Does Coffee Have Carbs? In-depth Answers!

We all know that coffee is essential for us to be energetic throughout the day, but if you are on a low-carb diet, you might be worried about the carbohydrate content in coffee. 

So, does coffee have carbs? The good news is that pure black coffee and espresso have almost zero carbs. But if you add other ingredients, like sugar or milk, the amount of carbohydrates in coffee can be very high. 

If you’re curious about the carb content in different types of coffee and how to concoct a low-carb coffee, dive deeper into this article for additional insights.

Does Coffee have carbs? Does Espresso have carbs,as well? 

Pure black coffee, like espresso, has minimal carbs,  negligible enough to drink without worrying about going over your carb limit. 

Generally, a 12 oz. or 355 mL black coffee contains 0.994 g of carbs, while an ounce or 29.6 mL of espresso has 0.494 g of carbs (1, 2).  Note that the caffeine content does not affect the carbs in coffee. This means there is the same amount of caffeine if you choose to drink decaf coffee.

Because an Americano or a Lungo is essentially a water-diluted version of an espresso, respectively, they also have negligible amounts of carbs. 

Fun Fact: The carbs in coffee come from the coffee bean’s cotyledons, a part of the bean where the beans store energy (3).

To know more about espresso, check out our article “What is Espresso?”.

Carbs in Coffee Beverages

But what happens when you add milk or sweeteners, as you do in a Latte? Well, because these add-ins contain carbohydrates on their own, the carbs in your coffee may skyrocket depending on the type of ingredient and how much of it you add to your coffee. 

Discover the carb contents of some popular coffee and espresso-based beverages, sweeteners excluded:

Coffee BeverageCarbohydrates (g)
Café au lait, 4 oz., whole milk 2.8
Café au lait, 4 oz., almond milk 0.5
Latte, 16 oz.21
Flat White, 16 oz. 21
Cappuccino, 16 oz. 13
Mocha, 16 oz. 50.9

Café au lait

Café au lait is made with equal parts of black coffee and steamed milk. A 4-ounce (120 mL) portion of Café au lait contains 2.8 grams of carbohydrates with whole milk but only 0.498 grams of carbs when unsweetened almond milk is substituted. (4,5). 


A Latte is commonly made with a 1:3 ratio of espresso to milk. You could say it contains more carbs than a Café au lait because it adds much more milk. A standard 16 oz. of latte contains about 21 g of carbohydrates (6).

Flat White

A flat white includes one part of espresso and three parts of milk. The thickness of the milk foam is the only aspect that sets it apart from a latte. So since a flat white contains the same amount of milk as a latte, it offers the same carbs content of 21 grams for a 16 oz. serving. 


As a relative of the latte and flat white, a Cappuccino maintains an equal balance of espresso, milk, and foam in its composition. Due to its lower milk content, it also has notably reduced carbohydrate content, amounting to just 13 grams of carbs for a 16 oz serving.  (7).


Mocha is basically a cappuccino with chocolate. So, it definitely has much more carbs than a regular cappuccino. For a standard 16 oz cup, a mocha contains an astounding 50.7 grams of carbohydrates (8).

Find out more about espresso drinks by checking out  “30+ Types of Espresso Drinks”.

If you’d like to know the difference between a cappuccino and a latte, give this a peek! 

Carbs in coffee add-ins

Coffee add-ins, like creamers or sweeteners, significantly influence the carb content in your coffee. Let’s take a look at some of the common add-ins used. 

How many carbs are in coffee creamers?

Coffee creamers are the usual dairy-free alternatives to make coffee more palatable to some. Generally, there are two types: liquid and powdered. 

A 15 mL standard serving, or equivalent to one container, of liquid coffee creamer contains 1.71 g of carbs, while the carb content of a 3 g single packet of powdered coffee creamer amounts to 1.78 g (9,10).

CreamersCarbohydrates (g)
Liquid Coffee Creamer, 15 mL1.71
Powdered Coffee Creamers, 3 g1.78
Almond Milk3
Soy Milk1

Now, there are many alternatives to dairy milk and creamers. Soy and almond milk contain fewer carbs than regular whole milk and taste pleasant, too! Almond milk contains 3 g of net carbs per 100 mL serving, while soy milk has less than 1 g of net carbs per 100 mL (11, 12). 

Need alternatives to frothed milk? Check out “Can you Froth Creamer?” to make frothed creamer at home!

How many carbs are in sweeteners?

Sweet-toothed coffee lovers, I know you couldn’t resist adding some sweeteners! 

Unfortunately, most sweeteners are carb-loaded.

Sugar, the most common form of coffee sweetener, is principally carbohydrate. A teaspoon of healthier brown sugar contains 4.51 g of net carbs, of which 4.46 g are sugars (11). Coffee syrups, too, are quite carb-heavy, having 13 g of net carbs per 1 tablespoon serving (12).

SweetenersCarbohydrates (g)
Brown sugar, 1 tsp. 4.51
Coffee syrup, 1 tbsp. 12
Stevia, Erythritol, Xylitol, 1 g. 1

However, the good news is that there are a few coffee sweeteners that aren’t loaded with carbs. The most common ones are Stevia, Erythritol, and Xylitol, and they contain 1 g of carb per gram of sweetener (13, 14, 15).  

How Can I Get Low-carb Coffee?

Maintaining a low-carb diet doesn’t mean you can only drink black coffee and espresso. You can still enjoy the occasional latte, but you must make some adjustments and monitor your daily carb intake to no more than 130 grams if you follow a 2000-calorie diet (16).

It’s easy to monitor your carb intake if you make your coffee at home, and you can definitely tweak your drink from your favorite coffee shop to make it low-carb. Here are some tips:

Get to know your drinks. Check out different coffee options and see which ones offer the least carbs. Big coffee chains, like Starbucks, have a page all about the nutrition facts of their drinks. But if you’re making your own coffee, be sure to check the labels on the packaging. 

Order less carbs. For example, since more milk equals more carbs, you might want to replace your latte with a cappuccino. You can also ask your barista not to put whipped cream or syrups in your coffee. Or you can opt for the smallest serving size. You can also opt for less sugar or sugar-free alternatives to the add-ins, such as plant-based milk or low-carb sweeteners. 

Add the Carbs by yourself. If no add-ins in your coffee make the experience dull, then it’s best to hold yourself accountable and add the carbs yourself. You calculate how much syrup or milk you can add beforehand. 

The Bottom Line

Black coffee and espresso contain almost zero carbs, but the carb content can rise if you add sweeteners or creamers.  

Fortunately, you don’t have to order black coffee to keep a low-carb diet. Calculate how many carbs are in your coffee and make a low-carb version. Then you can enjoy it without worrying.

Happy Drinking!


(1)USDA FoodData – Coffee
(2)USDA FoodData – Espresso
(3) Plant Cell Biology
(4)USDA FoodData – Whole Milk
(5)USDA FoodData – Almond Milk
(6)USDA FoodData – Latte
(7)USDA FoodData – Cappuccino
(8)USDA FoodData – Mocha
(9)USDA FoodData – Coffee Creamer, Liquid
(10)USDA FoodData – Coffee Creamer, Powder
(11)USDA FoodData – Almond Milk
(12)USDA FoodData- Soy Milk
(13) USDA FoodData – Brown Sugar
(14)USDA FoodData – Coffee Syrup
(15) USDA FoodData – Stevia
(16) USDA FoodData – Erythritol
(17) USDA FoodData – Xylitol
(18)Low-Carbohydrate Diet,  Robert Oh; Brian Gilani; Kalyan R. Uppaluri.

Photo of author


Mesphird Yang

I have been brewing and drinking coffee for almost 6 years now. At first, I was just dazzled by how baristas look and that's why I started learning. In the long run, I became obsessed with its charm. I have tried many coffee brewing methods, with different kinds of beans in various roast levels. If I could have more than 4 cups of coffee a day, I definitely would!

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