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Do You Know How Much Calories in Your Favorite Coffee?

September 15th, 2010 · 4 Comments ·


Does coffee has oil in it and therefore making it having high calories?

I am not sure whether you have thought about that. But, wait, before we even talk about low or high calories, does coffee has oil in it? In this post, we will find out.

Coffee bean itself actually has oils on it. When coffee bean is roasted, the sugar, fat and starch within the bean will be emulsified and released. This process create the delicate coffee oil. It is the oil that gives coffee distinctive aroma and taste. The next time you are in a coffee shop, you will see the barista often needs to clean the expresso machine. Why? He does it to prevent the stale coffee oil from building up which can affect the taste of brew.


However, with or without oil, after being brewed, a cup of plain coffee is almost calories-free if we exclude that negligible amount of mono-unsaturated oil.

So, Coffee = coffee beans + water

If that is the case, coffee drink has low calories?

No, coffee drink contains high calories, as much as 560 Calories. The key reason it has such a high calories because it is actually the extra or additives you put in which makes it that way, and not coffee bean itself. Caffeine (in the coffee bean) is a bitter chemical itself, so, it is common to see people sweeten coffee with milk, sugar, cream or flavored syrups. Once all these are in, a coffee drink has become a highly sweetened milk than coffee. In fact, the fancier the drink or the longer the coffee drink name, the higher the calories.

After spending some time checking out the list of coffee sold in Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin Donut. I have done a simply summary:

Volume (oz)
Calories or Kcal
Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha (whip)
Starbucks Caffe Vanilla Frappucino Blended Coffee (whip)
Starbucks Caffè Mocha (whip)
Starbucks Hot Chocolate (no whip)
McDonald’s Mocha
Starbucks Caffè Mocha (no whip)
Dunkin Donuts Mocha Swirl Latte
Starbucks Caffè Latte
McDonald’s Latte
Starbucks Cappucino
McDonald’s Cappuccino
Dunkin Donuts Latte
Dunkin Donuts Cappuccino
Starbucks Caffè Americano
Dunkin Donuts Brewed Coffee
Starbucks Brewed Coffee
Brewed Coffee
Brewed Coffee
Espresso Coffee
McDonald’s Brewed Coffee (Large)



Assuming you drink sweetened coffee daily, just one cup a day, an extra 200 calories daily can add up to be 21 extra pounds (about 9.5 kilograms) in a year!

200 Calories a day x 365 days = 73,000 Calories

1 pound = 3,500 Calories

For simplicity purpose, 73000 / 3500 = 20.8 pounds

Now, you know where all the extra weight come from.

Fancy Name of Coffee Drinks
Just in case you are not familiar the fancy coffee drink names, here are some of them with brief explanation:

  • Latte = One type of coffee drink made with hot milk
  • Expresso = Concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing very hot water under high pressure through coffee that has been ground to a consistency between extremely fine and powder
  • Cafe Mocha = Typically one third espresso and two thirds steamed milk, but a portion of chocolate is added, typically in the form of a chocolate syrup
  • Cappucino = Espresso, hot milk, and milk foam. The foam on top of the cappuccino acts as an insulator and helps retain the heat of the liquid, allowing it to stay hotter longer.
  • Whip = Whipped-cream
  • Americano = A style of coffee prepared by adding espresso to hot water. More diluted compared to expresso.
  • Frappuccino = A registered trademark of a Starbucks blended ice coffee beverage
  • Caramel = Burnt sugar used to give flavour and a brown colour to food

Tips To Cut Down The Calories from Your Coffee Drink:

  • Go for black coffee. Too bitter? Get the extras on the side and pour them in yourself so that you can certain level of control.
  • Skip the whipped cream (it adds 80 to 120 calories, and most of its fat is the unhealthy saturated kind).
  • Request fat free or skim milk, rather than whole.
  • Instead of the flavored syrups, try sprinkling cinnamon or vanilla flavoring which still may have some sugar, but you will add less of it than with the syrup. Try not to go for chocolater version of coffee (Mocha) as a tablespoon of chocolate syrup has about 50 calories.
  • If you can’t give up the sweet taste, you can add the sugar yourself (each packet contains at least 16 Calories). Some people go for calorie-free sweetener like Equal or Splenda.
  • Get for the smallest size of the drink. Just in case you are in Starbucks, their use of size name are quite uncommon. The company could have used the simple bloody names like small, regular, big and extra big! Sometimes, to make fun of the size name, I would tell the barista that I want Long one…instead of Tall. He will look at me and I will say, “Since you have short version, I am sure you can make something LONG for me.”
    • Short – 8 oz. The smallest size Starbucks offers, but only get this size if you ask for it by name. If you ask for “small”, you will get a Tall, which is the smallest size for which the prices are actually on the menu. Only hot drinks can be served in the Short size.
    • Tall – 12 oz. This is what you will get if you ask for a “small” drink.
    • Grande – 16 oz. This is the “medium” size. Pronounced as “GRAWN-day.”
    • Venti – 20 oz. hot, 24 oz. cold. Pronounced as “VENN-tee.”
  • Forget about the cheese cake, muffin, donut or candy pieces. After all, coffee itself is really considered as a dessert.


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Category: Nutrition

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4 responses so far ↓
  • foongpc // Sep 16, 2010 at 12:47 AM

    Thanks for this very useful information on coffee!!

  • SimonJPA // Sep 16, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    I’ll drop cofee for a long time.

    Anyway I can’t drink it without milk or sugar.

  • bloomtofit // Sep 27, 2010 at 6:06 AM

    It’s incredible to see these drinks score high in the calorie count because they are consumed so consistently. People just don’t realize what they’re putting inside their bodies.

  • Albert // Mar 7, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Thanks for the nice article. It was informative and interesting. Coffee is comparatively a healthy beverage-one cup of brewed coffee has only 2 calories. The extra calories in a cup of coffee come from sugar and cream.

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