How Many Calories in a Cup of Black Tea?

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One of the simplest places to cut calories in your diet is through your drinks. If you are looking for something with a bit more flavor than water, tea is the next best choice for its nearly nonexistent calories and heart-healthy benefits.

A cup of black tea with lemon.
Image Credit: Aleksandr_Gromov/iStock/Getty Images

Features

Black tea is a stronger version of the Camellia sinensis plant which produces green, white and oolong tea. Black tea has a stronger flavor and more caffeine because of its longer oxidation. This does not add any more calories.

Considerations

The calories in black tea equal a negligible amount, approximately 2 calories per cup. The amount of calories in tea is influenced by the other products added to it such as sugar, honey or milk. A teaspoon of sugar adds about 15 calories, and 2 tablespoons of 2 percent milk adds roughly 12 calories. Adding a half-ounce packet of honey to your tea boosts its calorie intake by 43 calories.

Low-Cal Options

Instead of sweetening your tea with caloric sweeteners, like sugar or honey, try adding stevia to your black tea. It contains just a negligible amount of calories but has a potent sweet taste, so a little goes a long way with sweetening your cup. In addition, swapping out 2 percent milk for nonfat milk reduces your calorie intake by a few calories per cup.

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