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Old 08-12-2019, 11:35 AM
Location: Southwest Washington State
22,270 posts, read 14,621,641 times
Reputation: 31511


I posted a query a few months ago asking how and when people had begun drinking coffee. I was surprised at the variety of answers. My own kids drank it when they wanted to, pretty much. They were young teens, if memory serves. I taught them to make coffee from a young age, just as DH taught them how to gas up a car, and I had them making their own school lunches.

DH fussed about letting them drink it. He said it would stunt their growth, which is nonsense. I suspect that your wife began drinking coffee in college, so she thinks that is the “right” age. If you took your kids for breakfast occasionally, you could let your kids have a cup on the QT. If you did that, I don't think you would be the first person to do it.

Most kids don’t like regular coffee anyway. They usually want the sweetened coffee drinks.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:43 AM
Location: Raleigh - inside the beltline
79 posts, read 49,720 times
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Originally Posted by Pilot1 View Post
26. The same age they come off their parents health insurance.
With numerous health benefits linked to the consumption of coffee, the logic of this choice seems to fall short.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:39 PM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
4,085 posts, read 3,312,345 times
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Originally Posted by bpollen View Post
I'm of French ancestry, so coffee was in everyone's life. Relatives visiting each other would drink dark coffee and the smokers would smoke. Everyone drank coffee.

I started drinking coffee with a lot of milk when I was 10. As I recall, it was my decision. I asked, and Mom said yes, but to add a lot of milk. I'm now 65, and only a few days since then have I gone without coffee starting my day. I love it. OTOH, some of my siblings didn't start drinking coffee that young. One never liked it; the tannins upset her stomach.

So when a kid starts on coffee may have to do with the culture of the family. Objectively speaking, there's no reason a kid needs coffee at all. It has benefits, but it also has negatives. Caffeine is, after all, a drug.
My father drank that mud that passed for coffee in the United States Navy when he was 17, after WW II. And smoking a pack of Lucky's a day, too. He quit the latter, fortunately, but the old man had black (no sugar no cream) to the day he passed. in fact a cup of Nestle instant was by his side, untouched, in this chair he was in when he went home to Jesus. I kid you not, I was on the scene 48 hrs later or less and there it was, cold, nice and neat on a coaster. That he'd drink instant was a bummer, but the old man never knew much for 'quality' his whole life. We're Irish, we'll eat about anything I figure. I personally drink Peet's and miss Tully's. It's Seattle, we grind our own and taken it semi-seriously. Best coffee in North America, IMO. Don't mess with us on this one.

As for me, that was a college thing. I can't pin down when, but will guess about 20 since I don't see any mugs in my dorm shots from the two years prior. Never wanted it prior, no social pressure one way or another. My parents let me try it young (yuck) plus some sips of beer; neither took too hard until college and the usual undergraduate debauchery with alcohol that's been occurring since Day 1, and won't ever stop.
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Old 08-12-2019, 12:59 PM
Location: western East Roman Empire
6,692 posts, read 10,745,599 times
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Originally Posted by Dogboa View Post
Depends on the culture. I knew Cuban kids that were drinking "Cafe con Leche" as early as 8 or 9. Very heavy on the leche though.
Same experience here: in-laws from coffee-growing country, children start drinking watered-down coffee at young age, perhaps even younger than 8 or 9, similar to wine-growing countries in Mediterranean Europe.

Everything in moderation.

Personally I started coffee at around 18, wine a bit earlier. Today drink only black coffee and zero alcohol of any kind.
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Old 08-12-2019, 01:14 PM
8,868 posts, read 10,934,952 times
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I was young (under 13, not sure age), but they mixed it w/ 3/4 milk so it was more like Milk w/ a splash of coffee. All of the relatives were coffee drinkers. It was a Christmas Holiday or something.
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:19 PM
Location: South Carolina
13,868 posts, read 18,925,416 times
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I think I was like 12 when I started drinking coffee with my dad in the am and my mom was still asleep . after we got jr high age my mom stayed in bed and slept cause she knew we could get ourselves ready for school .
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Old 08-12-2019, 03:25 PM
Location: Texas
43,679 posts, read 53,001,887 times
Reputation: 71108
I don't think there is any age that is *good* to get exposed to and addicted to caffeinated beverages.

That being said, I don't put strict age guidelines on the behaviors of my kids.

Every kid is different...my son could handle more responsibility at a younger age than my daughter, etc.

My parents were tea drinkers. I did not drink coffee till my last couple of years of college.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:05 PM
413 posts, read 127,618 times
Reputation: 550
I probably seldom drank coffee before my mid-twenties, maybe occasionally earlier (in the Navy). I am not aware of any health reasons not to drink coffee, even in one's youth. Now I usually drink two 16-oz cups in the morning, yet I am not addicted.

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Old 08-12-2019, 06:33 PM
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,791 posts, read 15,208,273 times
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I was 13 when I started drinking coffee, so 13 it is.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:40 PM
9,562 posts, read 9,349,363 times
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Originally Posted by RobertFisher View Post
My wife prohibits my 13 year old to drink coffee, and thinks coffee should be for college students. Googled answer says 14 might be appropriate.

What is your view?
Okay, I don't have kids, but if I did, I wouldn't let them formally start drinking coffee until 17 - and I'd do my best to keep soft drinks away from them, too.

However, I have to say that I see nothing wrong with doing - as my grandparents did with me - letting me occasionally have perhaps an eighth of a cup of coffee, sugared, to flavor my milk as a child.
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