Talk about starting young. A story on ‘babyccinos,’ a trend in which coffee shops are selling decaf cappuccinos to pint-sized tots, is gaining buzz among the caffeinated, hipster-parent crowd.
Babyccinos are made from either steamed milk and foam, or — for the gourmand tot — spiked with a shot of decaf espresso, and were featured in a story published in The Brooklyn Paper this week — a piece which has been picked up by popular food blogs and publications like Gothamist, Eater, Zagat and the Atlantic Wire.
The trend has become particularly popular in Brooklyn, where locals are obsessive when it comes to coffee culture, the author notes, and the culture even has tots turning into mini coffee-clutching consumers with an early taste for java.
The concept first started in Australia, where the term babyccino denotes macchiato-like drinks with a shot of decaf espresso topped with steamed milk and froth, or an entirely hot milk-based drink topped with cinnamon or chocolate powder that’s kid-friendly.
And while doctors say the amount of caffeine is negligible in decaf coffee (the story says that a shot of decaf espresso contains less caffeine than a soda) reaction to the trend has spilled over onto Facebook and Twitter, where readers either defend the trend as harmless — “a way to keep the kids happy so parents can enjoy their coffee in peace” — to dismay — “*sigh* Leave the babies and their yet to be fully developed kidneys and stomachs, alone already.”
Meanwhile, a YouTube video of two 5-year-old hipster mini baristas making espresso went viral last year for their ability to pull a convincing-looking coffee drink complete with heart-shaped foam.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.