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Coffee in baby bottles at cafes: How the strange trend began

Web Report/AP/Dubai
Filed on March 16, 2021
(AP photo)

Dubai had banned the practice over Covid safety concerns.

Authorities in Dubai had recently directed coffee shops to stop serving beverages in baby bottles. The Dubai Economy said the practice is against "local customs" and violates the precautionary measures in place against the spread of Covid-19.

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An AP report now says that cafes across several Gulf countries have adopted the new trend that has been slammed by critics.

The fad began at Einstein Cafe, a dessert chain with branches across the region, from Dubai to Kuwait to Bahrain. Instead of ordinary paper cups, the cafe, inspired by pictures of trendy-looking bottles shared on social media, decided to serve its thick milky drinks in plastic baby bottles.

Although the franchise was no newcomer to baby-themed products — a milkshake with cerelac, the rice cereal for infants, is a long-standing bestseller — the unprecedented fervor over the feeding bottles came as a bit of a shock.

“Everyone wanted to buy it, people called all day, telling us they’re coming with their friends, they’re coming with their father and mother,” Younes Molla, CEO of the Einstein franchise in the UAE, told the AP. “After so many months with the pandemic, with all the difficulties, people took photos, they had fun, they remembered their childhood.”

People of all ages streamed onto sidewalks, waiting for their chance to suck coffee and juice from a plastic bottle. Some patrons even brought their own baby bottles to other cafes, pleading with bewildered baristas to fill them up.

The authorities, however, were concerned about Covid safety.

“Such indiscriminate use of baby bottles is not only against local culture and traditions, but the mishandling of the bottle during the filling could also contribute to the spread of Covid-19,” the Dubai Economy had said.

Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain banned the trend as well.





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