, says Ruud Huntjens (28), a former employee and now a student in Tilburg, who advertised this on the Sharing is Caring Facebook page.
The tradition of the pending coffee started years ago in working class cafés in Naples. “At the beginning of last year, the tradition went viral on Facebook”, explains Huntjens. “We thought about introducing it here too, but at first we were hesitant. These coffees are meant for people who really can’t afford a coffee and not for people who happen to forget their wallet that day. It’s easy to take advantage of other people’s benevolence by just taking a free coffee. But we decided to give it a go from the first of January onwards.”
At the time of the interview, there were seventeen pending coffees. “People haven’t really been using the pending coffees that much, I think because they don’t know about it. We’ve been telling shelters, but I guess we just have to wait for them to actually make use of it. Although whenever we see someone walking past the store who seems like they deserve a coffee, we offer them one.”
“I might be a bit naïve, but I think we’re setting a great example. What I hope is that others, maybe even bars or restaurants in Maastricht, will take on this idea so that in the future there will also be pending soups and pending sandwiches.”