How Many Calories Are In Coffee?

A plain cup of black coffee contains only about 2 calories, but the caloric content can increase significantly with the addition of milk, cream, or sugar.

how many calories in coffee
Elizabeth Brown

Written By
Elizabeth Brown

Published On
April 29, 2024

Disclaimer: This article has been generated with the assistance of AI tools. While our research team has fact-checked the content, readers should independently verify information for accuracy and reliability.

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, loved for its flavor and caffeine kick. But if you’re curious about how many calories are in coffee, the answer depends on what you add to it. Let’s break down the calories in coffee and explore how different additives like milk, cream, and sugar can impact its caloric content.

Calories in Black Coffee

Calories in Black Coffee

Plain black coffee is incredibly low in calories. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, an 8-ounce cup of brewed black coffee contains about 2 calories​​. This low caloric content makes it an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy a caffeine boost without adding extra calories to their diet.

Additives and Their Caloric Impact

While black coffee is low in calories, adding milk, cream, or sugar can significantly increase the caloric content. Here’s a breakdown of common coffee additives and how many calories they add to your cup:

  • Sugar: One teaspoon of sugar adds about 16 calories to your coffee​.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Two tablespoons (1 ounce) of heavy cream can add about 101 calories​​.
  • Half-and-Half: Adding two tablespoons (1 ounce) of half-and-half contributes about 37 calories​​.
  • Fat-Free Milk: This lower-calorie option adds about 10 calories for two tablespoons (1 ounce).

Specialty Coffee Drinks

If you prefer specialty coffee drinks like lattes, mochas, or caramel macchiatos, be aware that these can contain significantly more calories due to the addition of milk and flavored syrups. Here’s a look at some common coffee drinks and their caloric content:

  • Latte with Whole Milk: A standard latte with whole milk contains about 150 calories​.
  • Latte with 2% Milk: This latte has roughly 125 calories​ ​.
  • Latte with Nonfat Milk: A nonfat latte contains about 80 calories​​.
  • Breve Latte: This latte, made with half-and-half, can have around 320 calories​.
  • Heavy Cream Latte: A latte made with heavy cream can have over 800 calories​.

Caloric Additions from Sugar and Syrups

Adding sweeteners like vanilla syrup or caramel can significantly increase the calories in your coffee. A tablespoon of flavored syrup can add around 50 calories, and a quarter cup of syrup in a large caramel macchiato could add up to 400 calories.

Tips for Lower-Calorie Coffee Choices

To enjoy coffee without overloading on calories, consider these tips:

  • Opt for Black Coffee: It’s the lowest-calorie option.
  • Use Low-Calorie Milk Alternatives: Choose fat-free milk or skim milk instead of whole milk or cream.
  • Limit Sugar and Syrups: Use artificial or zero-calorie sweeteners instead of regular sugar.
  • Watch Portion Sizes: Keep your coffee servings moderate to avoid excessive calorie intake.


Coffee can be a low-calorie beverage, but additives like milk, cream, and sugar can significantly increase its caloric content. By making mindful choices, you can enjoy your coffee while keeping the calories in check. If you’re concerned about your calorie intake, consider opting for black coffee or using low-calorie alternatives for your favorite coffee drinks.


  1. Mayo Clinic: Weight Loss: Available Online at:
  2. Harvard School of Public Health: Coffee: Available Online at:,whole%20milk%20contains%209%20calories.
Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Brown is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 10 years of experience helping clients successfully achieve their weight loss and nutrition goals. She received her Master of Science in Nutrition from the University of Washington and completed her dietetic internship at Harborview Medical Center. Elizabeth specializes in bariatric patient care, working closely with bariatric surgery teams to provide pre- and post-operative nutrition counseling. She has supported hundreds of patients in preparing for weight loss surgery, adopting the required dietary changes, and making lifestyle adjustments for long-term success. She stays up-to-date on the latest research and best practices in bariatric surgery aftercare through her membership in the Obesity Society (TOS) and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC). She is an avid speaker and educator, presenting regularly at local and national conferences on topics related to post-bariatric nutrition and weight maintenance.

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