With the rise of fitness Instagram influencers and gym culture in general, it has seemingly never been more important to be in shape thanks to increased pressures. Thanks to its perceived health benefits and exercise assisting qualities, coffee has been picked up by many of these influencers.
This has led to a spotlight being placed on the drink in terms of health and fitness. There has always been some health-related discussions about caffeine and its effect on your heart, but it was never really mentioned alongside diet. Now one of the most searched for questions associated with coffee is: “How many calories are there in a cup of coffee?”
To that we say, how long is a piece of string? As people who have worked in the coffee industry as London coffee roasters and cafe owners for a long time, we understand that there are a number of different types of coffee drinks which vary in calories. Below we explore the nutritional information of coffee drinks.
How Many Calories Are in Coffee Itself?
Prepare to be shocked. Black coffee contains only 1-2 calories per cup, while a straight shot of espresso contains around 5 calories. This makes it an incredibly low-calorie beverage. How can something so tasty be so good for you?
However, this is only applicable to a small cup of black coffee. To better understand the number of calories in coffee orders that you make at your local cafe, we need to understand exactly what calories are and what goes into a number of coffee drinks.
What is a Calorie?
To understand coffees calories, you must first understand exactly what a calorie is. It is a term that is often taken for granted and the meaning just assumed, often in a negative light.
A calorie, most simply, is energy. The amount of energy that is contained within food or drink is measured by calories, so if we eat food with a high amount of calories, we then receive that energy ourselves.
Our bodies need the energy to keep us alive and our organs functioning normally. The problem is that if we eat more calories than we consume, the extra calories and energy doesn’t simply disappear. This excess energy is converted into fat stores.
Calories that are not stored as fat are then used to power the body, powering everyday movement, which includes everything from breathing, running and our metabolism.
Coffee And Metabolism
One reason why fitness aficionados have taken coffee under their wing is the perceived benefit on metabolism. If you look at the ingredients of most weight loss pills and fat burning supplements, they all will contain caffeine.
The logic is to just drink coffee and speed up your resting metabolism instead of spending a load of money on these supplements. If your metabolism is sped up, you’ll digest more of your food and expend more energy (calories) and store less in fat.
So by doing this, you save money and treat your taste buds at the same time, sounds like a win-win. Is there any science behind this though?
The good news is that yes, there is definitely a science to back this up. Caffeine is a stimulant which increases your metabolic rate as well as promotes the release of fatty acids from fat tissue, therefore breaking it down.
The big asterisk to this is that you can build up a resistance to it, as caffeine works with the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Over time, the synapses in the body lose sensitivity to these.
Therefore, there is no real link to long term weight loss and coffee consumption, so looking at calories in drinks is important if you’re in a calorie-controlled diet. Still tastes great though.
What Affects Calories in Coffee?
So what makes a cup of coffee go from 2 calories to 25 calories or even 500 calories? Simply put, the coffees calorie count is affected by milk and sugar-based substances. A plain brewed coffee will always contain minimal calories.
Calories in Milk
Milk is the first thing you’ll normally think about adding to a cup of coffee. Many coffee drinks are centred around how the milk reacts with the coffee and contain more milk than coffee itself.
Milk options vary in caloric content. Whole milk contains 65 calories per 100ml, semi-skimmed milk, contains 47 calories per 100ml and skimmed milk contains 35. This doesn’t sound like much but when you know that a Grande Starbucks is 473ml, the calories can easily add up.
A way in which people try to keep calories down in milk coffee beverages is to use milk alternatives, such as soy milk or
Calories in Sugar Substances
Those with a sweet tooth or can’t handle the bitterness of coffee will always seek out a sugary supplement to their coffee. Whether this is straight sugar granules, sugar cubes or even syrups.
Sugar contains around 16 calories per teaspoon and 23 calories per packet or 9.5 per cube. Syrups can vary depending on flavour and strength, but a standard pump (10ml) of sugar syrup us around 20 calories and vanilla is 30.
Calories in Popular Coffee Drinks
So now we can answer, to a degree, how long a piece of string is. With information on calories in black coffee and in espresso, alongside milk and sugar, we can see exactly what your next order will be made of.
How Many Calories in an Americano?
An Americano is simply a double espresso shot and water, so working out the calories here is very easy. You simply need to take into account how much milk and sugar that goes into the coffee.
- Black Americano = 10 calories
- Americano with 1 sachet of sugar = 33 calories
- White Americano (30ml of milk) = 29 calories
How Many Calories Are in a Latte?
A latte is two shots of espresso with the rest of the drink made up of steamed milk. This makes the drink predominantly milk and far more calorific. The amount of milk varies between 222-340ml of milk. A standard small coffee size is around 220ml so we’ll use this amount for the drinks below.
- Whole milk latte = 146 calories
- Semi-skimmed milk latte = 123 calories
- Skimmed milk latte = 92 calories
- Whole milk latte with one sachet of sugar = 159 calories
- Semi-skimmed milk latte with one sachet of sugar = 146 calories
- Skimmed milk latte with one sachet of sugar = 115 calories
How Many Calories Are in a Flat White?
A flat white is similar to a latte but with less milk. The amount of milk here is fixed at around 150ml, there are no small or large flat whites. So a flat white is 2 espresso shots and 150ml of milk.
- Whole milk flat white = 103 calories
- Semi-skimmed milk flat white = 83 calories
- Skimmed milk flat white = 65 calories
- Whole milk flat white with one sachet of sugar = 126 calories
- Semi-skimmed milk flat white with one sachet of sugar = 106 calories
- Skimmed milk flat white = 88 calories
Get Great Tasting Low-Calorie Coffee
Now you know that black coffee can be almost calorie-free, you can drink away guilt-free. We have a great selection of freshly roasted coffee beans for you to choose from, which blow away the mass-produced supermarket ground coffee. If you’re a cafe or business interested in our selection of beans, we also offer a wholesale coffee roasting service. Get yourself the best tasting cup of coffee today with 80 Stone, get in touch now!