How To Order A Babyccino At Starbucks

If you're of a certain age, you might remember walking into Starbucks cafés and seeing a bunch of grown-ups holding fancy drinks. But as the coffee giant's popularity has grown, so have its menu options and clientele. Sweeter drinks are now popular with teens (and the young at heart), but even younger children now have their pick of fancy-sounding drinks, such as the babyccino. 

This warm drink is a cappuccino without the espresso — basically, hot frothed milk. Containing only natural sugars and no caffeine, it's a charming little sipper to for your tot to enjoy. The babyccino isn't an official Starbucks menu item, though, so don't be surprised if you ask for one by name and your barista isn't familiar. You'll have to order it as a custom beverage, which is so easy that, well, a baby could do it. Simply request a steamed milk with milk foam on top, in the size of your choice. 

Speaking of size, you can actually order a kid-friendly size that you won't find on the menu called a "short," which holds just eight ounces of liquid. For older children, you can order the beverage at the Starbucks' "kids" temperature (130 degrees Fahrenheit), but for younger ones, request a cooler temperature. Paul Rosenkranz, co-owner of Quest Coffee Roasters in Australia, says steamed milk for kids should be served at 105 degrees Fahrenheit (via Perfect Daily Grind). Of course, always take the first sip before handing the drink to your little one.

Where did babyccinos come from?

Babyccinos are said to have been invented in either Australia or New Zealand, the same two countries that argue over which one invented the flat white. A café in Sydney, Australia was reportedly the first to coin the term "babyccino" in the 1990s. However, the drink didn't grab the attention of Starbucks until years later. In 2010, a blogger spread word of the babyccino's popularity in London-based Starbucks locations, with the author noting that baristas in America hadn't heard of it. 

Starting in 2012, several media outlets ran stories about cafés in Brooklyn, New York that had begun offering babyccinos (much to the chagrin of its grown-up clientele). Arguably, it was articles like these that helped spurn interest, and eventually led to requests from Starbucks customers. Today, the babyccino is a "secret menu" standby.

Hardcore Starbucks fans among us might notice that babyccinos are the same thing as Starbucks drinks called "Steamers." These drinks, which are on the official menu, consist of steamed milk served plain or with various flavorings and toppings. Besides the optional flavorings, a big difference between babyccinos and Steamers is that babyccinos are sometimes offered free of charge. However, this is not an official policy at Starbucks — considering that a plain, grande Steamer will set you back $3.65, don't be surprised if your babyccino also comes at a cost. It's best to ask before you order. 

Starbucks offers other kid-friendly drinks

A standard babyccino will use Starbucks' default 2% cow's milk, but you can easily request a plant-based milk if your child has allergies. Part of the fun at Starbucks is customizing your drink beyond the basics, and kids don't have to miss out. Ask for a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder on top of a babyccino, so your child's drink has a hint of flavor and looks fancy, just like their parent's beverage. You could also request extra foam, so they can have most epic milk mustache ever. 

If your baby isn't quite a baby anymore — meaning their tastes have surpassed warm milk, but they aren't ready for caffeine yet — there are plenty of other options for them at Starbucks. For warm days, try coffee-free Frappuccinos like the Vanilla Bean Créme and Strawberry Crème, or a fruity lemonade. During fall and winter, the Caramel Apple Spice drink feels particularly special. This beverage consists of steamed apple juice, cinnamon syrup, and a whipped cream topping, making for a tasty, coffee-free drink on a chilly day. And of course, Starbucks' hot chocolate appeals to kids of all ages... and adults. Matching drink orders with your kids can make the entire experience even more fun.