From Frapps to Capps: 8 Coffee Types & How They Fit with Your Diet

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
coffee types

Coffee is everywhere these days… maybe you’re even carrying you and your coworkers’ favorite coffee types into the office with you now. It’s such a popular morning or afternoon pick-me-up that hundreds of specialty shops tout their proprietary roasts and blends. Fast-food restaurants and convenience stores have jumped on the craze, offering new drinks and special deals to attract customers. Coffee-based drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes, macchiatos and mochas are catching fire, available in more places than ever before. Learning the different coffee types can help you choose the right one for your taste and weight loss goals.

So, let’s start with the best news: An eight-ounce cup of black coffee has fewer than two calories, while decaf has essentially zero!

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Because of this lovely fact, both regular and decaf coffee are “Free” foods for those on the Nutrisystem weight loss program. This means you can enjoy them as much as you want, without hindering your progress.

If you are going to get a little crazy with the caffeine, however, you’ll want to be mindful of the way you dress it up. Cream and sugar—the most common additions to black coffee—significantly bump up the calorie and fat content of the brew.

You get more than 50 calories in each tablespoon of heavy cream, 18 calories in each tablespoon of half and half. A spoonful of sugar might help the medicine go down, but if you take this approach to coffee, consider the 16 extra calories you’re taking down with it. One tablespoon of fat-free creamer is considered an Extra on Nutrisystem, but if you like your brew pretty light, you can opt for a whole cup of nondairy milk (one cup of almond milk counts as one Extra or a PowerFuel if it has added protein). Stick to a natural, calorie-free sweetener, such as stevia and you’re golden. Before you can even think about all of this, however, you’ll need a better grasp of what you’re drinking in the first place.

In search of the perfect brew for you? Learn the differences between common coffee types right here:

1. Espresso

coffee types espresso

Standard coffee is typically brewed by letting hot water drain through the ground beans. Espresso is made in one-ounce “shots” when nearly boiling water is forced with high pressure through very finely ground beans. The result is a concentrate with intense flavor and less than one calorie per ounce. Some might consider it “super coffee,” packing a pretty big caffeine punch for its size. Italians and other espresso lovers often sip it from small demitasse cups, but it is also the base ingredient in many popular drinks. Most espressos come in two to three ounce servings which means one shot of this perky drink will serve up between five and eight calories, making it a Free Food on Nutrisystem.

2. Cappuccino

coffee types cappuccino

Made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk and milk foam, a cappuccino is the traditional way to enjoy strong coffee taste, tempered by milk. You can order cappuccino with low- or nonfat dairy milk, as well as almond, soy or coconut options. You may see cappuccinos served with a dusting of fine chocolate powder or cinnamon on top. An eight-ounce cappuccino made with whole milk has about 90 calories and five grams of protein, so go ahead and count it as a PowerFuel on Nutrisystem. If you opt for nonfat or almond milk, you’re cup of Joe clocks in at closer to 50 calories, so you can count your drink as two Extras.

3. Latte

lattee coffee types

More milk is used to create lattes, making them one of the most popular coffee types. They’re about two-thirds steamed milk, poured over espresso (a double shot in many cases) and topped with a layer of milk foam. Served simply, a latte has slightly more calories than the cappuccino. There are about 120 calories in an eight-ounce whole milk latte, making it count as one PowerFuel, and 60 calories for a version made with nonfat or almond milk, making it count as two Extras. If you are curious about mochas, these are really just lattes flavored with a heavy, dark mocha syrup. Flavored syrups, like this or caramel or hazelnut, can add at least 45 calories and 10 grams of sugar or more per tablespoon. These are additions dieters will want to avoid. You may find on some menus “flavor shots,” which are unsweetened and lower in calories than the syrups.

4. Flat White

flat white coffee types

A variation on lattes known as the “flat white” has begun showing up on menus and winning over many coffee lovers over the last few years. The standard flat white starts with a double shot of espresso to which frothed milk is added, blending with the crema, or foamy coffee layer at the top of fresh espresso. It has a consistent color throughout, rather than layers found in drinks such as a cappuccino. An eight-ounce cup whole-milk flat white has 110 calories, but when nonfat or almond milk is used, this goes down to less than 60 calories. Again, count a standard eight-ounce cup as one PowerFuel, and the latter as two Extras.

5. Macchiato

macchiato coffee types

For this drink, the steamed milk is poured into the cup with a double shot of espresso. A thin topping of milk foam is used to create a multilayered appearance. You can choose to include flavored syrups such as caramel or French vanilla, which add 25 grams of sugar per tablespoon. Choosing nonfat instead of whole milk saves about 30 calories in an eight-ounce cup.

6. Americano

coffee types americano

If you like the strong flavor of espresso, but don’t want the extra calories or taste of milk, the Americano is a healthy choice. It contains a double-shot of espresso, diluted with water. Americanos can contain about five shots of espresso, depending on the size of your order. Keep it hot in the winter, but experiment with iced when the sun rolls in.

7. Cold Brew

coffee types cold brew

It’s all the rage. Many coffee shops and other purveyors, are exhausting the marketing power of the cold brew. Cold brew coffee is made by steeping the coffee beans in water overnight at room temperature. This method yields coffee that’s less bitter and naturally sweeter than the more traditional drip or pour-over styles of brewing. It even has an extra kick of caffeine. Cold brew is typically served over ice plain or in other warm-weather drinks. Alone, it has the same calorie count as plain black coffee, but watch out for the additional high-sugar flavorings some sneak in there.

8. Frappuccino

frappucino coffee types

Starbucks® has introduced many drinks to coffee lovers in the United States, but perhaps their biggest contribution to date was the creation of the Starbucks Frappuccino®. Frappuccino is the brand name for a frozen, blended and often cream-based drink. It’s served in a variety of flavors, with names like Cotton Candy Crème, Double Chocolatey Chip Crème and Strawberries and Crème. Many Frappuccinos don’t contain any coffee and come topped with whipped cream. A whole milk version of the smallest serving size (12 ounces) with whipped cream has as much as 310 calories, with 130 coming from fat. Made with nonfat milk and no whipped cream, you get 150 total calories and 25 from fat. Watching your waist? Watch out for this one.

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*All nutrition facts taken from company websites on 5.10.2017.