How Many Calories in Coffee vs Coffee Drinks?  The Answer Might Shock You…

How Many Calories in Coffee?  



I was enjoying my usual first cup of coffee the other morning and got to wondering – how many calories in coffee versus all of the other sweeteners and stuff we tend to add to it?

It turns out coffee really has no calories to speak of…

  • Brewed black coffee has 0-2 calories per cup.
  • One (1) oz of Espresso Coffee has 1 Calorie. 
  • Flavored Coffee Drinks – OVER ONE-THOUSAND calories depending on the size and flavor.

I used the USDA estimate that an 8-12 oz cup of black coffee has somewhere between 0-2 calories per cup.  A survey of other sources might show some slight variation in the exact number of calories.  Nevertheless, all the sources showed that a cup of coffee has a negligible number of calories.

Coffee itself has little, if any calories.  The calories come from what we add to our coffee.  You know, cream, sugar and those crazy barista flavor syrups like peppermint-chocolate-mocha-whip!  Are you curious how much damage all the additions can do in extra calories?  Read on…

Calories in Black Coffee

calories-in-black-coffeeAn 8-12 ounce cup of black coffee has 0-2 calories according to the USDA. Other sources might show a difference of a calorie or two.  I saw that Nescafe instant coffee can have up to 4 calories per cup.  But the bottom line is that black coffee essentially has no real calories to worry about. All the sources I found agreed  that a cup of plain, black coffee has a negligible number of calories.

Calories in White Coffee

A cup of coffee with milk usually has less than 20 total calories.  Skim milk can add as little as 5 extra calories per serving.  A cup of coffee with heavy cream adds about fifty extra calories per serving.  If you learn to enjoy your coffee with skim milk or even whole milk, your morning cup of coffee will only set you back somewhere between 5-20 calories per cup.  That’s not much to worry about.  Is the half-and-half or heavy cream worth the extra 50 calories?  That’s a personal choice and up to you to decide.  For me, 2% or whole milk works just fine.

Calories in a Cup of Coffee

calories-white-coffeeNow, let’s take a look at coffee with other stuff added.  An 8 oz cup of coffee contains no real calories and no fat. But most people drink coffee and add cream, sugar, and other flavorings to complement the taste. It is those added extras that add calories.

  • Cup of brewed black coffee: 16 oz = 0-4 calories
  • Cup of coffee with sugar: 16 oz + 2 tbsp sugar = 100 calories
  • Cup of coffee with cream & sugar: 16 oz + 2 tbsp sugar + 2tbsp cream = 204 calories

Check out the number of calories 1 tablespoon adds of common extras people put in their coffee:

  • Skim milk: 5 calories
  • Cream (Half & Half): 20 calories
  • Whipping cream: 52 calories
  • Table sugar: 49 calories
  • Maple syrup: 51 calories
  • Corn syrup: 57 calories
  • Honey: 63 calories

Calories in Starbucks Coffee 

Starbucks Espresso Beverages, Venti 20oz

many-calories-cup-coffeeCaffè Latte                                          300 calories         15g fat

Caffè Mocha                                      420 calories         16g fat

Cappuccino                                       190 calories         9g fat

Caramel Macchiato                       350 calories        13g fat

Cherry Mocha                                   490 calories         15g fat

Cinnamon Macchiato                   400 calories       14g fat

Cinnamon Dolce Latte                  390 calories      14g fat

Cinnamon Shortbread                490 calories         22g fat

Cordusio                                            380 calories         15 g fat

Calories in Mcdonald’s Coffee

McCafe, Large 21oz

Caramel Macchiato                         400 Calories        12g fat

Cappuccino                                         210 Calories        11g fat

Mocha                                                  500 Calories        17g fat

Latte                                                      250 Calories        13g fat

Mocha Frappé                                   670 Calories        26g fat

5 Highest Calorie Coffee Drinks We Found

Biggby Avalanche Latte Creme Freeze – 1003 CALORIES

calories-in-flavored-coffeeBiggby is a growing coffee chain in the USA.  They have a mind boggling selection of high-calorie lattes and frozen coffees. This flavored coffee drink will give you the majority of your daily calorie needs in one 32 fluid ounce cup. A drink like this and one other meal will provide all the calories you will need in a whole day.  A pint of ice cream has about 120 grams of carbs. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy, but you probably won’t be using it up right away. Any carbs that the body doesn’t use up are stored as fat.

Baskin Robins Caramel Cappuccino Blast – 1040 CALORIES

Ice cream based coffee drinks pile on the calories in a hurry! Most people don’t realize how calorie dense a drink like this really is.  We have become conditioned to the misconception that solid food is where our calories come from.   We wrongly believe drinks are relatively harmless and deliver only minor amounts of calories compared to an actual meal.  How wrong we are.  The 1040 calories is for a 32 oz large drink – but even the mini size delivers 430 calories.

Dunkin Donuts Frozen Coffee – 1060 CALORIES

This is Dunkin Donuts large size (32 fluid ounces) with cream and caramel flavor.  For most people, it is half to two-thirds of their recommended daily allowance of calories. It also provides about 393 mg of caffeine.  Your body takes a while to fully digest over a pint of ice cream due to the high fat content. Therefore, you’re going to feel a little bloated after finishing off a drink like this.  Also, you will feel sluggish and your brain will become a bit foggy as your blood is directed to your gut.  Any meal this rich in fat will leave you feeling lazy for an hour or two as your body goes through the digestion process.

Caribou Coffee Chocolate Caramel Truffle Mocha Cooler – 1330 CALORIES

Caribou Coffee definitely takes the prize for having the most calories in a coffee drink. For some people, this is almost a day’s worth of calories.  One drink also delivers 111 grams of sugar and 76 grams of fat. That’s like eating 9+ tablespoons of sugar mixed with 7 tablespoons (almost a stick) of butter.  Contrary to popular belief, you won’t get much of a sugar rush by pounding back over a pint of ice cream.  There is no burst of energy because sugar is not a stimulant.  Sugar does provide quick energy, but when it’s wrapped up in a bunch of fat, the effect is delayed – a time release instead of a big bang.

Are There Ways to Reduce Calories When Having Coffee Out? 

If you really want to save on calories and your budget, just eliminate coffee shops from your daily routine completely. Dropping that morning latte can really help.  However, if you just have to have a barista fix, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep the calories at a manageable level:

  • Order a Smaller Size. …
  • Go Sugar Free. …
  • Try Non-Fat Milk. …
  • Order “Light” or “Skinny” …
  • Skip the Whipped Cream

Calories in Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

A few dark chocolate covered coffee beans are not high in calories, but calories can quickly add up if you eat too many because of the chocolate. They’re also contain fat and sugar. A 10-bean serving of chocolate covered espresso coffee beans has about 90 calories.  Plain espresso beans have no calories at all.

Imagine a world in which chocolate and coffee are considered health foods. Nutritionists won’t go quite that far, but research indicates that dark chocolate and coffee offer many health benefits. Eating chocolate-covered espresso beans may actually lower your risk of disease if you eat them in moderation.

Bottom Line

Coffee itself is very low in calories.  An 8-12 oz cup of black coffee delivers less than 5 calories.  Some sources, like the USDA say black coffee has ZERO calories.  If you like a dairy creamer in your morning coffee, try to use milk and not heavy cream.  Skim milk will set you back only 5 calories.  Heavy cream adds over 50 calories per tablespoon.

Flavored coffee drinks from your local coffee shop can pile on calories.  Frozen coffee flavored drinks with ice cream are the absolute worst choice if you are trying to keep calories down.  Frozen coffee drinks with ice cream can weigh in at a whopping ONE THOUSAND CALORIES or more!

There are steps you can take to minimize the calories you consume.  Stay away from coffee shops entirely, if you can.  Drink black coffee, use milk instead of cream, and use low calorie sweeteners instead of sugar.

Related Questions

Why are there no calories in coffee?  How does a beverage that can deliver such an energy boost have no calories? But, on its own, there are no calories in coffee! The answer lies within the bean. Coffee’s caffeine is largely responsible for the pick-up we feel. Beyond that, though, coffee beans don’t need much energy in nature, so they don’t add many calories to our cups.

Is coffee good for weight loss?  In the short term, caffeine can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning, but after a while people become tolerant to the effects and it stops working. But even if coffee doesn’t make you expend more calories in the long term, there is still a possibility that it blunts appetite and helps you eat less

Does instant black coffee have calories?  Instant black coffee has practically no calories in it. Just four calories are in one rounded teaspoon of instant coffee, making about one cup. Left black, this beverage is a healthy choice for breakfast or the afternoon coffee break.  With a splash of skim milk added, a cup of coffee comes in at under 10 calories per cup.


Starbucks Nutrition

McDonald’s Nutrition


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