Parents have asked us before, “Can children drink Tea and Coffee?” It is one of those things dependent on a vast multitude of factors, from age to sleeping patterns to upbringing styles. In other words, there isn’t just one answer, but many based on different circumstances. Nevertheless, the following article will delve deep into the safety of children drinking Tea and Coffee. 

Most adults, meanwhile, needn’t worry about their caffeine fix, which is where The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company come in. Our family-run establishment stocks over 1,000 types of Tea and 70 types of Coffee, each with something unique to offer - and each packed fresh to order. Be sure to browse our selection to find the brew for you. But now is the time to discover, “Can kids have Tea and Coffee?”

Can Children Drink Tea?

Can Children Drink Tea?

So-called “real” Tea (not Herbal or Fruit Tisanes) comes from the Camellia sinensis (Tea) plant. This is where we get the likes of Black, Green, White and Oolong Tea, which are all, in turn, created using different processing methods. Black Tea, in particular, undergoes the most oxidation and, as a result, contains the highest amount of caffeine - 45-mg per 8-oz serving. 

According to experts, the average adult shouldn’t exceed more than 400-mg of caffeine a day. That’s about the amount of caffeine found in two energy drinks, four cups of Fresh Coffee, or ten cans of cola. When it comes to Black Tea, on the other hand, you could have up to 8-9 cups daily. Remember, though, that we’re talking about adults. Is it safe for children to drink Tea of a similar amount - if at all? 

Unfortunately, research points to the latter being true: Parents shouldn’t give their children a caffeinated cuppa in any way, shape, or form. This is primarily because, quite simply, the effects of caffeine on children remain largely unknown. The preliminary evidence we do have, provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommends that kids aged 12 or younger should avoid the stimulant at all costs.

Can Children Drink Coffee?

Can Children Drink Coffee?

Coffee derives from the Coffea plant of the Ryvuaceae family. The “beans”, as we know them, are, in fact, the seeds grown in cherry-like fruits. When roasted, these Coffee beans provide casual drinkers and connoisseurs alike with complex flavour notes and, like Tea, invigorating energy kicks brought about by caffeine. It stands to reason, then, that, like Tea, Coffee is bad for children. 

No surprises here. Indeed, seeing as a typical cup of Joe tends to contain more caffeine than its Loose Leaf Tea counterpart, it is again one to avoid in youngsters. Those wondering, “What age can kids drink Coffee?” should probably refer to the same research accumulated by the American Academy of Pediatrics above. But what happens if a kid drinks Coffee or Tea that has undergone decaffeination?

Decaf Tea and Decaf Coffee for Kids

Decaf Tea and Decaf Coffee for Kids

Decaffeination is where the caffeine content of Tea and Coffee is extracted. However, contrary to popular belief, the process doesn’t remove 100% of the stimulant from the leaves and beans. This means that a trace amount remains, which could still affect kids and adults upon consumption. Since we don’t know how much caffeine is safe for children (if there is such a thing), we’d urge caution.  

It’s worth noting, too, that the recommendations around caffeine and children extend to all caffeinated products, especially energy drinks. The problem appears to be that it impacts children’s cardiovascular and nervous systems, as well as increases the risk of anxiety, blood pressure, sleep and acid reflux issues. The Great Ormond Street Hospital has compiled caffeine facts for kids for more information.

Summary to Can Children Drink Tea and Coffee

Our article has determined, once and for all, the question to “Is Tea bad for kids?” While there are a few unknowns, it is best to err on the side of caution and, therefore, you shouldn’t give it to children under 12-years-old. Much of the same applies to the question, “Can children drink Coffee?” The bottom line is that what caffeine does to children is still somewhat of a mystery, even in small amounts such as Decaf.

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.