The Coffee Habit: How Many Calories are in a Cup of Coffee?

Coffee Geek Lab / The Coffee Habit: How Many Calories are in a Cup of Coffee?
Yurii Brown

Certified Barista

January 24, 2022

The 2022 year is already here, and it’s your chance to turn a new page and start living a better, healthier, and happier life. It’s also high time for New Year resolutions you make every January.

This year, you promise yourself to take care of your health and body. You want to do sports activities, drink more water, and stick to a diet. Since you want to feel good about what you see in the mirror, every calorie counts.


Do you monitor what you are snacking on? With your love for espresso and latte, do you count calories in coffee?

Since 54% of American adults consume 3.1 cups of coffee daily, it can mean a lot more calories.

Here comes the ugly truth: coffee lovers often put caloric add-ins to improve the flavor of their beverages which affect the number of total calories they consume daily.

In this article, we’re going to find out how many calories in a cup of coffee, what adds calories to the cup of coffee, and how to consume fewer calories without breaking the habit.

Many Calories are in a Cup of Coffee

It’s not a secret that the total number of latte calories is not the same as black coffee calories.

How Many Calories in a Cup of Coffee?

Want to know espresso calories per shot? If you like your coffee strong and black, there is nothing to worry about: an 8-ounce cup of coffee has just 2 calories.

However, just 35% of U.S. coffee lovers take their cup of coffee black. What about other types of coffee? What about calories in coffee beverages?

Let’s find out common types of coffee beverages:

  • espresso: 1 calorie
  • long black: 3 calories
  • piccolo latte: 26 calories
  • cappuccino: 68 calories
  • flat white: 68 calories
  • chai latte: 127 calories
  • iced coffee: 183 calories
  • white chocolate mocha: 310 calories

Are they all created equal? The main difference between various coffee beverages is the proportion of espresso, steamed milk and foam, and extra toppings like chocolate, whipped cream, etc.

Take a look at the image below:

Calories in a cup of coffee chart

The more add-ins your coffee has, the more calories you consume. Although there are healthy coffee add-ins that contain almost no calories (cardamon, coconut milk, ginger, etc.), many of us put milk or creamer to make coffee taste better. Thus, it’s no wonder white chocolate mocha has 310 calories.

What can we learn from the above-mentioned infographic? The total number of calories in your coffee depends on three main factors: coffee type, cup size, and coffee add-ins.

What Adds Calories to Your Coffee?

Once you know how many calories in black coffee, it’s time to find out what adds calories to your favorite beverage.

One study by the Public Health Journal says that 68% of coffee drinkers consume their drinks with caloric add-ins: milk, sugar, whipped cream, etc. Obviously, when you add milk and sugar to coffee, it’s not a low-calorie beverage anymore.

Here’s what people usually add to their cups of coffee and how many calories these add-ins contain:

Adding calories to your coffee

When it comes to coffee beverages, more than 60% of extra calories come from sugar. If you add cream or toppings, it means even more calories. As a result, your low-calorie beverage turns into a snack.

How to Make Your Coffee Habit Healthier?

If breaking the coffee habit is not an option for you, you need to understand how to reduce calories in coffee drinks.

Here’s how to drink coffee without consuming extra calories if you can’t drink plain coffee without add-ins:

  • Read more about nutrition information. Most coffee lovers consume their beverages without thinking about how many calories they take. If you want to cut down on calories, you need to be aware of nutrition information. Read online resources or ask your barista to stop making your coffee so high in calories.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners and sugar. We all know that you should avoid sugar while keeping to a diet. Thus, many of us turn to artificial sweeteners. However, this option isn’t so healthy. In fact, artificial sweeteners can cause brain tumors or other illnesses. If you still need to sweeten your coffee, turn to natural sweeteners like maple syrup.
  • Skip the whipped cream. It’s not a surprise that whipped cream is a way to consume more than 52 calories without realizing it. Since it’s a mix of sugar and fat, whipped cream is not your friend when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Thus, you need to skip it while drinking coffee.
  • Choose healthy toppings. Although whipped cream on the top of your coffee looks so delicious, there are other healthier toppings you can add to your beverage without putting extra calories. For example, adding cinnamon can improve the taste of your coffee. Moreover, this topping has health benefits. Just think about what you add to your coffee and find out healthier options.
  • Opt for low-fat goat milk or coconut milk. Although most people believe that milk is rich in healthy essential nutrients, as adults we don’t need dairy in our diets. If you can drink your coffee black and you still need to pour milk into it, make a switch and choose low-fat goat milk or coconut milk to decrease the number of calories you consume.

With the above-mentioned tips, you can enjoy your coffee habit without consuming too many extra calories. Plus, you can always choose a smaller cup: ordering a short latte at Starbucks can save you 50 calories off your standard latte order.


Also read: Decaf Coffee

Can Coffee Help you Lose Weight?

Caffeine is a stimulant, and you can often see it as an ingredient for pre-workout and weight loss supplements.

But does it mean that drinking coffee will help you lose weight?

The answer to this question is complicated and depends on many factors:

  • Tolerance. Most people build a tolerance to caffeine over time, meaning you will need to consume more coffee, which, in turn, might bring adverse health effects, such as insomnia or anxiety.
  • Weight. Studies show that caffeine-induced fat burning was more prominent in slim people than in obese people: the effects increased by 29% and by 10%, respectively, the next day after drinking coffee.
  • Sex. Caffeine may also have appetite-suppressing effects, but these are more prominent in men than in women. Plus, there is no current evidence that drinking coffee will help you in a long-term weight loss journey.

Also, espresso-based beverages are considered ‘liquid calories.’ One cup of espresso or Americano won’t do you any harm, but if you like drinking your coffee with milk or syrup, these calories can quickly add up without you even noticing. That’s why it’s better to drink your coffee black if you’re trying to lose weight, or at least limit the latte intake to one cup per day.

In Closing

Black coffee is a low-calorie beverage that doesn’t affect your healthy diet until you add milk, sugar, or other toppings to it. If you want to consume fewer calories, you need to pay attention to what you drink, not only eat. As a coffee-addict, consider what you add to your cup of coffee every time you put a teaspoon of sugar or other toppings.

One simple rule to remember: coffee doesn’t harm your diet if you take it plain.

So, do you know how many calories you consume every time you order your Venti Latte at Starbucks?

Yurii Brown

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