There's a new coffee chain in parts of central London, one that lets the masses enjoy the bittersweet hot drink in a double-good fashion -- by avoiding the tax-dodging multinationals while also helping the homeless.
The idea behind Change Please coffee is the same as the old Big Issue model. Only instead of magazines, it's cups of coffee, sold from mobile stands poking out of the back of vans across the city. For a flat price of £2.50 buyers get an "ethically-sourced" cup of coffee sold by trained-up homeless, or formerly homeless baristas, who are paid the London Living Wage.
You can't really argue with that. The limited launch sees a handful of vans popping up around the pedestrian hotspots of Covent Garden and Borough, with more to come. Plans are also in the pipeline to launch the concept in other dense population spots, with Bristol, Manchester, Nottingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh also getting the financially friendly coffee at some point in the future.
Should it all go to plan, more vans may be pitched outside the lobbies of large corporate buildings, with the eventual hope being to find jobs and secure housing for hundreds of people. Hopefully the multinational coffee chains might make an actual loss for once, instead of the pretend paper ones they fabricate.