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How Many Calories in a Cup of Coffee?

Coffee is a popular beverage around the world. Millions of people start their day with a cup of coffee, not just for the energy boost it provides but also for the sheer joy of its rich flavor and aroma. But amid the enjoyment, a question often arises, particularly among health-conscious individuals: How many calories are in a cup of coffee? This article will explore the common coffee's caloric content, from simple black coffee to more elaborate concoctions, and offers practical advice on enjoying your brew in a calorie-smart way.

Calories in a Cup of Coffee

How Many Calories Are in a Cup of Black Coffee?

If black coffee is your go-to choice, you'll be pleased to know that it contains almost no calories, thanks to the minimal dissolved solids from the coffee beans. How many calories are in black coffee? A standard 8-ounce serving holds a mere 2 to 5 calories, making it an ideal choice for those monitoring their intake. The absence of sugars, fats, and additives is the reason why calories in a cup of black coffee are so low. Here's a breakdown of its components:

  • Calories: 2-5
  • Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Proteins: 0.3g

How do Creams and Sugars Affect Calorie Intake?

Coffee and Donut

Black coffee has low calories in black coffee, but the addition of sugar, cream, and other flavorings will transform it into a high-calorie treat. Here's how common additives contribute to your coffee's caloric total:

  • Sugar: With about 16 calories per teaspoon, sugar can quickly escalate the calorie count.
  • Cream: Rich in taste and calories, a tablespoon of cream adds approximately 52 calories to your coffee.
  • Milk: A splash of milk can vary in calories, from 9 calories for skim milk to 20 for whole milk per tablespoon.

Switching to low-calorie sweeteners or milk alternatives like almond, soy, or oat milk can significantly reduce the calorie impact without compromising the creamy texture and sweet taste many coffee lovers enjoy.

Calories in Different Coffee Drinks

Different Coffee Drinks

Having known the effect of sugar, cream, and other flavorings on coffee, let's dive deeper into the coffee menu and compare the calorie counts of various popular coffee drinks. This part offers a glimpse into how each drink stacks up:

  1. Espresso: Minimal calories, typically around 5 calories per shot. However, adding sugar, cream, and various flavorings can significantly increase its calorie content.
  2. Americano: Essentially an espresso with added water, so still around 5 calories. Similar to espresso, additives increase the calorie count in the same manner.
  3. Cappuccino: A combination of espresso, steamed milk, and foam, a cappuccino starts at about 75 calories for a standard serving.
  4. Latte: Made with espresso and steamed milk, a latte has a base calorie count of around 100 calories for a standard serving.
  5. Mocha: A delicious blend of espresso, steamed milk, and chocolate syrup, starting at about 190 calories for a standard serving.
  6. Ristretto: A more concentrated espresso with a very low base calorie count, similar to a regular espresso at about 5 calories.
  7. Romano: An espresso served with a slice of lemon, starting with the base calories of an espresso, around 5 calories. Though typically not added, sugar or a touch of cream can alter the calorie count as with other espresso-based drinks.
  8. Lungo: An espresso made with more water, resulting in a longer coffee with base calories similar to an espresso, about 5 calories.
  9. Flat White: Similar to a latte but with a higher coffee-to-milk ratio, a flat white starts at around 110 calories for a standard serving.
  10. Macchiato: An espresso with a small amount of milk, starting at about 20 calories for a standard serving.

Tips for Reducing Calorie Intake in Coffee

Reducing Calorie Intake in Coffee

For many, coffee is non-negotiable. If you are worried about how many calories in coffee, rest assured, as there are ways to enjoy it without the calorie guilt. Consider these tips:

  • Embrace Black Coffee: Acquiring a taste for black coffee can significantly cut down calorie intake.
  • Go for Low-Fat or Non-Dairy Milk: When craving something more than black coffee, substitute full-fat milk with low-fat, skim, almond, soy, or oat milk to cut down on calories without sacrificing creaminess.
  • Minimize or Eliminate Added Sugars: Reduce the amount of sugar you add to your coffee gradually, or switch to natural sweeteners like stevia, which have fewer calories.
  • Skip the Whipped Cream: Whipped cream can add a significant amount of calories to your coffee drink. Opting out can save you around 100 calories or more per serving.
  • Choose Smaller Sizes: Opting for a smaller size can significantly reduce the calorie content, especially in sugar and milk-heavy beverages like lattes and mochas.
  • Use Flavorings Wisely: Flavored syrups are high in sugar and calories. Consider using spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to add flavor without the extra calories.


In conclusion, how many calories are in coffee varies, ranging from virtually calorie-free in its black form to significantly caloric when embellished with creams, sugars, and flavorings. Understanding the impact of these additives is crucial for managing caloric intake. The article offers insight into the calorie content of popular coffee beverages, and the tips shared illustrate practical ways to enjoy coffee healthily. Making informed choices allows coffee enthusiasts to savor their brews without compromising dietary goals.

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