Coffee Calories

Counting calories from the foods we eat has become a fairly common practice, but how many people pay attention to the calories they drink? Plain, black coffee has health many health benefits. Adding sugar, creamers and other ingredients to these coffee drinks increases their calorie count drastically. Experts worry that too many Americans are drinking their way to obesity-related health problems.

Matt Westenburg

Flavored Coffee Creamers

Flavored coffee creamers are a delicious way to sweeten your morning cup of java, but unfortunately, they’re also full of calories and fat. The recommended serving is one tablespoon. People are pouring an average of four times the suggested amount of flavored creamer into their coffee. This is a sure-fire way to get your day off to an unhealthy start. Instead of pouring on the calories, use milk and a splash of vanilla, almond or peppermint flavoring.

Frothed milk

Frothed or foamed milk is also heated with a steam wand, but there’s an additional step. The wand also injects air into the milk, which creates small, foamy bubbles. The heated milk is mixed well, adding air into the milk. The air creates all those small, foamy bubbles that float on top of your coffee. Foamed milk is more dense than steamed milk, but both are used in many espresso drinks.


Cappuccinos are made of equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk. In order to be called a cappuccino, the milk has to be poured over the espresso. If the espresso is poured over the milk, the drink is called a latte macchiato. Dry cappuccinos have more foam in them. These drinks have the same texture as a traditional cappuccino, just with more foam and less steamed milk.

Matt Westenburg

Hot Chocolate

Although it’s not technically coffee, a 20-ounce Peppermint Hot Chocolate from Starbucks contains about 550 calories, similar to a McDonal’s Big Mac. Baristas add mocha, peppermint and vanilla syrups to the already sugary hot chocolate drink. Whipped cream and chocolate curls on top contribute to the sugary sweetness. The White Hot Chocolate is also high in calories. A Venti White Hot Chocolate drink comes in at almost 600 calories. Fortunately hot chocolate is typically a seasonal drink so you won’t be as tempted to drink up these creamy, chocolatey calories.

Frappuccinos and Frappes

It’s a sad day for the Starbucks Frappuccino lovers because most of those drinks fall into the category of “too many calories.” The Mocha Frappuccino, White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino, Java Chip Frappucino, Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino all make the list, and that’s just to name a few of them. McDonald’s Frappe Mocha is no better. Not only does this 22-ounce drink have some funky ingredients, including polysorbate 80 which is used to stimulate hair growth, but it also has 600 calories without including the whipped cream. Try a McCafe Iced Coffee instead to cut back on hundreds of calories. Your safest bet is to avoid any kind of mocha latte, coffee chiller or other blended drink. These regularly top the lists of calorie-filled coffee drinks.

The moral of this sweet story is that it’s easy to drink up hundreds of unnecessary calories. The good news is that it’s also easy to substitute them for healthier options.