Written by Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA top top November 29, 2019 — median reviewed by Kathy W. Warwick, R.D., CDE, Nutrition

Tea is a popular drink spend by two-thirds of the world’s populace (1).

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

Although plainly brewed tea includes virtually no calories, plenty of ready-to-drink and flavored tea shop selections are invited with added sugars and fats.

This short article examines how plenty of calories room in various types of tea and also provides advice on how to mitigate your tea’s calorie count.


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Plain tea is calorie-free
Tea is a minimally handle drink that’s generally prepared by pouring hot water over the leaves, buds, or stems of the Camellia sinensis plant, resulting in an fragrant infusion.

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

For example, one 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 most infusions (3).

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

Additionally, the caffeine and polyphenol antioxidants provide numerous wellness benefits, consisting of aiding load loss, boosting heart health, and reducing your threat of chronic an illness (4, 5, 6, 7).

Summary

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


Calories in different species of tea

Although tea itself has practically no calories, popularly added ingredients choose milk and also sugar may substantially increase that is calorie count.

Here room some commonly consumed teas — together with their estimated variety of calories.

Green, black, oolong, and also white teas

These four teas come indigenous the Camellia sinensis plant, through their main being the degree to which their leaves space fermented, if at every (1).

Green tea is non-fermented, when oolong and black teas are partially and totally fermented, respectively. White tea is taken into consideration a selection of environment-friendly tea, together it’s minimally fermented.

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

Yet, together sugar and honey room the most usual ways to sweeten this teas, sprinkling in simply 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of street adds 16 calories to her drink, while 1 tablespoon (21 grams) of love husband adds 64 calories (11).

Herbal teas

Herbal teas space infusions made by unavoidable herbs, dried fruit, leaves, flowers, or sprout from plants other than Camellia sinensis.

Some well-known herbal teas encompass chamomile, peppermint, lavender, rooibos, and hibiscus, which space renowned for your therapeutic properties (12).

Like traditional teas, their calorie components are taken into consideration insignificant. Some, such together hibiscus tea, even boast no calories at all (13).

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

Milk tea

Milk tea is all set with a 1:1 ratio of tea to milk — usually totality milk for extra creaminess. It’s typically sweetened v sugar or honey, and also some recipes incorporate spices favor salt, cinnamon, and also cardamom together well.

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

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

Remember to consider your an option of sweetener, as part sugar substitutes can be supplied to sweeten without including extra calories.

Tea latte

Tea latte is a sport of milk tea ready at a 1:3 ratio of tea come milk. Therefore, its higher milk contents packs more calories.

It has actually become really popular in tea shops and coffee chains, which often tend to include flavored syrups together well. This additives more increase the calorie content of her drink.

For example, Starbucks’ 12-ounce (355-ml) London Fog Tea Latte combine Earl Grey tea with reduced fat milk and also vanilla syrup for a complete of 140 calories (16).

Bubble tea

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

Sweetened condensed milk is complete fat cow’s milk that has been partly evaporated and sweetened through sugar, resulting in a thick, high calorie dairy product. Just 1 ounce (30 ml) packs 122 calorie (17).

As boba tea has obtained popularity, some shops have started including jelly, egg pudding, and also fruit juice too (18).

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

Iced and sweet teas

Iced and also sweet teas are 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, when unsweetened iced tea is frequently served in the North.

As its name suggests, sweet tea is sweetened through sugar — and its calorie content counts on the amount added. In contrast, unsweetened iced tea is consumed without it, and also therefore no contain calories.

Remember the every teaspoon (4 grams) of street adds 16 calories to your tea.

Nonetheless, some popular brands nothing differentiate in between iced and sweet tea and may market their iced teas sweetened. In those cases, the total number of calories significantly increases. Therefore, it’s important to check out the label to examine for added sugar.

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

Thai tea

Thai tea is one more version that milk tea that’s famous in southeast Asia.

Served either warm or cold, it mixes black color 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 also called masala chai, which translates to “spiced tea.”

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

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

Chai tea may likewise be served hot or cold. Unlike continuous 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 decreased fat milk provides 240 calories (23).

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Summary

The calorie contents of tea and tea-based drinks arrays from 0–450 depending upon the ingredient used. The addition of sugar, and also various dairy products, may raise the variety of calories drastically.