• coffee and carrot cake

Be Careful at the Coffee House

One of my favorite places to be in the world is in a coffee shop…comfy leather chairs, mellow music playing overhead, and the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans wafting thru the air. Add in some burning candles and a light rain outside and you have my ideal cozy afternoon scenario.

I am definitely a coffee person…I have coffee almost every morning and since Christmas have been enjoying a mid-afternoon espresso, thanks to my new espresso machine that was a gift from the hubby. However my standard coffee order is simple: black coffee in the morning and mid-day it’s either a single shot of espresso or a double shot with a splash of almond/soy milk. No fancy fraps or sugary coffee concoctions for me.

The excessively complicated menu at the coffee shop can be quite daunting and a calorie land-mine. So many choices, so many ways to add hidden calories and sugars. There’s just so many variables: size, milk type, whip or no whip, extra shots of syrup, and endless flavorings available.

I did a little comparison of some popular coffee beverage choices. Note that for the sake of making it easier, all drinks listed (unless otherwise noted) are calculated using 2% milk. The nutritional information comes straight from Starbucks’ website.

  • Cafe Latte (espresso, steamed milk and lightly topped with foam)
    • 12oz = 150 calories, 13 grams sugar
    • 16 oz = 190 calories, 17 grams sugar
    • 20oz = 240 calories, 22 grams sugar
  • Cappuccino (espresso with steamed milk and topped with thick layer foam)
    • 80z = 80 calories, 7 grams sugar
    • 120z = 90 calories, 8 grams sugar
    • 16oz = 120 calories, 10 grams sugar
    • 20oz = 150 calories, 14 grams sugar
  • Cafe Mocha (espresso with mocha sauce, steamed milk)
    • 80z with whipped cream = 200 calories, 18 grams sugar
    • 12oz with whipped cream = 290 calories, 28 grams sugar
    • 16oz with whipped cream = 360 calories, 35 grams sugar
    • 20oz with whipped cream = 450 calories, 45 grams sugar
  • Mocha Frappuccino (coffee with mocha flavored sauce, blended with milk and ice)
    • 12oz with whipped cream = 280 calories, 42 grams sugar
    • 160z with whipped cream = 400 calories, 61 grams sugar
    • 20oz with whipped cream = 500 calories, 80 grams sugar

Let’s visualize that for one moment…


It’s easy to see how the sugar content in a lot of these drinks is equal or even exceeds that of a soda.

But have no fear, Beverage Bootcamp is all about giving you choices and suggestions. As I always say, everything in moderation. If every once in awhile you want a mocha…go for it. But daily or even weekly can be hurting your healthy living goals.

So some suggestions the next time you head into a coffee shop….

  1. Get the smallest size
  2. Consider some of the healthier options: regular coffee, cappuccino, espresso with a splash of milk, hot tea, unsweetened iced tea, etc.
  3. Watch out for all the add ons: flavors, syrups, sprinkle toppings, etc. Basically they’re just adding on sugar
  4. Be wary of “light” drinks, they have less calories and sugars but contain artificial sugars
  5. Hold the Whipped Cream

No Comments