Worried about the number of carbs your coffee might be packing without your knowledge? Maybe, you are trying to lose weight or follow a low-carb diet. Whatever your reason for tracking carbs throughout your day, we know that a morning cup of coffee is essential and being able to calculate the number of carbohydrates in that delicious brew helps to keep each sip worry-free.
Just like with other foods and beverages, the number of carbohydrates in coffee will vary depending on things such as the type of coffee, brewing process, purity, and more.
Don't worry, we've broken down the most common carb variations you should be aware of so you can successfully determine the number of carbs in your coffee.
What is the source of carbohydrates in coffee?
Coffee beans have a plant embryo and two cotyledons. Cotyledons are food storages and supply the energy required by the coffee plant as it grows until it can photosynthesize.
The source of carbohydrates in coffee is the cotyledons of the beans. While, roasted and brewed beans contain a negligible amount of carbohydrates, unless you are drinking pure (black) coffee, there will be more than one source of carbs.
For example, suppose your coffee has milk or any other sweetener, such as flavored syrups, honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, stevia, molasses, or monk fruit added in. In that case, you need to figure out the amount of carbs within the milk or sweetener or each individual addition.
Note: While decaf coffee removes caffeine from your brew, the source of carbohydrates in decaffeinated coffee will be the same as in your regular caffeinated coffee.
Determining the amount of carbs in your coffee
Considering the type of coffee beverages you enjoy, you can approximate the net carbs you are drinking with reference to the available data. List the ingredients making up the coffee drinks and then sum up the approximated numbers.
Below are some of the most common coffee types and favorite coffee additives to get you started.
How many carbs are in black coffee and cold-brewed coffee?
One cup of black coffee has a minute carb count of approximately 0.5 grams. Not bad, right?
But, did you know, a cup of cold-brewed coffee contains around 2 to 4 grams of carbohydrates?
Cold-brewed coffee has more carbs than hot-brewed coffee due to the time and process of preparation. Cold-brewed coffee beans are infused in cold water for about 12 to 24 hours before brewing.
Making cold brew involves soaking the beans in cold water leading to the release of fat into the brew, thus increasing the concentration of caffeine as well as increasing the amount of carbohydrates. It also gives the drink a more robust flavor.
How many carbs are in coffee creamers?
A coffee creamer is a liquid or a powder added to espresso, tea, or black coffee to sweeten and lighten the drink. Coffee creamers are usually dairy-free, but you can come up with a dairy version if you are a dairy lover.
Creamers will often get a bad reputation, and while they do have a higher carb content, they can also include some great additions to our coffee. For example, many store-bought creamers include vital proteins, collagen creamers, laird superfood creamers, Elmhurst oat creamers, and more. Also, if you are a vegan, then coffee creamers are a great choice and come in a wide variety.
The downside to coffee creamers is the increased amount of carbohydrates. Creamers have a higher carb count due to the presence of artificial sugars in them. A single spoon of a coffee creamer has about 2 grams of carbohydrates. So, if you add 5 spoons of coffee creamer to your coffee, the total carb count would sum up to about 10 grams of carbs plus the actual carbs within the coffee type you are consuming.
How many grams of carbs are in lattes and a cafe au lait?
Lattes prepared from a 1:3 ratio of espresso to dairy milk (which is the common ratio cafes and coffee shops use) contain a greater load of carbs, about 15 grams, due to the milk sugars. Adding sweeteners or syrup to a latte will, of course, increase the number of carbs.
For example, one pump of vanilla syrup packs 5 grams of carbohydrates, and several people prefer adding more than one pump. A Caramel Brulee latte contains 46 grams of carbohydrates.
Café au lait has a lower carb count compared to a latte. It is made from an equal share of coffee and steamed milk. Due to having a lower amount of dairy, the carb count of a cup of a Café au lait is about 6 grams. Adding any sweetener increases the amount of carbohydrates.
As with all things, find a balance. If you are concerned about sugar and carb content, try to "treat yourself" every once in a while, rather than every day, with that Caramel Brulee latte.
If you do want to make those cheat days a little extra special, you can get our Lattes Digital Recipe eBook at only $10 and explore different types of lattes! We have recipes of all kinds, including some healthier options!
How many grams of carbs are americanos, cappuccinos, and mochacinos?
Americanos have the second least carb count, close to that of black coffee. This is because Americanos are basically water and espresso. Espressos and plain coffee themselves have zero carbs.
Cappuccinos contain a 1:1:1 ratio of milk, espresso, and milk. A 480ml serving of a Cappuccino has a carb count of 12 grams.
A Flat White is prepared using a 1:3:2 ratio of espresso, milk, and milk foam. The ratio is close to that of a latte, therefore contributing to a larger carb count.
Mochaccino, also known as a café mocha or a chocolate cappuccino, contains chocolate syrup and milk. There are 44 grams of carbs in a 16-ounce serving of a mochaccino.
How many grams of carbs are in ground coffee?
Ground coffee is the powdered type sold in your local store or coffee shop. The number of carbohydrates in ground beans coffee will be about the same as that found in black coffee.
When brewing ground coffee, you can minimize the amount of sugar used or use unsweetened almond milk or sugar-free syrups to ensure that the carb count is low.
The key point to remember is that there are varied ways of preparing coffee, and the ingredients used vary.
How many grams of carbs are in flavored coffee?
Are you like me and a sucker for flavors added to coffee? If you are, keep in mind that the flavors you add increase the amount of carbohydrates in your coffee.
Whether chocolate syrup, hazelnut syrup, maple, or honey, you must first determine the carb content in either of the coffee sweeteners.
For example, one teaspoon of honey has 6 grams of carbohydrates. If you are adding a single teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot brewed coffee, that will sum the crab count to about 6.5g.
How many grams of carbs are in pumpkin spice coffee?
Pumpkin spice coffee was actually not popular for the longest time until coffee retailers introduced it more recently. A single serving contains 12-13 grams of carbs.
While Pumpkin Spice isn't without carbs, there is some decent nutritional value as well! Pumpkin spice coffee is powered by its combination of ginger, cinnamon powder, cloves, and nutmeg. Each of these ingredients are essential in maintaining the metabolism of the body.
Can I drink coffee while on a low-carb diet?
If you are on a low-carb diet for varied reasons, such as trying to lose weight or following your doctor's rules, you can definitely still drink coffee. But, be cautious of the frequency of your coffee intake and the type of coffee you drink––especially any sugary add-ins.
Espressos, americanos, or black coffees are great options for carb-conscious people. Black coffee is a healthy option due to it having nearly zero carbs. If you do not like how black coffee tastes, you can add some sugar or milk to provide your taste buds with subtle flavors.
You can also enjoy the other types of coffee but be careful with the amount of milk or sweeteners used as they add in more carbohydrates. Here are some tips to help you maintain a low-carb count while on a low-carb diet.
1 - Insist on serving yourself
You know the right amount of carbs you should be consuming for every coffee serving. So, when at home or at your preferred local coffee shop, add milk or any other sweeteners by yourself.
2 - Go for sugar-free coffee.
One teaspoon of sugar contains a carb count of 5 grams. Use less sugar when preparing your coffee drinks.
3 - Downsize on the amount of coffee you drink or additional ingredients.
Order a lesser amount of coffee compared to your initial intake, or use less milk. For some of us it might be as simple as going for a medium latte instead of an extra-large. Regular coffee drinking or having multiple cups of coffee beverages can interrupt your low-carb intake mission.
4 - Go for non-dairy alternatives.
Since dairy milk has a lot carbs, you can add unsweetened non-dairy milk or cashew, almond, or coconut milk because it contains fewer carbs compared to dairy milk.
Frequently asked questions
How many carbs are in a cappuccino with no sugar?
The amount of carbs is dependent on the serving you order, and the amount of milk used to prepare the cappuccino.
How many carbs are in coffee with milk and sugar?
If you are drinking black coffee, the carbs amount is about 0.5 grams plus the number of carbs in the milk and sugar you add.
It is crucial to know the amount of carbs in your cup of coffee, especially when maintaining a low-carb lifestyle. This article is a complete guide on everything carb count in coffee. Keep this article and reference it whenever you are tracking the amount of carbs in your coffee.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.