The first cup of coffee is a bit like the first kiss: you never forget it! That’s why it should always be a special moment that, with the passing of time, will turn into a beautiful memory. Speaking of which, do you remember how old you were when you had your first coffee?
Knowing the answer to this question would help you to understand if you drank it at the right time or if you were too early: a question that should not be underestimated at all, as it is very important to know at what age you can drink coffee.
We, who know a lot about coffee, therefore wanted to answer this question by telling you what the best age is to start drinking the Italians’ favourite drink.
Can children drink coffee?
Many parents wonder whether it is right to allow their children to have a cup of coffee, perhaps on special occasions. On the other hand, since it is a drink that adults consume all the time, the little ones at home cannot help but be fascinated by it, wanting to taste it too. But is it a desire that is right to indulge?
The answer is: it depends on how old they are. The problem, in fact, is not so much the coffee itself, but rather the caffeine it contains. Taken by adults, in fact, this substance is able to bring numerous benefits (as long as, of course, you don’t exaggerate with the quantities!), but in the case of little ones the question changes.
The organism of children under the age of 6 may react very differently, as caffeine would have a negative impact on the nervous and cardiac systems. Not only that, it would also have a negative effect on the stomach, causing acidity and reducing the ability to digest proteins.
All this is because, quite simply, young children have not yet developed the necessary capacity to absorb caffeine, which, consequently, they should consume in minute quantities (or not at all).
Be careful, though! We have spoken generically about ‘caffeine’, not coffee. This substance is in fact contained in various foods and drinks, including chocolate and coca cola, which appeal to children much more than coffee. This means, simply put, that general attention should be paid to anything that contains caffeine.
At what age can coffee be drunk?
And now we come to the age-old question: what is the best age to start drinking coffee? Well, after the age of 6, it is possible to let children taste this ‘mysterious’ drink reserved for adults, perhaps starting with a few drops. Given the peculiar aroma of coffee, which is ill-suited to the delicate palate of small children, it could even happen that the children themselves reject it, not liking its taste at all.
If this is not the case, or if they even like it, it is still advisable to wait until at least the age of 10: an age when children’s bodies harden and begin to tolerate caffeine. The ideal would be to prepare them by starting with some latte macchiato: by doing so, the body would gradually get used to the effects of caffeine, without risking any side effects.
After the age of 12, however, children can officially start drinking coffee, obviously just one cup per day. During this age, in fact, their bodies begin to develop the necessary capacities to synthesise caffeine, capacities that can also be ‘trained’ with cappuccino: a drink that combines the beneficial properties of this substance with those of milk, which makes it perfect for pre-teens.
What alternatives are there for children?
If cappuccino is an excellent solution for 12-year-olds, it is not so for younger children. As you should have realised by now, the problem is caffeine, which is widely present in cappuccino. One of the most common (and dangerous!) mistakes one can make in this regard is to offer children a cup of decaffeinated coffee, naively thinking that because there is no caffeine in it, then they are not at risk.
The truth, unfortunately, is that decaffeinated coffee undergoes numerous chemical treatments, the purpose of which is precisely to deprive it of caffeine. The result, paradoxically, is to make it more harmful than normal coffee, at least for the organism of children.
While it is always a good idea to wait until the age of 12, once this age is reached, it is possible to give children the chance to indulge themselves by letting them try barley coffee and/or ginseng coffee.
Both are in fact characterised by the fact that they do not contain caffeine, but rather substances that can provide innumerable benefits to the body, especially to that of a young person. Alternatively, tea is also a good solution, provided, of course, that you do not overdo the quantities.
Do you remember the question we asked you in the introduction, concerning at what age you can drink coffee? After what we revealed to you, maybe you started to think back, straining to remember how old you were the first time you drank coffee. Maybe you even fear that you drank it before the recommended age, but if so, you are also justified, as your parents might not have been aware of the risks of caffeine for children.
Be that as it may, the fact that you are an adult does not make you immune to the negative effects of this substance, which is why it is always better not to overdo it, drinking coffee in a morose manner and always choosing only high-quality preparations. On this last point, in particular, we would like to insist, as the goodness and nutritional potential of coffee also depend on how it is prepared.
Surely you too would agree that if you want to drink good coffee, you should do it with the right machine. That is why we at Pontevecchio offer you our lever machines, which will not only guarantee you an exquisite coffee, but will also preserve all its nutritional properties.
So, now that you are finally old enough to treat yourself to a healthy dose of caffeine, all you have to do is take advantage of it: browse our catalogue and discover the right coffee machine for you!