If you love coffee and you drink a lot of it but you are concerned about how many calories there are in coffee then you are in for a very pleasant surprise. There are zero calories in coffee so you can drink it till your hearts content without being worried if it will contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.
That’s if you drink it black. And without sugar. And without milk. As soon as you start to add stuff to coffee that’s when the calories start to add up.
If you like to count your calories and keep them in check and you don’t want to waste your daily allowance on milk and sugar there are a number of things you can do to improve your enjoyment of drinking coffee without reducing the number of cups you drink each day.
By the way, you can pretty much drink as much coffee as you like every day and not only does it not adversely affect your health but it has been proven by a number of very in-depth scientific studies that show regular coffee drinkers have a higher rate of mortality (life expectancy) than non-coffee drinkers.
You can learn more in this detailed article that explains how coffee is good for you.
Not only is it good for you but you don’t have to worry about it making you fat because it doesn’t have any calories in it until you start to add milk and sugar but it doesn’t have to be that way.
We are so used to drinking poor quality coffee that most people think that adding milk and sugar is part of what makes up a final cup of coffee but the truth is that we actually add things to coffee in order to mask the horrible taste of cheap coffee.
Most of the coffee we buy from the supermarket is bitter and poor quality and believe it or not has already been made brewed once already before it even gets into your cup!
It’s true. If you buy instant coffee then it has already been turned into liquid coffee a long time ago before being frozen and all the water removed to turn it into the granules that sit inside the jar of instant coffee in your cupboard.
This article goes through in detail what instant coffee is.
How many calories in a coffee with milk and two sugars?
A latte with two sugars contains 186 calories.
A level teaspoon of sugar contains about 16 calories so if you take two sugars then that’s 33 calories for every coffee or tea you drink. A lot of people will drink a combined 3 cups of coffee and tea a day so that’s 100 calories a day just for sugar in your tea and coffee.
Milk is a little more complicated because it depends on the amount of milk you add to your coffee and what type of milk you use.
We will use a Latte as an example of how many calories you may be consuming. A latte is 4 parts milk to one-part espresso so if you have a good double espresso it will contain about 60ml of liquid so you need to be adding about 240ml of milk.
If you mostly order your latte’s in a coffee shop then they always use full fat (whole) milk because it tastes best when mixed with coffee than semi-skimmed or skimmed milk.
Semi-skimmed milk is ok to use with coffee but we would never recommend skimmed because although you end up with hardly any fat in skimmed milk it removes almost all of the flavour from the milk and has a huge impact on the flavour of your coffee.
240ml of whole milk contains around 153 calories plus 33 calories comes to 186 calories for a latte.
If you have two a day then that can start to add up to a decent percentage of your overall calorie intake that you would rather use somewhere else.
What can you do to make sure that you don’t waste your calories on milk and sugar in your coffee but still drink the same or more coffee than you are now?
Use Good Coffee
If you are a milk and two sugars person then you are diluting the flavour of your coffee and hiding what it really tastes like. The same goes for tea. The more milk and sugar you add the less you can really taste the true flavour of the beverage you are drinking.
Because we were brought up watching everyone in our family add milk and sugar we thought a combination of those 3 ingredients will give us the perfect combination for a great cup of coffee but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Tea is a good example. if you are using “Builders” tea or “English Breakfast” as it is more poshly known as then milk and sugar is commonly added but if you drink green tea or earl grey tea then you would never add milk or sugar.
The reason for this is that certain teas are of a much higher quality than others and you have to enjoy them on their own without adding anything except water to release the wonderful flavours. Adding milk and sugar would ruin a Jasmine Green tea.
It is slightly different for coffee but the same principle applies except we don’t have the same awareness about coffee as we do with tea. If you buy instant coffee then you will have to add lots of milk and sugar to change the flavour because drunk black on its own it doesn’t taste very nice.
Instant coffee remains the most popular because it is easy and it’s what you have always done but if you are prepared to spend just a few minutes preparing your own coffee using fresh coffee beans then it will make a world of difference to the flavour you experience.
Try a different type of coffee drink
Latte is probably the most common drink that gets ordered in a coffee shop. Most coffee shops don’t know how to make it and that includes Costa and Starbucks.
If you order a large latte you mostly get a double espresso with a pint of milk added. Sometimes more, sometimes less, it just depends on who is adding the milk and whether they can be bothered or not.
Try ordering a cappuccino the next time you go to a coffee shop instead of a latte and you will instantly get a double benefit.
Firstly, you will actually be able to taste the coffee you have ordered. With a latte, it is so watered down with milk that you don’t really get to taste the coffee and when you add sugar on top of that the coffee tastes pretty much disappears.
A cappuccino is 1/3 coffee, 1/3 milk and 1/3 foam so you really do get a different experience compared to a latte. You’ll find that a cappuccino has more flavour than a latte and it also contains fewer calories because it contains less milk.
If you are already a cappuccino drinker then you are getting closer to a proper coffee flavour so why not try Americano and eliminate the milk (and more calories) altogether?
A double espresso with added hot water may be more appealing to your senses than you think.
There is one issue we have with changing up the drink you order in a coffee shop and that is the severe lack of options they give you when it comes to the type of coffee you want.
And when we say severe lack of choice we really do mean severe…… as in one.
When was the last time you went into a steak restaurant, looked at the menu and it had one steak on it for you to select from? Never right? If there was only one option on the menu you would probably leave and never go back.
But coffee shops give you no choice whatsoever. It’s the house blend or nothing. Despite there being dozens of coffee producing countries and hundreds or even thousands of different combinations of coffee roasts and blends you get what they give you.
All the big high street coffee chains use a relatively low-quality dark roast coffee and without realising it you are ordering latte’s because you don’t really like it but when you add loads of milk and sugar it makes it taste ok.
Switching to cappuccino or latte in a coffee shop may not work for you in a coffee shop because the coffee they use (and the only one you get to try) is actually one that you don’t like!
You can take control by choosing from a huge selection of coffee beans available in the market and making the coffee yourself from those beans.
It’s much easier than you think to make your own coffee from freshly ground coffee beans and it doesn’t involve spending loads of money on a coffee machine if you don’t want to.
Get a coffee machine and make it yourself
You won’t believe how much nicer coffee is when you do away with instant coffee and make it yourself with a coffee machine.
Fresh coffee beans and a cheap espresso machine will make a world of difference to your coffee drinking experience.
And seeing as you drink coffee every day it’s definitely worth checking out what you can get for the price of a meal out for two that will make your coffee taste much better AND will reduce the number of calories you consume with each drink.
Once you realise how good coffee can taste compared to what you drink now you will most likely want to taste the coffee more and will add less milk and sugar.
From a few pounds to a few thousand pounds you can find everything you need to know about choosing the best coffee machine for your needs in the following article:
Once you are making your own coffee at home with better quality coffee beans than the high street coffee chains use and you are buying a coffee blend and roast type that you like from the huge choice available compared to no choice at a coffee shop you will probably start to use less milk and less sugar because you will want to taste the actual coffee more instead of hiding the flavour with lots of milk and sugar.
The end result will be a better tasting coffee with fewer calories. That’s what we call a win win.