Does Cold Brew Coffee Have Any Calories?


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Does Cold Brew Coffee Have Any Calories?

For coffee lovers, a refreshing cup of cold brew coffee is the perfect pick-me-up on a hot summer day. Unlike traditional coffee, cold brew offers a less acidic taste and lower caffeine content.

Cold brew coffee in itself doesn’t contain any calories. Cold brew coffee contains 0 calories. However, adding milk or sugar to a cold brew increases calorie content.

Do you want to try cold brew coffee but are worried about its calorie content? This article looks at cold brew coffee’s calorie content, its benefits, and how to make a cup of cold brew coffee.

Is Cold Brew Coffee a 0-Calorie Drink?

Yes, plain cold brew coffee contains 0 calories per serving. However, additives like cream, sugar, flavor, or other sweeteners, will add some calories to the drink. For example, adding two tablespoons of whole milk to cold-brew coffee will add 20 calories. One teaspoon (4.2g) of sugar will add 16 calories. If drinking calorie-free coffee is your goal, you should avoid any additives.

Factors Affecting Calorie Content in Cold Brew Coffee

Despite cold brew coffee being a 0-calorie drink, several factors can affect its caloric content.

Brewing Method

Different brewing methods may extract varying amounts of calories from coffee beans. For example, a cold brew coffee concentrate will contain more calories than regular coffee. This is because the concentrated version contains more coffee bean oils, which does affect the calorie content. 


This is one of the biggest factors affecting calorie content in coffee, and not just for cold brew coffee alone. Additives such as cream, milk, sugar, and flavored syrups have their fair share of calories depending on how much you use. To keep your calorie intake to a minimum, drink plain cold brew coffee by cutting out additives or choosing low-calorie additive alternatives. 

Preparation Method

Your preparation method may impact the amount of calories that may find their way into your cold brew coffee. For example, if you choose the concentration method to make your cold brew, more coffee bean oils may find their way into the final drink.

Depending on how long you steep your coffee beans, you may extract more oils from them, especially using the concentrated method.

How To Make a Simple Cold Brew Coffee

You can make a simple cold brew at home in the following steps:

  1. Start with high-quality, fresh medium or dark roast beans for a strong flavor. Choose light roasts for a smoother or less acidic experience.
  2. Grind the beans to a medium-fine consistency. This allows for optimal extraction without making the coffee too bitter. 
  3. Brew the beans in a coffee maker or a jar with a filter like this Cold Brew Coffee Maker Pitcher. Add cold water to the beans, stir well and let sit for 12 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Strain and serve over ice and with or without additives. However, to truly keep your cold brew low-calorie, avoid sweeteners. 

Nutritional Content in Coffee

Coffee is low in calories yet contains some essential nutrients and calories. Here’s what you may find in a typical 8-ounce (240ml) cup of coffee:

  • Calories: Black coffee contains 1-2 calories, while cold brew contains 0. This makes for the perfect low-calorie drink.
  • Protein: Coffee contains roughly 0.02tsp (0.1g) of protein per cup.
  • Vitamins and minerals: While coffee isn’t a rich source of vitamins and minerals, it does have small amounts of potassium, magnesium, and niacin. 
  • Carbohydrates and fat: Coffee is low in both carbohydrates and fat, with only trace amounts detectable.
  • Antioxidants: Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid, cafestol, melanoidin, quinine, and more. Antioxidants have antiradical, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties. These properties offer health benefits, especially against diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Parkinson’s.

You should note that the nutritional coffee content varies according to several factors, including the type of coffee beans used, brewing method and any additives. Here’s a video on how to make cold brew coffee in three different ways: (if you want it done for you here are here are Single Serve pods by Starbucks available at Amazon)

Benefits of Cold Brew Coffee

So, if little to no calories isn’t incentive enough for you to start drinking cold brew coffee, here are six reasons why you should:

  • Less acidic: Cold brew coffee is less acidic than hot brew coffee, making it a better choice for people with acid reflux, GERD, or sensitive stomachs. Cold brew coffee is less acidic because of the extended brewing time and lower water temperature, which contribute to a smoother, less acidic taste.
  • Lower caffeine content: Cold brew coffee has a lower caffeine content which is a great option for people who are sensitive to caffeine or simply want to reduce their caffeine intake. The extended brewing time used in cold brew coffee production extracts less caffeine from coffee beans. (like these Lifeboost Cold Brew coffee beans available at Amazon). This ultimately leads to lower caffeine content.
  • More antioxidants: The longer brewing time and colder temperature used during cold brew coffee production extract more antioxidants from coffee beans. Higher antioxidant levels in cold brew coffee may help reduce inflammation, protect against chronic disease, and promote overall health.
  • Better flavor: If you find regular brewed coffee too bitter, try cold brew coffee instead. The latter tastes smoother and less acidic than its hot brew counterpart. The cold brew produces fewer bitter compounds from the beans, resulting in a sweeter and more flavorful taste.
  • Longer shelf life: Compared to hot brew coffee, cold brew coffee has a longer shelf-life. Cold brew can last anywhere between 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator. If you’re constantly on the move and don’t have time to make a daily pot of coffee, then cold brew is your best option. Make one large batch and store it in the fridge to take at your convenience. 
  • Versatile: You can use cold brew coffee in a number of ways, including in smoothies, cocktails, and desserts. Its smooth, refreshing taste makes it a versatile ingredient to add to several dishes.


Cold brew coffee isn’t only a refreshing drink, but it’s also rich in antioxidants, potassium, and magnesium. Most importantly, it’s a 0-calorie drink making it an excellent low-calorie option. Additionally, cold brew coffee offers a smoother and less acidic taste compared to hot brew coffee.