Written through Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA ~ above November 29, 2019 — medically reviewed through Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition

Tea is a popular drink consumed by two-thirds that the world’s population (1).

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It’s made from Camellia sinensis, also known as the tea plant, which has been grew for countless years because that its taste and also medicinal properties.

Although plainly brewed tea has virtually no calories, many ready-to-drink and flavored tea shop selections are loaded with added sugars and fats.

This short article examines how plenty of calories space in various species of tea and also provides tips on just how to minimize your tea’s calorie count.


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Plain tea is calorie-free
Tea is a minimally processed drink that’s typically prepared by pouring warm water over the leaves, buds, or stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, leading to an aromatic infusion.

Since those parts of the tree contain just trace amounts of carbs, tea is basically a calorie-free beverage (2).

For example, an 8-ounce cup (240 ml) of freshly brewed black color tea uses barely 2 calories, i beg your pardon is considered negligible. The very same goes for many infusions (3).

As such, level tea makes fantastic substitute because that sugar-sweetened beverages.

Additionally, its caffeine and also polyphenol antioxidants provide numerous wellness benefits, consisting of aiding weight loss, enhancing heart health, and reducing your hazard of chronic an illness (4, 5, 6, 7).

Summary

Plain tea is minimally processed and provides about 2 calories per cup (240 ml), which makes it practically calorie-free.


Calories in different varieties of tea

Although tea itself has nearly no calories, popularly included ingredients prefer milk and also sugar may considerably increase that calorie count.

Here space some extensively consumed teas — together with their estimated variety of calories.

Green, black, oolong, and also white teas

These 4 teas come indigenous the Camellia sinensis plant, v their main being the extent to which their leaves are fermented, if at every (1).

Green tea is non-fermented, if oolong and black teas are partially and completely fermented, respectively. White tea is thought about a variety of green tea, as it’s minimally fermented.

When prepared just with warm water, their calorie counting is as low as 2–3 calories every 8-ounce (240-ml) cup (3, 8, 9).

Yet, as sugar and also honey are the most common ways come sweeten this teas, sprinkling in just 1 tespoon (4 grams) of sugar adds 16 calorie to her drink, when 1 tablespoon (21 grams) of honey adds 64 calories (11).

Herbal teas

Herbal teas are infusions made by impending herbs, dried fruit, leaves, flowers, or buds from plants other than Camellia sinensis.

Some famous herbal teas include chamomile, peppermint, lavender, rooibos, and also hibiscus, which are renowned for their therapeutic properties (12).

Like traditional teas, your calorie contents are considered insignificant. Some, such as hibiscus tea, even boast no calories at every (13).

Still, if you include sweeteners or dairy, the variety of calories increases.

Milk tea

Milk tea is prepared with a 1:1 proportion of tea come milk — usually whole milk because that extra creaminess. It’s typically sweetened through sugar or honey, and some recipes incorporate spices prefer salt, cinnamon, and also cardamom as well.

While black color tea is most generally used, you have the right to use any kind of tea to prepare milk tea.

If you usage 4 ounces (120 ml) of totality milk because that an 8-ounce (240-ml) beverage, it will fill 75 calorie from the milk alone. However, you can reduce the count to 42 calories by just switching to skim milk (14, 15).

Remember to think about your selection of sweetener, as some sugar substitutes deserve to be provided to sweeten without adding extra calories.

Tea latte

Tea latte is a sport of milk tea prepared at a 1:3 ratio of tea come milk. Therefore, its higher milk content packs an ext calories.

It has actually become an extremely popular in tea shops and also coffee chains, which tend to include flavored syrups together well. This additives more increase the calorie contents of your drink.

For example, Starbucks’ 12-ounce (355-ml) London Fog Tea Latte combine Earl Grey tea with decreased fat milk and vanilla syrup because that a full of 140 calorie (16).

Bubble tea

Bubble tea, additionally known together boba or pearl milk tea, is a Taiwanese drink through small, chewy tapioca balls. It’s usually made from black color tea, sweetened condensed milk, syrup or honey, and tapioca pearls.

Sweetened condensed milk is full fat cow’s milk that has been partially evaporated and also sweetened through sugar, bring about a thick, high calorie dairy product product. Just 1 oz (30 ml) packs 122 calories (17).

As boba tea has got popularity, part shops have actually started adding jelly, egg pudding, and fruit juice also (18).

Its calorie content varies greatly, as you can include ingredients to your liking. All the same, it’s approximated that 16 ounces (480 ml) of balloon tea packs 200–450 calories (18).

Iced and also sweet teas

Iced and sweet teas space cold versions of black tea that room usually flavored with lemon, peach, or mint. Their main difference is their included sugar content.

While castle both American staples, sweet tea is an ext common in southern states, while unsweetened iced tea is frequently served in the North.

As its name suggests, sweet tea is sweetened v sugar — and its calorie content depends on the amount added. In contrast, unsweetened iced tea is consumed there is no it, and also therefore doesn’t contain calories.

Remember that every teaspoon (4 grams) of sugar adds 16 calories to your tea.

Nonetheless, some popular brands don’t differentiate in between iced and sweet tea and may offer their iced teas sweetened. In those cases, the total variety of calories significantly increases. Therefore, it’s crucial to check out the label to examine for added sugar.

For example, Snapple’s 16-ounce (475-ml) Lemon Tea packs 150 calories, and also the exact same serving dimension of AriZona Iced Tea through Lemon flavor boasts 140 calories (19, 20).

Thai tea

Thai tea is another version that milk tea that’s well-known in southeast Asia.

Served either hot or cold, that mixes black tea, sugar, and sweetened condensed milk and also is topped with either coconut milk or whole milk.

These heavy ingredients give a single 8-ounce (240-ml) offer 160 calories (21).

Chai tea

Chai tea is likewise called masala chai, which translates to “spiced tea.”

This flavorful milky beverage is make from black tea, hefty cream, sugar, and also a mix of seasonings — generally cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and also cloves.

Heavy cream is specifically high in fat. It boasts 100 calories per ounce (30 ml) (22).

Chai tea may additionally be served hot or cold. Unlike consistent milk tea, which is brewed in water first, chai is brewed directly in milk.

As chai recipes vary, for this reason does the drink’s calorie content.

For reference, Starbucks’ 16-ounce (480-ml) Chai Tea Latte ready with reduced fat milk provides 240 calories (23).

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Summary

The calorie content of tea and tea-based drinks varieties from 0–450 relying on the ingredient used. The enhancement of sugar, and various dairy product products, might raise the variety of calories drastically.