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Counting Calories in Your Café Latte

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture

Do you know which has fewer calories: soy milk, skim milk or coconut milk? Here’s the scoop and a quick guide on what your milk choices are when you are concerned about counting calories in your café latte.

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In reviews of canned and bottled commercial coffee drinks, I typically include the calorie count along with the actual caffeine content as part of my review. Why? Well for one thing, some commercial coffee drinks can provide enough calories to qualify as a meal—albeit a poor meal, but still a meal’s worth of calories.

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I also like to include the caffeine content not only because I literally want the most bang for my dollar, but also because some coffee drinkers have a lower tolerance for just how much coffee their bodies can handle and need to watch their daily consumption.

Today’s article, however, is focused on calories. In particular in your café latte when you need a relatively light coffee drink, but one still filled with flavor.

A café latte, also known as Café con Leche or Café Au Lait, is one of the most popular and commonly ordered coffee drinks in your local coffee shop. Unlike the slap in the face straight espresso or more desirable cappuccino, the café latte is preferred for its relatively mellow flavor and delicious foam.

A typical café latte consists of one shot of espresso mixed with 6-8 ounces of hot milk, tipped with a whitecap of foam. If you want to show the barista that you know something about coffee, you can forego the foam and ask for the latte to be served “Flat White.”

When it comes to your milk choices you typically have to decide upon whether you want whole milk, 2% milk, skim milk, almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk. If you want to follow good coffee shop etiquette, please, please, please be prepared to know what you want before you order. There’s nothing that slows down service and quickens caffeine-low tempers than being “that guy” in the line who is milk-confused.

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In most cases, if you do not specify your milk, you can usually expect to be served 2% milk. Which is fine. I am not a fan of soy or almond milk, but to each, his or her own; We all have our preferences and ever-changing moods and palates.

Milk Calorie Counts with a Café Latte

That said, here is a list of milk choices for your café latte in order of most calories to fewest calories total in a traditional 12-ounce latte:

• Café latte with whole milk: 180 calories
• Café latte with 2% milk: 150 calories
• Café latte with soy milk: 130 calories
• Café latte with coconut milk: 110 calories
• Café latte with skim milk: 100 calories
• Café latte with almond milk: 80 calories

If you are interested in discovering more about how to count calories with your varied coffee-based drinks, here is a Dr. Oz Classic that is still relevant today:

3 Coffee Choices that Won't Add Inches to Your Waist

Timothy Boyer has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. For 20+ years he has been employed as a freelance health and science writer. Timothy continues writing about science with a focus on the connection between coffee and healthy living. For continual updates about the benefits of coffee on your health, you can also follow Timothy on Twitter at TimBoyerWrites.

Images courtesy of Pixabay

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