Babycinos – here’s the low-down!
Posted on August 17th, 2017
Babycinos. It doesn’t matter how you spell them, babycinos can be a mum’s or dad’s best friend, and a treat to get five minutes peace while finding time to caffeinate and get going for the day ahead. A quick scroll through Instagram looking at the #babycino tag shows that they’re an important part of the morning-coffee-kid routine!
Do you know where they come from? According to the most reliable of sources, the Internet, the invention of the babycino is attributed to Australia. There is a chance our cousins over the ditch in New Zealand want to claim them too… and that sounds to us like something that has happened before! Like flat whites, Crowded House and the Pavlova, babycinos can be added to the list of Australian inventions that we will have credit for, thanks very much.
Some people I’m sure would be happy to give credit, and the babycinos themselves, back to anyone who asked for them! As our toddlers become more and more demanding about their ‘coffee’ in the morning, what was once an occasional treat seems to become something they want as much as we want our morning brew.
Here at Kid Friendly Cafes we love them, the people that make them and our little guy’s chocolate foam covered face when he gets one. We’ve been doing our research and ordering lots of babycinos to get the lowdown on what makes a good one, how much they should cost and where you can find ones that take ‘coffee-art for kids’ to the next level.
Babycinos can be a wonderful thing for parents who don’t want their kids to have as much sugar as is found in a milkshake or juice. I’m in this camp, our little guy doesn’t even get marshmallows in his. Well, at least not when he’s out with us! I may have found out recently that he did when he was with Grandma, but that’s another story…
They’re also affordable, and when you don’t know whether your little love is going to spill their $6.50 juice all over the table, or reject the smoothie that you lovingly ordered – they’re an affordable treat.
Babycino’s range in price from free to $3.00 (that’s the most that I have paid – have you paid any more?). For your money you can get anything from a half filled small cup of warm milk – to treats that have chocolate, marshmallows, sprinkles, faces made of lollies and even fairy floss. Some of the bigger chain coffee shops (Gloria Jeans and the Coffee Club are two examples) offer free babycinos. We heard from one of the nanas in our community who we love – that Bunnings have them for .60c! Coupled with the free craft activities they offer on the weekend, we might just move in.
Our conversations with baristas tell us that contrary to belief, they’re not made of the ‘leftover milk in the jug’ but that new jugs of milk need to be frothed to get enough of that soft foam for a great babycino. We’ve also been told that they are time consuming to make, as well as using a cup, spoon, electricity, heat and staff time . So, if they’re taking up time and resources to make, what’s a fair price? I am happy to pay $2 at our local coffee shop. We don’t always get marshmallows, but they’re available. The service is fantastic, they know our son by name, he orders his ‘coffee’ and practices speaking to people that aren’t in his immediate circle. We’ve had them replaced when he’s spilt them, and they have even topped his drink up with cold milk. On the other side of that equation, we spend $10/day there on average, most days of the year. It works for both of us.
For some they’re a must have – for some they’re a no. It depends on what your preferences are as a parent! I have managed not to get them so far, but like all things in parenting, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time (much like screen time / playing on the floor for the fifteenth time that day / no cake before 10am). They make gorgeous faces, like these ones above from the Cupcake Patisserie in Chermside, Brisbane and Contessa in Balmain, Sydney.
Milk and Froth
Half and half is good for us. Our little guy loves using his spoon to eat the froth and chocolate, I like the idea that he’s actually having milk, and it’s enough froth to make it special.
Ceramic or paper. I love both! When they’re a ceramic cup it’s a great opportunity to talk about being careful and a ‘big boy’. They’re also super cute. Paper cups are great for those days when you can feel it in your bones that an accident is going to happen, or when you’re on the move. Our friends at Anyday Adventures use these gorgeous matching Keep Cups for their coffee date adventures. See our blog about coffee cups here.
A new craze in the world of babycinos is the addition of sprinkles! In this slightly unicorn and rainbow obsessed world of ours, who’s to deny that a bit of colour can brighten anyones morning?
However they come, whatever they cost and whether they’re full of marshmallows or not, we hope you love your babycino adventures as much as we do.
Make sure to follow us over on Instagram, like us on Facebook and check out kidfriendlycafes.com.au for all the best and most up to date information about kid and family friendly venues across Australia. If you find a great babycino, make sure to tag us so we can share it too!