How Many Calories Are Really In Your Tea

Tea is a versatile beverage that can suit many moods. You have a gentle lavender flavored tea for night time, the strong Earl Grey for cold early mornings, and the clean greens for the everyday. Yes, there is no doubt that tea is an attractive beverage. In fact, the Tea Association claims tea is the world's second most widely consumed drink after water. Considering it's popularity, we can't help but wonder, how many calories are in our favorite teas?

If you prefer your tea in its simplest form, then you are in luck. According to Healthline, a cup of plain tea, (black, green, or white) is around two calories per cup. And not only is it extremely low in calories, but it has caffeine and polyphenol antioxidants which have been linked to aiding in weight loss, reducing the risk of chronic disease, and improving heart health. Sounds like perfect health in a cup right? Perhaps, but be aware. With additions comes calories.

Tea made in its simplest form has only two ingredients

Twinnings tells us that tea made in its most natural form has two ingredients: the leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant and hot water. No wonder why it is so low in calories. It's when you add milk, sugar, or other flavorings that the calories increase and the health benefits of your steaming cup may suffer. Popular milk teas are made by combining equal parts steeped tea to equal parts milk. Healthline tells us that one cup of a milk tea made with this one to one ratio of black tea and whole milk is 75 calories. And then comes the sugar! Every teaspoon of tea added to your tea adds 16 calories.

Just like all other products, tea goes through trends. And most recently, the U.S. has seen a trend in the skyrocketing availability of bubble tea. Bubble tea is an iced tea that has layers of Tapioca balls at the bottom. It is originally from Taiwan, and according to Eat This, Not That a classic bubble milk tea has 212 calories and 37 grams of sugar. Kelly Choi, author of The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse, warns us about the downsides of this tea drink. "It's not good for you at all, though," says Choi. "It has so much sugar. But people like it because it's kinda fun to drink and it's not like they're drinking soda."

Tea lattes and other premade tea beverages are loaded with calories, too

Another tea trend that appears to be growing is the availability of tea lattes in cafes. Healthline tells us that tea lattes are made from one part tea to three parts milk. In addition to all that added milk, there is often added sugar and syrups. For example, a tall Starbucks London Fog Tea Latte made with reduced fat milk and vanilla syrup still contains 140 calories. Other popular pre-made tea drinks like Snapple's 16-ounce Lemon Tea contain 150 calories. And a 16-ounce AriZona Iced Tea with Lemon Flavor is similar, with 140 calories.

In addition to milk, cane sugar, and syrups, condensed milk and honey are also found in tea beverages like chai lattes. According to fitbit, just two tablespoons of the dense and creamy addition packs 130 calories and Livestrong states that one teaspoon of regular honey is 21 calories while raw honey has 20.

This all sounds alarming, right? Well, we don't want to stop you from enjoying your favorite tea beverage. There are ways to reduce the calories by swapping out condensed milk, whole milk, or heavy cream for the reduced fat or plant-based versions. You could also consider adding the sugar yourself when ordering at a café or opting for the smallest size they offer. That's the beauty with a drink as versatile as tea! The additions can be versatile as well.