How Many Calories in Coffee? A Guide to Understanding the Caloric Value

November 16, 2022
Last updated on January 16, 2023
How Many Calories in Coffee? A Guide to Understanding the Caloric Value

Coffee is a popular beverage consumed by many people around the world. However, some may be surprised to learn that coffee can also have calories. In this article, we will explore the caloric value of coffee and popular coffee drinks, as well as the factors that affect the caloric value. We will also provide tips for reducing the calorie content of your coffee drinks and suggestions for low-calorie alternatives.

How Many Calories in Coffee?

A standard cup of black coffee, or just plain coffee with no added ingredients, is a great option for those watching their calorie intake. A cup of black coffee contains very few calories, approximately 2 calories per 8 ounce cup. This makes it a low-calorie alternative to other beverages that are high in calories. 

For example, a 12 ounce can of soda contains around 150 calories, which is significantly more than a cup of black coffee. Similarly, a 16 ounce latte can contain around 250 calories, which is much more than a cup of black coffee.

calories in black coffee

It's important to note that the calorie count can vary depending on the brewing method, the type of coffee bean used, and the serving size. Some brewing methods may extract more calories from the coffee bean than others, and some coffee beans may have higher calorie content. However, in general, a cup of black coffee is relatively low in calories compared to other beverages.

This means that you can enjoy your cup of coffee without worrying about adding unnecessary calories to your diet, which is great for those who are trying to maintain a healthy diet or lose weight. While adding milk and sugar to coffee can increase the calorie count, you can opt for alternative options such as using non-dairy milk or sweeteners to keep the calorie count low.

Popular coffee drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and mochas can contain significantly more calories than a cup of black coffee. This is due to the added ingredients such as milk and syrups that are typically used in these drinks. A 12 ounce latte, for example, can contain around 150 calories. This is because lattes are typically made with steamed milk and a shot of espresso.

calories in latte, cappuccinos, mocha

The steamed milk adds calories, and if whole milk is used, it will have more calories. A cappuccino, on the other hand, is made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam. 

A standard 12 ounce cappuccino can contain around 80 calories. While a mocha is a latte with chocolate syrup or powder added. The chocolate syrup or powder increases the calorie count, A standard 12 ounce mocha can contain around 250 calories.

Calories in Coffee with Cream

The number of calories in coffee with cream can vary depending on the amount of cream used and the type of cream used. A tablespoon of heavy cream, for example, contains around 52 calories. If you add one tablespoon of heavy cream to an 8 ounce cup of coffee, it would add 52 calories to the drink. 

On the other hand, if you use a non-dairy milk alternative such as almond milk, the calorie count will be lower. A cup of unsweetened almond milk contains around 30 calories, which is less than the 52 calories in a tablespoon of heavy cream.

Factors Affecting Caloric Value

The type of milk and added flavors or syrups can greatly affect the caloric value of a coffee drink. For example, using whole milk instead of skim milk in a latte can add an additional 60 calories per cup. 

Whole milk is higher in fat and calories than skim milk, so using it in a latte will increase the calorie count. Similarly, adding flavored syrups or whipped cream can also add calories to a coffee drink. A tablespoon of flavored syrup can add around 20 to 30 calories and a dollop of whipped cream can add around 50 to 60 calories.

Additionally, the portion size of the drink can also affect the caloric value. Larger sizes of coffee drinks typically contain more calories than smaller sizes. This is because larger sizes typically have more milk and syrups, and therefore more calories.

Alternatives for Lower Calorie Coffee

If you're trying to reduce the calorie content of your coffee drinks, there are a few simple steps you can take. Using skim or non-fat milk instead of whole milk can greatly reduce the calorie content of a latte. Additionally, using sugar-free syrups or sweeteners can also help to reduce the calorie content.

You can also try low-calorie alternatives to popular coffee drinks such as a Americano (espresso with hot water), or a coffee with a splash of almond milk, which can add a creamy texture without adding many calories.


In conclusion, coffee can have calories and the caloric value of coffee and popular coffee drinks can vary greatly. Black coffee is relatively low in calories, while popular coffee drinks such as mochas, cappuccinos, and lattes can contain significantly more calories. The type of milk and added flavors or syrups, as well as the portion size of the drink, can greatly affect the caloric value. However, there are alternatives for lower calorie coffee. By considering the caloric value of coffee in a healthy diet, you can still enjoy your coffee while being mindful of your calorie intake.

Profil Picture Ernest Brewer

Ernest Brewer is a 35-year-old man with a passion for blogging, diving, and traveling. In his free time, Ernest can be found exploring the depths of the ocean, discovering new and exciting destinations, or kicking back and watching a good movie.

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