How Many Calories In Hot Tea

How Many Calories In Hot Tea

A calorie is, scientifically speaking, the amount of energy it takes to raise one gram of water by one degree. The calories we talk about in regard to food are numbers that represent how much potential energy a certain type of food can provide for your body’s use. Some people are interested in tracking how many calories they are taking in from food and drinks. If you are one of these people, and you’re a tea drinker, you’re probably curious as to how many calories in hot tea will go towards powering your body. Let’s take a look at tea and calories.

A white teacup with purple violets painted on it sits in front of a white teapot and vase of flowers. The overlay text reads: how many calories in hot tea?

Calories in Plain Hot Tea

In a plain, 8 ounce cup of any tea made from the plant camellia sinensis (which includes green tea, black tea, white tea, pu’erh, oolong, and yellow tea), there are about 2-2.4 calories. Most herbal teas hover around the same number. These calories come from trace amounts of carbohydrates in the leaves or herbs. That’s a pretty minute quantity, considering something like a banana contains around 100 calories on average. So, a cup of tea isn’t going to add much potential energy to your body.

If you came here just to get that basic question answered, you can go on your merry way. You could have found that information by simply typing “how many calories in hot tea?” into your favorite search engine, though. If you clicked all the way into this blog post, you’re probably looking for a few more details. Well, we can help you with that.

Calories in Flavored and Blended Tea

If you add things like fruit, nuts, or other flavors to your plain hot tea, the calories may increase. The increase will essentially be imperceptible, though, raising the total to around 4 calories. This is because you are not actually consuming the whole fruit or nut, only the particles broken down by the water that provide that great flavor.

A blended tea that contains sugar may have a few extra calories. If you’re wondering if your tea blend has sugar, check the packaging, and read this helpful guide on sugar in tea.

Overhead view of a package of honey dust, a wooden spoon full of honey dust, a teacup with cherrywood infuser, and a dutch baby pancake arrange on a unicorn tea towel.

How Many Calories with Cream and Sugar?

Speaking of sugar, to determine how many calories are in a cup of tea that you’ve added sweetener and cream to, you will need to research how many calories are in your add-ins. In general, a cup of whole milk has around 148 calories. Non-dairy substitutes will vary. For example, a cup of almond milk contains close to 60 calories.

Sweeteners provide even more potential energy to your body. If you add the contents of a honey stick to your tea (around a tablespoon of honey total), that will increase the calories in your cup by 64. The same amount of sugar has about 48 calories.

What About Calories in Matcha?

Matcha is made from powdered green tea leaves. Since you stir the powder into your water or milk and drink it, you are actually consuming the whole leaf. That changes the calorie intake a little bit, but still not significantly. One teaspoon of matcha is said to only contain about 3-6 calories total. Tea leaves just aren’t very high in calories on their own.

Overall, tea is fairly low in calories. You can add more calories to it by mixing in cream and sweetener, but on its own tea is not going to provide you with much in the way of caloric intake. If you have more questions about the properties and health benefits of tea, I recommend checking out our Tea 101 blog series, starting with this article on the healthiest hot teas.

Overhead view of a package of Plum Deluxe loose leaf tea, a matching green teapot and teacup, and a spoon full of loose leaf tea arranged on a wooden table and pink doily.

How Many Calories In Hot Tea

Elora Powell

Elora is a writer, comic-book lover, and all around geek. She loves pairing records from the 1960s with great cups of tea, and is currently becoming the kind of person that will ask you if you've ever tried Pu Erh.

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