How Many Calories Are In Tea?

calories in tea

What Calories are there in a cup of tea?

Looking to find out how many calories there are in a cup of tea? 

Keep reading to find out.

Traditional tea is commonly made from the Camellia sinensis plant also known as the tea plant. 

Since it was discovered by accident in ancient china, it has been cultivated for many years for its medical properties as well as its unique taste.

In this article, we’ll discuss various types of tea to show how the calorie count varies depending on which one you drink. 

We’ll cover nutritional information about teas and their calorie content.

How many calories are in traditional tea?

Tea is a natural drink that is enjoyed all over the world and in different cultures. 

In its most natural form, it is calorie-free but additives make a huge difference in either making it a healthy option or not. 

Tea is a drink that requires minimal processing as it is prepared simply by pouring hot water on buds, leaves, and stems of the Camellia Sinensis plant.

Tea is a calorie-free beverage because these plants contain only trace amounts of carbohydrates. 

Plain tea is a good alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages and it is a natural energizer due to its caffeine content.

Types of tea and their calories

Four types of tea are made from the Camellia sinensis plant. 

These are green, black, oolong, and white tea. 

Black tea is fully fermented, oolong tea is partly fermented while green tea is nonfermented. 

White tea is a variety of green tea which is minimally fermented.

Traditional tea is calorie free!

When these teas are prepared using only hot water, their calorie count is 2-4 calories per 8 ounces cup. 

When honey and a lot of sugar are added to tea then its calorie count obviously increases.

What about herbal tea?

Different types of tea have sprung up in different regions across the world.

We know these as herbal teas and in their simplest form, they are made when herbs, dried fruit, flowers, and leaves are brewed in hot water. 

As with traditional tea, these are naturally calorie free.

However, when sweeteners like sugar or honey are added to them, the number of calories increases. 

In the western world, it is traditional to add whole milk to traditional tea to make the taste sweeter.

Some people also choose to add milk to herbal teas (although this is sacrilege in my opinion!)

Adding whole milk to a regular tea increases the calorie content to around 34 calories

Skimmed milk or soy milk will reduce the number of calories.

Calorie content of bubble tea

One of the highest calorie teas is called bubble tea, pearl milk tea, or simply boba

It originated in Taiwan and contains small chewy tapioca balls. 

Boba is prepared by mixing tapioca pearls with sweetened condensed milk, black tea and honey or syrup.

Boba shops are starting to become a popular pop-up in large cities

Sweetened condensed milk refers to full-fat cow’s milk which is sweetened with sugar. 

It is thick in texture and is a high-calorie dairy product, the calorie content of bubble tea is between 200-400 calories.

Calories in Chai Tea

Chai tea also called masala chai is tea brewed in a different way to the teas above

It contains milk but is different from regular milk tea because it is directly brewed in milk and hot water, species are added for flavoring afterward.

Chai tea originated in India because of the abundance of flavorsome spices available.

There are roughly 120 calories in a cup of chai tea.

A Starbucks chai tea latte with almond milk contains 190 calories.

How many calories are in iced tea?

Cold versions of black tea are called sweet teas or iced teas. 

These are usually flavored with mint, peach, or lemon and are a popular drink that you can find in the grocery store. 

These teas have a high sugar content making them different from regular black tea.

Sweet tea is a great name because iced teas typically contain around 190 calories

Unsweetened iced tea is available and only contains around 3 calories, but it is a lot harder to find.

How many calories in tea - The bottom line

Tea drinkers have lots of options when it comes to the calorie intake they get from their favorite beverage.

Most teas are not sweet in their natural form but when sugar, honey, or other sweeteners is added to it, then the tea becomes sweet and its calories also increase.

Pure tea obviously contains much lower calories but sometimes the taste isn’t quite as nice.

Adding just 1 teaspoon of sugar will add 16 calories to your cup of tea, one tablespoon of sugar adds 45 calories.

It is important to read the label before buying tea from the store because many popular brands add sweeteners to their ingredients.

Herbal teas such as lemon tea already have a refreshing flavor so you won’t feel the need to add in sweeteners.

Tea is a great addition to your daily diet because it is a natural drink and on its own does not contain extra calories.

Drinking tea also has some fantastic benefits, check out the health benefits of green tea, right here.