The world’s second-largest café chain doesn’t want to be all-ages, anymore: London-based Costa Coffee introduced a policy this year allowing stores to refuse drinks to anyone under the age of 16. While the rule isn’t a strict ban, a company spokesperson tells the Manchester Evening News that corporate does “not encourage the sale of caffeine to children” and employees are allowed to interrogate customers they suspect are too young.
The policy has been in place since the end of summer, but seems to have only recently come to light after a father said his 12-year-old daughter was turned away after trying to get jacked up on Costa’s roasted-bean water. Which, come on: What 12-year-old needs coffee? Coffee is a drug that helps adults overcome endless exhaustion and world-weariness. Twelve-year-olds are balls of psychotic energy who still think the sun rotates around them. Companies like Starbucks market drinks like Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccinos, which are less coffee than milkshakes designed to get children hooked early. How much longer will we allow these companies to destroy our youth?