23

Are there any calories in roasted coffee beans?

And why do they seem to 'disappear' when turned into black coffee?


According to some websites, there are (I've seen values between 300 and 400 kcal per 100 g).

At the same time, when I check nutrition facts about black coffee - it says 0 kcal.

Where do all the calories of the coffee beans go when they turn into black coffee?

I read that when coffee is filtered (with paper filters), some oils are absorbed in the filter. But this alone does not seem enough to account for the missing calories. Also note that although the nutrition facts for black coffee are 'diluted' (i.e. it's expected they would be a lot less than the actual coffee in powder form, because there's water added), that is also not enough to bring the value to 0 kcal (however the rounding is performed).

And what about coffee that is not filtered (French press?) or even about eating whole roasted coffee beans - what would the calories be then?

Thanks


Below are some sources with confusing/conflicting data:

Sources:

Coffee beans kcal per 100 g:

  • 8
    Well... You aren't eating the beans when you drink coffee. – Catija Sep 24 '15 at 14:55
41

Flatly, the calories are in the filter: in the grounds that you dump on your compost.

In the water that went through the grounds, there are mostly aromatic substances and traces of coffee oils, few enough that a cup of coffee has (rounded) 0 calories.

The caloric values given for coffee beans are valid if eaten - which is rarely done in significant amounts (except perhaps the occasional chocolate-covered bean or truffle garnish). That the values differ between sources is typical - it happens with other foods as well. Measurement methods vary and so do nutrition contents in different batches / breeds / origins of beans.

If you prepare your coffee with a method that leaves some coffee grounds in your cup (e.g. Turkish coffee) and you consume them (as opposed to leaving the dregs), your cup will have some calories. Yet probably not enough to be relevant for your daily calorie intake. My estimate would be that an amount of black coffee that would supply a significant amount of calories would have you shaking that much that you would burn them again just from the side-effects of the caffeine or from the additional trips to the bathroom.

  • 2
    That last point is an interesting one - akin to the notion that celery has zero "net calories" because you expend just as much energy chewing and digesting it as your body extracts from the food. – logophobe Sep 24 '15 at 15:08
  • 5
    @logophobe Yes, but this experiment would be much more fun to watch ;-) – Stephie Sep 24 '15 at 15:09
  • 4
    I have probably been an unwitting test subject before; back when I was younger I consumed coffee by the pot, which is not a recommended serving size for a very good reason. – logophobe Sep 24 '15 at 15:10
  • 1
    coffee beans + chocolate chips make a great snack. yum. – ell Sep 24 '15 at 19:24
  • 6
    I have done the 'eating coffee beans' test. Sort of inadvertently - we picked up a bulk buy of a couple of kilos of chocolate coated beans. I'm still not sure they weren't calorie neutral, given how much energy we subsequently spent over the next couple of days thanks to not being able to sleep, hallucinating and fidgiting. I wouldn't recommend it. – Sobrique Sep 25 '15 at 11:20
7

Remember that calories are basically how much energy you can get by burning stuff. If you try to evaporate a cup of coffee, you will only have a small amount of dark brown residue left. If you didn't use a filter, you'll have more residue. People usually don't drink up the ground coffee in their cups, so for the purpose of counting how much burnable material you consume, you can approximate it to zero.

Same goes for tea with a few tea leaves in a cup.

The situation is different for a cup of coffee or tea with added sugar, because when you evaporate them, you will have some burnable sugar left, which is definitely worth some calories.

4

Coffee is not 0 calories. However most coffee is less than 5 calories per serving (1 cup) therefore according to US packaging regulations can be rounded to 0.

3

Well with a very simple answer, because you don't really drink the stuff with calories. If you get your coffee from the coffee machine, that black stuff is left in the machine, if you do it yourself, you don't drink that stuff, but just drink the liquid, which doesn't have too much calories, so all the remaining stuff with calories gets thrown away to your waste bin...

0

The main thing why there aren´t any calories in coffee are: most of all calories were burned during the roasting process, lefted calories (fibers) in ground coffee are retained by the filter, so it seems to be logical that a Cup of coffee should have less than 5 calories.

  • Re. the first part of your explanation: By that logic, a grilled chicken breast would have significantly fewer calories than a poached one... – Stephie Aug 16 '17 at 8:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.