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

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

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It’s make from Camellia sinensis, additionally known as the tea plant, which has actually been cultivated for thousands of years for its taste and medicinal properties.

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

This article examines how plenty of calories room in various species of tea and also provides advice on how to reduce 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 hot water end the leaves, buds, or trunk of the Camellia sinensis plant, causing an aromatic infusion.

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

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

As such, plain tea makes great substitute because that sugar-sweetened beverages.

Additionally, that is caffeine and polyphenol antioxidants administer numerous health benefits, including aiding load loss, boosting heart health, and also reducing your risk of chronic disease (4, 5, 6, 7).

Summary

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


Calories in different species of tea

Although tea itself has virtually no calories, popularly added ingredients like milk and also sugar may considerably increase the calorie count.

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

Green, black, oolong, and also white teas

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

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

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

Yet, together sugar and also honey are the most usual ways come sweeten these teas, sprinkling in just 1 teaspoon (4 grams) of street adds 16 calories to her drink, when 1 tablespoon (21 grams) of honey adds 64 calories (11).

Herbal teas

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

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

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

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

Milk tea

Milk tea is prepared with a 1:1 ratio of tea to milk — usually entirety milk for extra creaminess. It’s generally sweetened through sugar or honey, and also some recipes include spices like salt, cinnamon, and also cardamom together well.

While black color tea is most frequently used, you deserve to use any kind of tea to prepare milk tea.

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

Remember to take into consideration your an option of sweetener, as some sugar substitutes have the right to be provided to sweeten without including extra calories.

Tea latte

Tea latte is a sport of milk tea prepared at a 1:3 ratio of tea to milk. Therefore, its greater milk contents packs much more calories.

It has become really popular in tea shops and also coffee chains, which have tendency to add flavored syrups as well. These additives more increase the calorie content of her drink.

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

Bubble tea

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

Sweetened condensed milk is full fat cow’s milk that has been partly evaporated and also sweetened through sugar, leading to a thick, high calorie dairy product product. Simply 1 ounce (30 ml) packs 122 calorie (17).

As boba tea has acquired popularity, some shops have started including jelly, egg pudding, and also fruit juice as well (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 package 200–450 calories (18).

Iced and also sweet teas

Iced and sweet teas room cold execution of black color tea that space usually flavored v lemon, peach, or mint. Their main distinction is their added sugar content.

While castle both American staples, sweet tea is much more common in southern states, if unsweetened iced tea is commonly served in the North.

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

Remember the every teaspoon (4 grams) of sugar adds 16 calorie to her tea.

Nonetheless, some famous brands don’t differentiate between iced and also sweet tea and may market their iced teas sweetened. In those cases, the total variety of calories considerably increases. Therefore, it’s important to review the brand to examine for included sugar.

For example, Snapple’s 16-ounce (475-ml) Lemon Tea package 150 calories, and also the very same serving dimension of AriZona Iced Tea with Lemon smell boasts 140 calories (19, 20).

Thai tea

Thai tea is one more version that milk tea that’s renowned in south-east Asia.

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

These hefty ingredients offer a single 8-ounce (240-ml) serving 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 tea, hefty cream, sugar, and also a mix of spices — typically cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and cloves.

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

Chai tea may likewise be served warm or cold. Unlike constant milk tea, which is brewed in water first, chai is brewed directly in milk.

As chai recipes vary, so does the drink’s calorie content.

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

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Summary

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