Anyone heard of this espresso order?


New member
Jan 3, 2007
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Hello all. First time poster from Richmond, VA. needs help from fellow beanheads.

A couple of years ago, I saw an episode of Molto Mario on the food network. He was shooting in Italy with his brother and they were doing a very interesting segment on various types of espresso orders. One of the orders involved paying for two cups but drinking one. The remaining cup was for anyone down on his luck or short on cash who might happen to walk into a cafe later on and ask the barista if anyone had paid for an extra cup. If so, the barista would serve the customer his "free" cup of coffee and put the money in the till.

I thought this was a wonderful practice but have not been able to find any reference to it. I am tring to hunt down the specific phrases used by the buyer of the bonus cup and the drinker. The person paying for the two cups says something to the effect of (in Italian) "one cup and a bonus" while the person receiving the free cup would ask something like "a bonus, if there is one?"

Has anyone heard of this practice or remember the title of the Molto Mario show? (I searched the Food Network website without much luck).




New member
Jun 21, 2006
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Caffe sospeso

Yea it does sound like a really interesting little tradition.

I found a wikipedia article on it:

Its a tradition in Naples, and yea one would order a caffe sospeso, but it doesn't say the Italian phrase the person picking up the free coffee would say. He'd ask just whether there were any coffees "held in suspense"

I'm sure if you type Caffe sospreso in google or somewhere you might get more information!