organic coffee beans

How Many Calories in Coffee?

Black coffee is both healthy and low in calories. If you take your coffee white and foamy in ‘tall’ cups, however, you should be more cautious.
Asser Christensen
Asser Christensen
Licensed Q Arabica Grader, M.A. Journalism

Coffee is tasty, and it gives you superpowers in the morning. Furthermore, it virtually doesn’t have any calories. That is if you drink it black.

When you look around online you’ll often see people saying that coffee has zero calories, but that’s not entirely accurate if we are to trust USDA, there are about 2 kcal in a cup of coffee. (Source)

Still, that number is so low that it doesn’t make any difference at all. 2 calories are not going to get in the way of any sixpack.

Black & white coffee calories

  • Cup of coffee: 2 kcal
  • Espresso shot: 3 kcal
  • Instant coffee (2 gram): 7 kcal
  • Cold brew bottle 325 ml: 16 kcal
  • Starbucks Café Latte 340 ml: 150 calories
  • Starbucks Frappuccino 411 ml: 292 kcal
(Sources: 1, 2)
* For comparison, there are 142 calories in a can of Coke.

Does coffee have calories?

While black coffee, in general, doesn’t make any difference in the caloric balance, this doesn’t extend to other coffee-based drinks that often contain plenty of sugar, milk, cream, and syrup.

Drinks such as latte and cappuccino are often accused of being rather unhealthy. These assertions are rather fairly valid.

According to Starbucks themselves, their café latte contains 150 calories for a tall cup of 12oz. For the innocuous looking café mocha that number is a whopping 230 kcal per tall cup.

Bear in mind that these numbers are based on using 2 % milk. If whole milk is used, the caloric impact is even more significant.

For some perspective, a single hamburger from McDonald’s contains 251 calories.

The takeaway is that while you can drink as many black coffees as you like, you should be more careful when it comes to all the fancy, foamy stuff that comes in tall or ‘venti’ cups.

View this post on Instagram

Ah.. Coffee 😚

A post shared by Asser – THE COFFEE CHRONICLER (@thecoffeechronicler) on

Beware of the latte!

Personally, I drink a cappuccino once in a while, but it has never really been my thing. For me, black coffee is where it’s at; if you want to be able to appreciate all the fantastic flavors that coffee has to offer, then you have to drink it black.

Think about it; if you’re a wine lover, you won’t mix it with milk. The same holds true for coffee lovers.

With the proliferation of coffee chains and the ‘to-go-cup culture,’ we’re seeing more and more people who steadily walk around sipping on tall lattes.

I have a theory that this is because it’s the most socially acceptable way to get your sugar fix, while it’s more frowned upon if you wander around eating cake or candy all the time.

A takeaway cup looks innocent, but the reality is that it’s not – unless you have an Americano in it.

Often a caramel macchiato might as well be a caramel ice cream. This won’t probably make you peppy but rather make you feel sluggish and weary soon.

Black coffee calories

On the other hand, there is a broad scientific consensus that a cup of java can help you lose weight. This is first and foremost because of the caffeine. This molecule works on two different levels according to Mayo Clinic:

  1. It suppresses appetite. In that way, it helps you reduce your weight by letting you eat lesser.
  2. It raises your energy levels and thermogenesis. This means that you burn more calories by ingesting caffeine.

Of course, there’s a lot more to losing weight than whether you drink black or white coffee; still, it’s something worth considering, if you want to get rid of those extra pounds.

Switching from latte to black drip coffee might be that easy lifestyle change that will get you to your goal.

Top Featured Image: Dennis Tang | Source
about the author

about the author

Hey, I’m Asser Christensen from Denmark – the founder & editor of this site.

I have been crazy about caffeine for almost as long as I can remember. Today, I’m a licensed Q Arabica Grader and full time coffee writer.

Learn More