Coffee provides many benefits; however, to make it more enjoyable, many people reach for various additives to enhance its flavor.
The problem is, many of these additives are often high in calories, which makes for an indulgent cup of coffee for the moment; however, enjoying your coffee this way day after day or cup after cup can really add up. For people who are watching their calorie intake, this can be a problem; therefore, it may leave you wondering how to make coffee taste good without calories.
There are many ways to make coffee taste good without calories, which can help
make you feel good about enjoying it; however, drinking your coffee black is the most low-calorie way.
Why Black Coffee is Better for You
Black coffee is coffee that is brewed straight from coffee beans or coffee extract free of any added ingredients, such as sugar, milk, or creamer.
When coffee is brewed straight from coffee beans or their extract, it appears almost black in color, hence its name, and it also has a pungent flavor and high acidity, depending on the type of bean and its origin, which some people either love or need added ingredients for some convincing.
However, because it does not contain any added ingredients, it is the most low-calorie way to enjoy coffee. In fact, black coffee provides many benefits, including:
No Added Calories
Black coffee has fewer calories than dressed coffee, which can contain up to 200 calories or more per serving. In fact, black coffee contains just 2 calories per cup, while a 1 fluid ounce serving of black espresso contains 3 calories. However, black coffee brewed from decaffeinated beans offers the lowest calorie count at zero calories per cup.
High in Antioxidants
Black coffee is also high in antioxidants, which help protect our cells and keep us healthy. In fact, research shows that it has more antioxidant power than cocoa and green tea. It also contains valuable nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B2 and B5.
It Helps Boost Energy and Focus
The caffeine found in coffee is a natural stimulant, which helps increase energy and mental focus, so you feel less exhausted and ready to take on the day or a grueling workout. This increase in metabolic activity in the body may also help burn more calories.
It Helps Shed Water Weight
Since black coffee is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate often, it helps rid the body of excess water, which can cause you to put on water weight.
Buying sugar, creamer, and flavored syrup, etc. to make your coffee taste like your favorite coffee shop can really add up in costs. However, the simplest and cheapest way to enjoy the wonderful benefits of coffee is to simply enjoy it plain.
The Caloric Effects of Making Coffee Taste Good the Traditional Way
The traditional way of flavoring coffee usually involves adding one or more high-calorie options, such as whole milk or cream, refined sugar, flavored creamer, flavored coffee syrups, and sometimes even topping it off with whipped cream like your favorite coffee shop, which, after time, can begin to affect your waistline – and thus your mood.
The most common way to sweeten black coffee is to add refined sugar. However, not only does refined sugar add about 48 calories per tablespoon, but it also doesn't contain nutrients, which means it is a source of empty calories. Empty calories serve no other purpose than to add calories, which can cause you to gain weight.
Excess refined sugar also causes a sudden rise and drop in insulin levels, which can leave you depleted of energy, also known as a sugar crash, after which time, many people often reach for another cup of coffee to feel re-energized, which not only repeats the cycle but also racks up calories.
Whole Milk or Heavy Cream
For some people, the addition of sugar alone isn't enough to mask the bitter taste of black coffee, so they will also add milk or cream to help improve the taste, as well as the texture. However, just two ounces of whole milk can add an additional 38 calories per cup, while two ounces of cream can add up to 120 calories per cup.
Flavored Coffee Creamers
Flavored coffee creamers are free of milk, and some are also lactose-free, which enables those with milk allergies or who are lactose intolerant to still enjoy the creamy, rich taste of cream but without the dairy. They also come in a wide range of flavors for the flavored coffee of your dreams. However, they are also often high in sugar, which adds additional calories, up to 40 calories per teaspoon, and can also lead to a sugar crash.
Flavored Coffee Syrups
Flavored coffee syrups enable you to recreate your own rendition of your favorite coffeehouse coffee at home with popular flavors, such as vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut. However, like flavored coffee creamers, they, too, often contain sugar, about 5 grams per pump, which can add an additional 20 calories per cup. And since they also contain sugar, they can also cause you to have a sugar crash.
Adding whipped cream to your coffee as a finishing touch is another coffeehouse favorite that many people also repeat at home. However, adding whipped cream to your coffee can add between 80 to 110 calories to your drink, depending on the amount of whipped cream.
Add all or even just two of these wonderful, indulgent ingredients to your coffee,
and in just one 12-ounce serving, you could be consuming up to 300 calories or more, which is the same calorie equivalent of a slice of chocolate cream pie.
How to Make Coffee Taste Good Without Calories
At first thought, making your coffee taste good without calories may sound
impossible or maybe even outright boring; however, many coffee drinkers have found success using the following low-calorie hacks:
Add a Hint of Salt
Adding a pinch of salt to your coffee grounds helps bring out the natural sweetness in the coffee, which helps make it more palatable without adding calories. However, the key is to only add a pinch of salt to the grounds, as adding too much salt to the coffee can ruin its taste.
Cinnamon adds a burst of sweet flavor to many desserts, which is why it is commonly used as a natural sweetener in many recipes. When you add it to coffee, it also adds a natural burst of sweetness for a flavorful cup of coffee without the calories of sugar. It also provides a ton of health benefits, including it is high in antioxidants, lowers blood sugar levels, and helps prevent tooth decay and bad breath.
For a seasonal treat, you could also add a hint of nutmeg or your favorite pumpkin spice blend to black coffee for a low-calorie version of pumpkin spice latte.
Add Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Unsweetened cocoa powder is another ingredient that adds tons of natural sweetness and flavor to your coffee, and it is also full of antioxidants.
For a low-calorie cocoa drink, add a sprinkle of cocoa powder to your black coffee for a chocolaty flavor that stands good on its own. However, stick to just one teaspoon of cocoa powder to prevent increasing the calories.
For a chocolate mint coffee, which is also becoming a popular choice in many coffee shops, add a fresh mint leaf or two to your low-calorie mocha coffee to unleash its minty flavor. Mint also contains valuable antioxidants, and it has also been shown to boost your mood.
Add a Flavored Extract
Adding a flavored extract, such as vanilla extract, to your black coffee helps give it a vanilla taste similar to french vanilla coffee syrup but without the added sugar and calories.
To flavor your coffee using a flavored extract, add just a few drops of the liquid to your coffee pot or cup, or you can add it to the coffee beans before brewing. The longer you allow the extract to soak into the beans, the better the coffee will taste.
Try a Sugar-Free Coffee Syrup
If you are adamant about enjoying your coffee with your favorite coffee syrup, but would still like to cut calories, opt for a sugar-free version of your favorite coffee syrup instead. In fact, there is a myriad of sugar-free coffee syrup flavors available online; however, be sure to select one with all-natural flavors, which is better for your health.
Opt for a Sugar Alternative
Adding a few sprinkles of a sugar alternative, such as Stevia, to your black coffee adds intense sweetness without having to add spoonfuls of refined sugar, which can add a lot of calories.
There are different sugar alternatives available, each with their own unique taste, benefits, and controversies, so try different types until you find one that you like.
Try Flavored Coffee Beans
Flavored coffee beans are simply coffee beans that have been roasted and then infused with one or more flavors, such as vanilla, chocolate, caramel, and more. In doing so, it adds tons of flavor to the coffee, and without additional calories, which helps eliminate the need to add various high-calorie additives that can add up.
However, be sure to choose a product that contains all-natural flavors to help protect your health.
We've Covered Some No Calorie Ways to Flavor Coffee, Now What Are Some Low-Calorie Ways to Flavor Coffee?
These no-calorie hacks to flavor your coffee, which may be too extreme for some, are not the only way to help spruce up your coffee without all the calories. For instance, many dairy alternatives, such as coconut milk, almond milk, and soy milk, can be used in the place of milk, which can allow you to enjoy the creamy texture of milk but without the calories. Some people also use protein powder for a creamy boost to their coffee without the calories, and it also adds to your daily protein intake.
Honey and agave, which tastes similar to honey but a bit sweeter, can also be used in the place of refined sugar to help reduce calories. Maple syrup is also low in calories and can be used in the place of refined sugar.
Is It Possible to Make My Own Flavored Coffee?
It is possible to make your own flavored coffee. However, there is no need to add the flavor to the coffee beans too far in advance because it can make the beans too wet, which can allow the natural oils to run off and ruin its taste.
Instead, any time you want flavored coffee, simply add the ground coffee to the filter and then add the flavoring to the grounds. Allow the flavor to infuse into the coffee until it reaches your desired taste.
Next, allow the coffee to brew. As the coffee brews, it will release the taste along with the flavor of the coffee, providing you with your own signature tasting coffee.
What are The Best Coffees to Drink Black?
Each region's coffee beans have a distinctive taste and aroma that makes it appreciable on its own as black coffee.
For instance, coffee from Columbia has a sweet taste with hints of maple and caramel flavors that many people love, while coffee from Brazil has notes of chocolate and nuts in it, and coffee from Indonesia has more of an earthy, robust flavor with hints of nutmeg or clove.
Rwanda and Kenya coffees have fruity notes of raspberry, grapefruit, and orange, and coffee from Central America also has fruity notes but of mango, pineapple or pear.
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